Nightmare on Elm Street Remake
(2010) Screenshot Analysis
This trailer uses a wide shot to show a man running from multiple cars in a run-down industrial
looking area, this instantly raises loads of questions about the scene being shown. This is one of
the first shots of the trailer which uses an unconventional structure, Equilibrium Disequilibrium
Resolution is normally the structure of a trailer but this first shot doesn’t follow this by showing
a negatively connoted scene from the beginning representing the feel of a horror film.
The scene being set in an abandoned looking industrial area connotes it’s hard/harsh feel of a
mob of people chasing one man, the people being in cars shows them with the advantage of
speed and power as well as hiding their faces which gives them the power of animosity which
disconnects them from the audience and represents them as the antagonist’s of the scene. This
leads to the man running in the foreground to be seen as weak, running away, alone and
vulnerable which instantly makes the audience feel sorry for and side with him. However, fans of
the previous Nightmare on Elm Street films will know the story being depicted here as Freddy
Kruger is chased away and killed by the parents of Elm Street after it is revealed that he is a child
serial killer. This scene can be interpreted as an unjust killing of a man who has not been proved
to be guilty of these crimes or the heroic efforts of concerned parents taking responsibility for
the safety of their children and stopping him from killing again.
The low key lighting and mist in the scene adds to the mysterious scene connoting the idea of
the many questions it raises to the audience (assuming this is a theatre showing and the
purpose of the trailer hasn’t been seen yet) Who is the man? Who is chasing him? Why are they
chasing him? How did they get to this location? Why did he run to this location?
After the first scene in which the parents of Elm Street are shown throwing Molotov cocktails
into the building the man is hiding in, this is an interesting shot as I believe it shows the twist of
the character of Freddy Kruger to an extent. One view would suggest the character being
surrounded by fire in an unattractive looking building represents him as a poor character being
killed in an awful place, the way he is scene to rip his coat off and scream connotes his
vunerability and the low key lighting shows his decent into death.
Another view would say the fire filled setting would represent the evil in the character, engulfing
his human form and transforming him into something more “The stuff nightmare’s are made
of”, the industrial setting connotes the character’s hard purposeful and most importantly
unemotional personality as he loses all human compassion and empathy, the way the character
rips off his coat and screams upwards represents how he is shedding his human form and this is
very prevalent as it reveals the red and black striped jumper, the famous look of Freddy
Kruger, the horror monster which tormented the minds of audiences in the 80s and early 90s.
The option the viewer understands would depend on their own background knowledge but as
the trailer is for a remake it is expected to use the iconic imagery created for it in the previous
films in the franchise.
This shot from the trailer is another example of the remake using iconic images to both pay homage
to the original and use it to connote its identity exactly. This wide shot shows three children playing
in the street, this relates to the genre by going against the normal scenery expected from this type of
film. The image of innocent children skipping in the street connotes safety and happiness
unconventional of the horror genre but also connotes the opposite of Freddy’s reign of terror, a
vision from before his transformation. The shot is blurred which distances the image from the
minds of the audience representing the lost image of innocence. In the trailer itself this shot is
accompanied by the creepy rhyme the children are singing so casually about running away from
Freddy Kruger showing him as a type of mythical monster distancing him further from the human
form into a legend to be feared.
The action of skipping is stereotypical of thinking of children playing outside in the streets however
the era this film is set in, the 21st Century; this seems to be an out-dated stereotype which leads to
the image being a lot more relatable to a lot more people, bringing a broader spectrum of audiences
to see the scene as creepy.
This shot in the trailer uses very low-key lighting to present the mysterious figure in the
background to distance him from the audience presenting him as the antagonist and to create
mystery and fear around the character. The light from behind him presents his figure as a tall-ish
man with a very recognisable hat, fans of the franchise would see this is Freddy Kruger where as
people new to the character would see him as very individual and recognisable even from this
image. The back light is also conventional of an angelic figure but this image uses that for the
darker purpose of presenting Kruger with a red/fire coloured backlight representing him as evil and
The setting of the scene in the industrial corridor with pipes running down the side of it shows it as
a very stale, hard and emotionless place a lot like the other shots from this trailer this connotes the
inner spirit of Kruger as a child-murderer.
The use of shadow in this image is also representing him as a fearful being as it reaches across the
floor towards the camera approaching the audience slowly and surely.
This shot is very similar to the last with the use of low-key lighting and the setting
connoting the horror genre and evil in the character. The composition of this shot is also
very interesting as the focus point is Freddy’s famous preferred weapon, his glove with
knifes on the end of the fingers constructed by himself. This again uses the connotations of
the previous films to attract the old audiences as well as creating the sparks on the pipes
to connote the fire and harsh scratching of the metal on metal looking dangerous and
connoting the hot sparks and fires of hell. The person in the background is seen a lot like
Freddy in the previous shot but it is seen as a female with different connotations as the
weapon is sparking it’s way towards her ready to be killed. The female character is seen
standing waiting for death, vulnerable and doomed.
This is another shot which utilises the famous glove weapon in the foreground of the shot ready
to strike the victim, this is also an entirely remade scene from the original film which would
attract previous audiences to recognise the film and want to see it. The colour used in this scene
is also relevant as the black gloves raises from the white bubbles in the water and covers the
white bath representing the invasion of the black glove connoting evil into the white
background connoting innocence. The focus of the shot is again the glove this being repeated
makes the audience focus more on the killer than the victims in the film. This is unconventional
of most horror films as they normally concentrate on the emotional stories of the victims trying
to overcome the evil killer in the story whereas this film concentrates more on the antagonist as
he is the famous iconic character who will attract more audiences and it promises to show more
of his backstory than in previous films.
A lot like the first shots this shot raises a lot of questions surrounding the
circumstances involved in creating this scene. It is obviously a dream scene to fans
of the series in which the character has fallen asleep in class. To people who aren’t
fans of the series this scene is quite clearly a classroom but why is the character
alone? Why does it look blown up? How did she get there?
Low-key lighting is used to connote the danger in the scene as well as the streaky
lighting coming in the window revealing the burning ashes still floating in the air.
The setting of the classroom connotes the childlike atmosphere, which is Kruger’s
favourite place to lure his victims to their deaths.
This final shot is the first to show Kruger’s face in an over the shoulder close up. The
distancing of the character throughout the trailer created the feeling of terror of the
unknown character hunting his victims. This shot shows off the badly burnt face of the
killer from an over the shoulder shot to attempt to retain some of that distancing and
terror by showing him from the innocent victim’s point of view. Low Key lighting is also
used here to hide most of his face including his eyes under his hat that retains the
distancing of the character. The blade being pointed towards the innocent victim
shows his desire to inflict damage to her connoting his passion for murder.