Day 29: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
We can't go through a Halloween season without talking at least once about Freddy Krueger! So let's talk about what is probably the worst one! A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is a frustrating movie. Taken on it's own, it's a very dark, interesting possession movie. It's got some great visuals and good kills. The pool party scene is still one of the best in the franchise. However, as a Nightmare on Elm Street film, it's pretty terrible. It completely disregards the rules set up for Freddy Krueger. Instead of having him terrorizing people in their dreams, it has Freddy taking possession of Jessie (Mark Patton) and having him do the killing in the real world. The secret to a Nightmare movie is to blur the line between what's real and what's a dream. In this one, it almost exclusively takes place in the real world. If you're a fan of the original, this sequel will just leave you scratching your head saying, "WTF?" It makes no sense to have established the rules in the original only to change them in the sequel. It was so bad that Freddy Krueger creator Wes Craven washed his hands of the sequel and refused to be a part of it. He left New Line with a perfectly good franchise on it's hands and they fucked it up. He had to return in the 3rd installment to bring it back. Robert Englund is fantastic as Freddy in this one. It's one of the few highlights. It's just unfortunate that he's not really Freddy in it. C'mon, the bird explodes. WTF?
I also have to mention that the homoerotic undertones in this one are so obvious that it's been labeled as the "gayest horror movie ever." It's most obvious when Jessie has more chemistry with his pal Grady than he does with his love interest Lisa. It would have been far more compelling if they had just been overt about it and reversed the roles of Grady and Lisa.
So, as a standalone, it's not that bad. It's certainly not great, but it's not terrible either. It's got a great 80's feel and some really interesting ideas. They're just the wrong ideas for a Nightmare movie.
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