Thursday, October 17, 2019

Movie Review: "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" (1985)

Director: Jack Sholder
Year: 1985
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

When Jesse and his family move into Nancy Thompson's old house on Elm Street, Freddy Kruger enters his dreams, hoping to use him as a vessel to kill once more.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge movie still featuring Mark Patton and Kim Myers in a classic car
"I'm afraid to go to sleep." (Image Source)
"One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door." Maybe next time, we'll skip two and go straight to three and four. "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" is the sequel to Wes Craven's iconic horror film "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Craven did not return for the sequel, which is instead directed by Jack Sholder and is written by David Chaskin. Five years after the events of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," a teenager named Jesse (Mark Patton) and his family have moved into Nancy Thompson's old house, where she faced off against Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) the first time around. Almost immediately after settling in, Freddy begins appearing in Jesse's dreams. Kruger hopes to use Jesse as a conduit so he can murder once again.
Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) grabs Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton) by the shirt and tries to kill him in the 1985 horror film "Freddy's Revenge"
"There is no Jesse. I'm Jesse now!" (Image Source)
Of all the films in the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise, of all the ridiculous stuff that goes on in these movies, it's "Freddy's Revenge" that winds up sticking out like a sore thumb. It's not because of its homoerotic tone, or its subtextual themes about characters struggling with and coming to terms with their own sexuality. It's much bigger than that. Look, inconsistencies are bound to happen when franchises expand and new people take over, so what's wrong with the story? Unfortunately, it's completely contrived and contradictory. This film totally ignores what made Freddy Kruger who he was as a villain the first time around. He's an entity that kills people in their dreams, and in that world, he has infinite power to frighten, torture, and deceive. In "Freddy's Revenge," however, he kills people while they're awake, seemingly doing so via Jesse as his conduit, yet he still maintains supernatural power in the real world. He can vanish and reappear, walk through solid objects, and burst through other things at will. Freddy being able to do these things goes against the established rules of the original film. Plus, there's little to no explanation of why his abilities have changed. It's almost as if director Jack Sholder and writer David Chaskin didn't understand the character and/or the universe in which they were working well enough to keep things consistent for the sequel. Beyond the story being a backtracking mess, the story and the acting are pretty terrible across the board. Script lines are delivered in such a dry, emotionless way that we felt the actors' boredom most of the time. When people actually try to offer some sort of emotion, it is done in an effortful, over-the-top manner that reads "goofy," not "passionate."
Kim Myers and Robert Englund square off in a movie scene from "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge"
"I think there's something seriously wrong with you, bro." (Image Source)
Despite a few excellent, gory, and gruesome visuals, the overall package of "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" just isn't worth your time.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
RT Rating: 41%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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