American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Forget about the plot, the actors and the director. What you require to make a new "Nightmare on Elm Street" are these three off-the-shelf sound effects: 1. A sudden, loud clanging noise mixed with a musical chord. 2. Snicker-snack sounds, which Freddy Krueger's steel finger claws make every time they are seen. 3. A voice deepener, to drop Freddy's speaking voice to an ominous level.
On top of that, you need your sudden cuts, your lighting from below, your thump-thump-thumps and of course a dog that barks at something unseen in the night, so that your teenage heroine can go out on the lawn in bare feet and flimsy PJs and call "Rufus! Rufus! Here, boy!" You know in your bones that Rufus is now checking into Doggie Heaven.
Oh, and actors. Lots of Dead Teenagers, seen in the last moments of their lives, when they enjoy a farewell Moment of Deceptive Safety just before there's a sudden loud clanging noise and the snicker-snack claws disembowel them and Freddy rumbles, You have nothing to worry about. This won't hurt one … little ... bit.
The 2010 edition of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is number 8 1/2 in the series. I arrive at that number not out of a desperate desire to be seeing the Fellini film instead, but because "Freddy vs. Jason" (2003) should in all fairness count for half a film on this list, and half a film on the "Friday the 13th" list.