johnlink ranks A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE (1985)

After being underwhelmed by the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, I’m not sure I made the right decision in choosing this series to watch leading up to Halloween. I’m not sure I’ll get my wife to watch five more of these after watching the first two, but I think she will soldier on. So, here we go with the cinematic classic, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2!

freddys_2

I watched A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE (1985) on 10.17.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

By many accounts, this movie was crammed into theaters. Sure, it made more money than the first one, but Wes Craven wanted nothing to do with it. The new Director, Jack Sholder, started this movie with some generic stunt guy playing Freddy before they came to their senses, and the script feels roughly 60% done as I sat and watched this 29 years after its release.

In this film, Freddy haunts the dreams of a young teen Jesse (Mark Patton). In a twist, Freddy possesses the kid and starts committing murders through him. We can set aside for a second that this entirely dismisses the reality of the world established in the first film, to make a concession that a few of the things that happen in this film as a result of this possession are actually the most effective moments. A scene where Freddy literally cuts his way through Jesse’s body is more effective than maybe anything that happened in the entirety of the first film.

Yet, it can’t be helped but to notice, the movie just makes up rules as it goes. Freddy is only in the dream world, then he isn’t. He murders people through this other kid for some reason, even though he had no problem invading anyone’s dreams in the first one. An opening scene on a school bus is shockingly awful. A teacher makes Jesse do pushups before they inexplicably run into each other at a gay bar, so the teacher makes him go back to school in the middle of the night to run laps, only to have Freddy invade the real world (which I thought he couldn’t do), to kill the teacher. Is the kid supposed to be sleep walking? Maybe. But it still makes no sense whatsoever. And the movie never really cares to make any logical sense.

The fact that it contains some cool moments, including these freaking weird dog people at the film’s climax, does temper the ambivalence one might build as this movie progresses. Where the first film was decently considered but was derailed by a lack of scares and acting, this is a film which has a few good ideas, slightly improved acting (especially from the leading lady played by Kim Myers), and a creative sense of nightmarish violence. The first film tried to be truly gritty, it just looks silly after 29 years. The second film is more abstract, with some of the weird moments being downright awful, and others maintaining a level of intrigue after nearly three decades.

Anyway, I can’t recommend this series yet. I hear 3 and 7 are good. I still think I can make it that far. We will see.

SCORES

FILM: 3; MOVIE: 6; ACTING: 5; WRITING: 2

3+6+5+2+0=16

FINAL SCORE: 4 out of 10

 

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~ by johnlink00 on October 18, 2014.

6 Responses to “johnlink ranks A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE (1985)”

  1. 3 and 7 are the best of the sequels. This one is the most unique. I do like the series overall. Good review.

  2. 3 and 7 are the best of the sequels. This one is the most unique. I do like the series overall. Good review.

  3. If you are struggling now then just wait for part 5 and Super Freddy!

    I would say watch 3 and 4 skip 5 and skim part 6 then move on to the excellent New Nightmare. Good luck going forward.

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