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.