After the success of the iconic, original A Nightmare on Elm Street, we received….this. This strange little Freddy film that is easily the most hated, least understood, and somehow controversial of the sequels. I am not a big fan, but that’s because I didn’t like the idea of the whole Freddy-possessing-Jesse thing. It seemed too contrived, and it lost all of the darkness and suspense of the original. I know, of course, the other sequels moved away from the more sinister aspects as well, but in this one, Freddy’s only in it for a few minutes! You can’t have a movie called Freddy’s Revenge and only feature him for ten minutes or so. It doesn’t work, and it’s really misleading.

So, our main character, Jesse, moves with his family into Nancy Thompson’s old house, and starts having bad dreams and weird experiences. The usual. Jesse and his new crush, Lisa (who is extremely awkward throughout the whole movie), discover Nancy’s old journals detailing her experiences with the man known as Freddy Krueger. Freddy, Jesse realizes, is trying to take over his body, and get him to do his bidding for him. This, to me, seems too big of a stretch, even for a movie about a boogeyman who kills teens in their sleep. Some things just go too far, too fast, and the result is this film. It is not well done, the dialogue is kind of bogus, and the blatant sexual overtones don’t seem to belong in a Freddy movie, though they didn’t offend me; as you know, I’m not a prude. I just felt it didn’t fit. As Jesse tries to figure out what is going on, he seems to want to spend more time with his new friend, rather than girlfriend Lisa, and even when he and Lisa make out, it’s just too forced. These characters are pretty one-dimensional, which kind of makes me mad, even in slasher movies. There is no chemistry. It’s like watching a low-budget (really low-budget, not cool low-budget) student film.

The only really cool scene is when Freddy tries to get in on a little pool action, and says, “You are all my children now”. Okay, that’s pretty rad. But that’s seriously about it. The rest of this movie is so painful to watch; it’s not scary, and it’s not intense or engaging as the original was. When Lisa has to tell Jesse/Freddy she loves him, and kisses him to remove Freddy’s presence, that is just ridiculous. Well, come to think of it, another cool part is when Freddy whips Jesse’s gym teacher, naked, in the showers. There’s something strange, and kinky, and disturbing about that part – sadistic, and definitely horror, but it just doesn’t belong in this movie. I suppose there is always the so-called black sheep in every film franchise, and for me, this is the one in the Elm Street saga. I don’t hate it, I just didn’t really like it. Truth be told, there’s not a lot there. It’s sort of like ordering something in a restaurant, and once you taste it, you are really disappointed and let down. You’ll eat it, because you’re hungry, but it’s not going to make your list of favorites. It just…is. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the abhorrent piece of shit that Halloween: Resurrection was, and I do not blame the actors. They were just working with what they were given. But what they were given sucked. I would be tempted to say this is more of a soap opera with social commentary and a bit of overacting than a horror film. There’s no real story here, no meat (so to speak) to the script, and it just falls flat.

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About Aloha Mister Hand

28, horror-loving chick, lover of animals, movies, and her boyfriend.

21 responses »

  1. Ancient says:

    The first one really was MUCH better. Some of the newer ones are good as well, so you pretty much have to watch this one just for “completion” purposes. It’s worth the time if you are already bored, I reckon 🙂 Great review!

    • Thank you! 🙂
      I agree, this one is okayyy. I say ‘okay’ mildly, because you’re right, it’s really only good on lazy, boring days, and for completion purposes! Appreciate the comment!

  2. Mike says:

    Great review of a movie gone terribly wrong.

  3. There are other ways of looking at it, too. One thing you have to remember with this sequel is that it was rushed, no wait, ***!RUSHED!*** into production on the basis of the original’s success. New Line Cinema was a nothing entity, almost, before the first film netted them enough cash to fund a sequel or three, so they were keen to strike again whilst the iron was hot.

    Unfortunately, that also means that people like Rachel Talalay got in on the act. Talalay, for those who do not recall, directed Freddy’s Dead, or Attack Of The Missed Opportunities as I like to call it. On Part 2, she was only a line producer, but I suspect she reflects the quality of the staff that New Line put in charge of the franchise from that point going forward. When a competent storyteller writes something, their question one through fifty in the process is “how do I get the maximum impact with the least amount of effort in this scene?”.

