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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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Jutta of Thuringia: Today's patroness of Prussia began her life amidst luxury and power but died the death of a simple servant of the poor.
<p>In truth, virtue and piety were always of prime importance to Jutta and her husband, both of noble rank. The two were set to make a pilgrimage together to the holy places in Jerusalem, but her husband died on the way. The newly widowed Jutta, after taking care to provide for her children, resolved to live in a manner utterly pleasing to God. She disposed of the costly clothes, jewels and furniture befitting one of her rank, and became a Secular Franciscan, taking on the simple garment of a religious.
</p><p>From that point her life was utterly devoted to others: caring for the sick, particularly lepers; tending to the poor, whom she visited in their hovels; helping the crippled and blind with whom she shared her own home. Many of the townspeople of Thuringia laughed at how the once-distinguished lady now spent all her time. But Jutta saw the face of God in the poor and felt honored to render whatever services she could.
</p><p>About the year 1260, not long before her death, Jutta lived near the non-Christians in eastern Germany. There she built a small hermitage and prayed unceasingly for their conversion. She has been venerated for centuries as the special patron of Prussia.</p> American Catholic Blog The confessional is not the dry-cleaner’s; it is an encounter with Jesus, with that Jesus who is waiting for us, who is waiting for us as we are.

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