Teenager Jesse (Mark Patton) is experiencing strange things happening to him. He starts to find out that Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has something to do with him having these strange encounters.
Director: Jack Sholder
Cast: Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Rusler, Clu Gulager, Hope Lange, Robert Englund
MPAA Rating: R for adult situations, language, nudity, violence
Fun Fact: Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, and John Stamos all auditioned for the Jesse role.
After the success of A Nightmare On Elm Street, New Line Cinema wanted to cash in the success with a sequel. Wes Craven on the other hand didn’t want a sequel. He felt like it wasn’t needed and wanted the first film to end on a happy note. The studio then went to work on a follow up to the first film without him.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is an interesting film so to speak. The script written by David Chaskin is the focus here. The subtext of the film is about a closeted gay teenager that doesn’t know what is happening to him. In all honesty I’m fine with the subtext if it is what I was searching for. If I wanted something about gay teen life I would go and find a film with that type of plot. For me when I see a film about Freddy Krueger, I just expect a straight up horror film. The biggest crime is that Freddy Krueger is not in the film for a good portion of it. I mean the premise is interesting where he is manipulating and possessing Jesse but that’s beside the point. If you are going to promote it as his revenge he should be in more of the film. Besides the title Freddy’s Revenge doesn’t make sense either. The whole idea of him was that he wanted revenge against the parents who killed him. He gets his revenge and gets beat. Now he wants revenge but, not against Nancy?
The film has a mixed bag of effective and goofy scenes across the board. In some of the scenes there is effective buildup in suspense and tension. In one scene where Jesse is in a dream he notices something in the basement. The whole scene is shot well and it gave me a white-knuckle moment. The scene where Freddy comes out of Jesse’s body is one of my favorite moments in horror. You will need to watch it to get the full effect. While those scenes are good, we have hands down one of the most ridiculous scenes that I have ever seen in all the films that I have watched in my life. It has Jesse being led by Freddy to an S&M bar where he runs into his gym coach. I’m not going to spoil it if you haven’t seen the film because I don’t think I can give you the full effect if I wrote it out. You will need to see it to truly believe what you are watching.
Another positive is Freddy is still dark and hasn’t hit complete goofball stage yet. Robert Englund gives another terrific performance even with the limited amount of time he has on screen. Clu Galager and Hope Lange has a decent chemistry with each other as Jesse’s parents. They just click and make a believable married couple. Kim Myers also gives a decent performance as Lisa. While not on the par with Nancy, Lisa wants to help as much as she can. Mark Patton has his views on what happened and you should look them up because it’s interesting what he has had to say. I met him at a convention a few years ago and he was one of my favorite people I’ve met. With that I felt like he did fine and he’s the reason why this film has a good-sized following that it does.
Overall, A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is an interesting mixed bag of a sequel. It does have some suspenseful moments and the performances are memorable. The thing that brings it down is a badly written script that has its moments. The folklore on the script is that no one knew about the subtext which I find hard to believe. The thing is if the script wasn’t written like it was, then this film might not be as memorable as it is today.
Verdict: Middle Ground