    Say all you want about Nightmare 2, but at least they bothered to ask this question to a degree that unlike parts 4 through 6 can be described as “at all”. Scenes like the policemen bringing Jesse home after the gym teacher has been killed, for example, bring up the plot element of what must be going on in the minds of Jesse’s parents. One that even 3 never addressed all that well.

    Oh, and I have to raise a big objection to the whole “Freddy is only in it for ten minutes” thing. The same can be said of the Cenobites in Hellraiser. It is not how much you use an element that counts, but rather how you use it. Freddy is in parts 4 through 6 to a degree that more than makes up for his “absence” in 2, but he is used so badly that he turns into his own worst enemy. Sit down with Hellraiser sometime and take note of how Doug Bradley’s ultra-serious mode when addressing characters turns the limits of his screentime into his greatest asset.

    But all that aside, an interesting review from a nostalgia point of view.

  4. Shawn Talley says:

    Yeah, what Mike said ^
    I’m with you; I could never get past the fact that Freddy barely appeared in ‘Freddy’s Revenge.’ Thankfully ‘Dream Warriors’ righted the ship (as you’ll likely elaborate on in your next post…)

  5. “You’ve got the body….I’ve got the brainssss”.

  6. On the plus side if you go in expecting this to be bad, with a bunch of friends, pizza and beer – it’s bloody brilliant! Never Laughed so hard.

    Looking forward to the next one (Also my Fav, after 1)

    I should warn you – someone is coming dangerously close to taking your ‘top commenter’ place on my blog 😛

  7. I thought this was ok. Not really a fan overall. Quite honestly outside of the original and New Nightmare I’m not a big fan of the Elm Street movies. If it ain’t written and directed by Wes, I don’t really care. I can watch the sequels every few years than I remember why I only watch them every few years lol.

    However I will say the characters in the series were always a little more developed than most horror movies and not counting this one obviously the series always had very strong female characters and I prefer horror movies with strong female leads.

    Dave

  8. […] couple of days ago, one of the writers whose work I take the time to follow posted this review of A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Now, regardless of what you might think of […]

  9. I pretty much agree with your criticisms – although in the end, I did enjoy this movie. It’s been years since I saw this movie, but your review has somewhat refreshed my memory. So I can offer some comments.

    After seeing the first movie, I agree that it makes no sense that “Freddy” would need to possess a human body. If “Nancy” was in this movie, it would be cool if he possessed her, and forced her to kill other Elm Street kids. Then she would scream “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?” Then “Freddy” would say to her “Well, I don’t need to possess you. I just thought it would be hilarious. And I was right. And now, I’m going to make you rape and murder your father.”

    As for the whole “Freddy” possession thing, it wouldn’t be so offensive if this movie wasn’t a sequel to the first Nightmare on Elm Street. I understand that the “rules of logic” that were laid down in the first movie forced the screenwriters to ignore those “rules” (and make a sequel with plot twists the audience wouldn’t expect). Or they would’ve been forced to make a sequel that would play out virtually the exact same as the first movie. I am a stickler for sequels to abide by the “rules” set down in previous films. BUT if I actually end up enjoying a sequel, I am more forgiving if it ignores the “rules”.

    As for the lead character, I thought he was hilarious. The part where his family are eating breakfast, then they hear him screaming like a woman, is priceless. He’s certainly not the heroic type, and I liked that. In fact, he is quite effeminate, even by today’s standards. My sister would often joke that the lead character seems like a closet homosexual – but it wasn’t until I read your review that I became aware of all the homosexual undertones in the film. I’ll have to watch the movie again sometime, and watch for that.

    There were a lot of parts I loved, like when “Freddy” showed up at the party (and slaughtered a bunch of teens). The gym teacher’s death was also great (as was the part where the lead character runs into the gym teacher at the bar). So I am glad to see you enjoyed those scenes. I was pretty much impressed by all the deaths, as well as the dream where “Freddy” is about to put his glove to use on the schoolbus (at the beginning of the film)

    However, the final showdown at the factory, was incredibly embarrassing. I never thought I would see “Freddy” sink so low. Tsk tsk.

  10. theipc says:

    good job Jamie!

Speak :)

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