A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)Someone is coming back to Elm Street!
Scenario one is as a horror newbie when the excitement of the first Elm Street movie was still causing premature ejaculations in my highly hormonal school societal circles where my social status was amplified by having really seen it. The thought of another Freddy chapter was more appealing than the black market cupcake seller at fat-camp... the outcome of that first viewing was disappointment.
Scenario two is as an adult who has seen the whole Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and saw genetic drift transform our lovable burns victim from an ominous and threatening bogeyman to a comic-book stand up comedian only suitable as a warmer-upper for Arsenio Hall. In this scenario the subtle wittiness of Mr. Krueger still maintains an air of menace and the movie manages to be a scare-worthy horror despite relying on more traditional slasher nuances than the first.
In both scenarios A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is still a let-down after the first, mainly because at this stage in the franchise the creators missed opportunity to make a great sequel with an iconic anti-hero and opted for, either, an attack on the mainstream or they just rushed to get a sequel out and hoped it would gain success by piggybacking on the first. Also without Wes Craven in the director's throne it is understandable that the viewer cannot expect the same experience as A Nightmare on Elm Street, it is also hard to believe that there were any budgetary constraints as there was obviously a large financial input from Coke assuming that they paid every time there was a superfluous Coke-shot. Either way the story was shallow, the characters were shallow and there wasn't enough airtime for Freddy. Probably most disappointing is the creative use of the dream-world/real-world thin line was practically non-existent which made this no more than a cool slasher with a cool bad guy.
The premise of the story is... five years after the events of the first movie, Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton) and his family move into Nancy's old house on Elm Street and before long Jesse begins to have the haunting dreams starring everyone's favourite child killer. Unsatisfied with killing the residents of Elm Street via dreams Freddy possesses Jesse so that he can wreak his special style of four point finger exploding heart hack n' slash on the non-sleeping population. Will Freddy finally be destroyed by the power of love or will he die from an abundance of homosexual connotations? Only you can decide.. by watching it.. turn to page 1428.
While director Jack Sholder maintains the darkness of Freddy and doesn't resort to one-liners that would make Arnie cringe the story is very uncaptivating and doesn't inspire the imagination to meander through the thickets of fear. Freddy is thrown into a haunted-house/possession type slasher movie and he deserves so much more. The limitations of only being able to kill via nightmares not only made Freddy a terrifying foe but also gave him some boundaries and a rule base to work within requiring a bit more creativity for him to carve up his victims, having the power to influence the waking world makes him no more than a traditional slasher anti-hero.
The blood and gore are minimal with just the occasional clawing, a bit of brain revealing and some rather homo-erotic towel whippery, but there are no stand out scenes such as the room-wiping of Tina in the first or the vein puppet of the third. The taunting and ironic killing machine that relished his art in the first movie is more of a background character and the story revolves more around Jessy and his sappy girlfriend. Bonus points for the exploding love birds but having seen Frankenhooker I think I have seen the best "exploding things" scene. Final verdict: Not a bad slasher, not a good sequel.