This version of Freddy is a much more creepy than scary Freddy. Part of that is due to an actually touching but horrifying back story that they show about halfway into the film. In it, Fred Krueger is a gardener whose life revolves around the children at a local pre-school. (WARNING SPOILERS BUT REALLY IF YOU'RE SEEING THIS YOU KNOW THE STORY) Fred is a kind man and loves to play games like hide and seek and tag. He also lives in the basement of the pre-school. Down there is his "secret cave." In his "secret cave" he would bring the children down to paint and draw pictures. He would also get them to take pictures...and if you've seen Diff'rent Strokes you know how the rest goes. Anyway the kids told on Fred and Fred decided to flee only to be caught by the kids parents and burned alive. Unlike the original series it's never revealed how Freddy came back to life and how he got into people's dreams but it's a 90 minute horror film so what do you expect?
See what I mean. That's scary. The music sting/jump scare thing is really the only major gripe I have. Otherwise my only other problem is it's a bit abrupt, poorly paced at times with lot's of talky pieces in between the death scenes and as a slasher junkie there weren't enough kills. There were a lot of off-screen ones that you only briefly hear or read about but only a few people die in this film. Remember Freddy's Dead? He killed thousands in that film!
Overall A Nightmare on Elm Street is a decent horror remake of a great film and features overall good acting that suffers from bad pacing, one note scaring tactics, characters you don't care about and not enough slashing. I recommend it but only after you've seen all the other films...besides two...this is MUCH better than two.