In honor of pride month, we watched Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, and it brings a whole new meaning to scream queen. Freddy’s back for revenge, and he doesn’t give a fuck if you’re dreaming or not.
A totally straight young man named Jessie, with the scream of Ned Flanders, is haunted by nightmares of a scarred and razor clawed monster-man named Freddy Krueger. He finds out from his gym bro that the house he lives in was once inhabited by a young girl named Nancy driven crazy by the death of her boyfriend across the street. Jess discovers Nancy’s journal while cleaning his room and finds out that she was tormented by the same nightmares.
Freddy Krueger in this film isn’t out to kill the protagonist, he seeks to possess his body and carry out his murders in reality
Review of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2
This film has a reputation as a huge disappointment to fans of the original, and has a long history of getting shit on. I don’t see the drop in quality as being that big. The reason for the dislike of this film is probably because it strays so far from the premise of the first movie. Freddy’s unique selling point is that he can kill you in your dreams and that sleep is unavoidable. In this film, that is barely touched on. The terror in this film is very personal to the protagonist, as he witnesses Freddy take over his body in harm his friends around him.
The homoerotic subtext might have been lost on a majority of general audiences in the 80’s. Many of the scenes must have felt random if you didn’t understand that Jessie’s experience was an allegory for being a closetted gay teen. Now 40 years later, it adds a new layer of interest, especially when you view it in the context that it was released right at the beginning of the AIDs epidemic.
Special Effects and Acting
All of that aside, this movie has some great special effects. The scene with Jessie’s were-Freddy transformation is going to stick in my mind.
It’s definitely not as tight as the original. At some points it looks like Freddy runs out of ideas of how to supernaturally and psychologically torture his victims, and just resorts to chasing them around.
The acting ranges from kind of bad to very good. Mark Patton does a really convincing job at conveying his torment and his performance keeps getting better and better throughout the film.
I think it deserves more love. It’s not fantastic, but is a very good followup to the first film in my opinion.
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