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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

A Nightmare on Elm Street

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

What the world needs now, to paraphrase an old song, is a reboot of the 1980s slasher franchise "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (Warner Bros.). Well, no, not really.

Ex-janitor-turned-crazed-killer Freddy Krueger (formerly Robert Englund, now Jackie Earle Haley) and his famously fatal fingers return to prey on the dreams—and, darn it, the real lives—of a new generation of small-town teens, including diner waitress and would-be artist Nancy (Rooney Mara), jittery emo boy Quentin (Kyle Gallner), cheerleader-type Kris (Katie Cassidy) and her brooding boyfriend Dean (Kellan Lutz).

The sexual content of this latest entry in a relentlessly objectionable series of horror outings—dating from Wes Craven's 1984 original—is relatively restrained, though when Kris asks Dean to spend the night with her to allay her fears of encountering Freddy, it's pretty obvious that this is not the first time the pair have shared a bed. And Wesley Strick and Eric Heisserer's script also deals indirectly, yet cheaply, with the disturbing subject of child molestation.

But the gore quotient—one character is seen literally swimming in blood—remains excessive, as veteran music video director Samuel Bayer, in his feature debut, relies on the tried and trite recipe of sending interchangeable insomniacs to a gory doom. Thus we not only witness Freddy's victims being battered, impaled and more or less ripped to shreds, but also hung up as perverse trophies in plasma-soaked, see-through body bags.

In short, it's more than high time for this dehumanizing saga to bid us all—in the words of another classic number—"so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye."

The film contains intense bloody violence; gruesome imagery; a pedophilia theme; an implied nonmarital relationship; a couple uses of profanity; at least a dozen instances of the F-word; and some crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience.

 
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