You all know the movie. You all love to hate it. The black sheep in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. The movie that tackled homosexuality without anyone realizing it. The movie that disappointed the fans; the movie that almost ruined Freddy. Now let me tell you why you should give it a second chance.
On my annual marathon of the franchise I wondered if I should leave the second movie out, because we all know how bad it is. But I gave it a chance. And it did pay off for sure.
About the movie
Five years after the events of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jesse, a young boy, is haunted in his dreams by Freddy Krueger. He slowly finds out more about our favorite villain and works hard to defeat him. Jesse is played by Mark Patton who quit acting shortly afterwards. The director is Jack Sholder and the writer is David Chaskin. Neither had much of a career afterwards. Robert Englund is the only reoccurring actor as Freddy Krueger.
Why the hate?
So this all doesn’t sound like a good way for Freddy to return. No famous people at all. None that were big before, and none that went on to do anything noteworthy. Adding to this, the rules have changed. Instead of haunting the teens in their dreams, Freddy mostly haunts Jesse in real life. Not all the teens. Just Jesse and his surroundings. At one point he makes birds go crazy. And instead of visiting teens in their dreams he possesses Jesse’s body and kills people that way.
Why you should love it and give it a second chance!
If you go at it from the original A Nightmare on Elm Street this isn’t going to work. Too much has changed. So what I’m offering you is to watch this with an clean slate. It’s not about the Freddy Krueger. It’s about another demon with the same name. And this demon has slightly different rules. He needs a human vessel. If that vessel goes to sleep, he can take over their body and come back to haunt the world.
If you watch it with that perspective, what you get is a great horror movie that manages to be scary and haunting. The special effects, all hand-made, are just brilliant. Freddy has some great one liners and the movie has quite a few twists. The homosexual undertones are still there but you can try to read into what they mean. Or just ignore them. It’s especially funny to watch when you hear that neither the producers nor the director realized these undertones existed until after they were told about them.
And, in its defense, this version of Freddy is different from the main lore, because when this movie came out, all we had was A Nightmare on Elm Street, and while it’s one of my favorite movies of all time, you can’t say it sticks to any rules. In it they manage to bring Freddy to real life, so that’s canon. But then again, watching that movie, is he actually in real life, or is it all a dream in a dream inception style? Who knows.
No, this is not the Freddy you learned to love over the years. But by no means is this a bad horror movie. It delivers on the scares, the effects, and on the 80s cheese-factor. And you could actually remake this movie today and exchange Freddy for some other creature, and in the end you’d get … well actually it’s pretty similar to Insidious. Boy in a coma (sleep) with ghosts around him, trying to possess his body to come to our world…
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