The one thing I’ve noticed about the horror genres are that they go through fads. We all remember the “PG-13 Japanese Remake Fad” that we all had to endure and suffer. Then we had the “Torture Porn Fad” with the Hostel movies and all the Saw films. Why? Why so many Saw films? Now we’re in the midst of the “Michael Bay Produced Remake Fad” where we’re seeing all of our favorites being remade into crappy studio money making products. The only constant with these Michael Bay produced remakes other than Bay himself is Steve Jablonsky. Steve has scored every one of these things: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, The Hitcher, Friday The 13th and now A Nightmare On Elm Street.
Now, I love Jablonsky but I can honestly say every one of his horror scores to these remakes have been boring and pretty much not enjoyable. You can call them atmospheric, but you can be atmospheric and still be really good (see Yamaoka’s work on the Silent Hill game franchise).
Here, Jablonsky actually hits a home run after striking out so many times. He delivers a terrific horror score full of brooding strings, chilling vocals and pulsing electronic percussion. There were parts that reminded me of Hans Zimmer’s The Ring, which was without a doubt the last great horror film score composed.
With A Nightmare On Elm Street we get a nice theme that carries us through the film and never leaves us lost in the middle of dreadful ambient scoring, which many of his previous horror scores were. He pays homage to Charles Bernstein who composed the original film’s score, but still makes it a Steve Jablonsky score. Now, the film itself is pure dreck. The only redeeming qualities I found were to be Jablonsky’s score and Jackie Earl Haley doing a pretty decent (if different) Freddy Kruger.
Don’t let your experience from Jablonsky’s past horror scoring attempts deter you from checking this one out. It’s really quite good even if the film itself is pure Hollywood product.
P.S. I'm pretending the track "One More Nap" doesn't exist. Luckily it wasn't used in the film, which is why I'm not too angered by it.