Horror
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
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Dir: Jack Sholder
Star: Robert Englund, Kim Myers, Mark Patton, Robert Russler
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 1985
Format: DVD R1
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Set 5 years after the events of A Nightmare on Elm Street 1428 Elm Street has new residents. Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton) and his parents buy Nancy's old house for a song, despite the strange tale of the previous residents and their seemingly deranged daughter. Having trouble fitting in at his new school and being plagued by bad dreams of a certain person Jesse slowly alienates himself from his friends Grady (Robert Russler) and Lisa (Kim Myers). Jesse's bad dreams get worse and during one his nightly visitations the deadly dream demon informs Jesse that they have special work to do in order for Freddy to manifest himself in the real world and in effect be reborn. Freddy gives Jesse his infamous razor tipped glove to effect his murderous will and pretty soon people start to die as Jesse withdraws himself further from his friends. Jesse and Lisa discover Nancy Thompson's old diary in a closet and learn more about the horrific events 5 years earlier as they rush to find a way to beat Freddy and save Jesse's soul and the teenagers of Elm Street.

After the runaway success of A Nightmare on Elm Street it was obvious to New Line Cinema that this could be the start of a lucrative franchise for them which would wrench them from the studio doldrums and make them a major player in Hollywood. As it transpired they were correct, even after this hideous sequel and despite the story transgressing away from certain rules and story guidelines which were established in the first film by it's creator Wes Craven. Within a year of the release of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy's Revenge hit the screens.

Written by David Chaskin a former film inspector for New Line Cinema the film stretches an unimaginative and thin plot precariously over the newly established mythos of Freddy Kreuger. New Line Cinema evidently rush to "cash in" on the Freddy phenomena and it shows as the story isn't particuarly well thought out and the choice of Jack Sholder is not a very good one. Sholder evidently concentrates on a "slasher" aspect of the character and ignores most of what went before. Not all of his direction is terrible. There are one or two decent set pieces but as there is little real suspense the "jump factor" is very low and the fact that the story strays from the intrinsic dreamscape realm of Freddy Kreuger which is meant to be a major focus point they are irrevocablly overshadowed by the rest of the film. Please observe that although Freddy Kreuger may well be intent upon being reborn, his victims are required to be asleep for him to affect them as his metaphysical influence cannot manifest itself in the "real" world. His appearance at the pool party tears down the walls of the primary rule for the series. Freddy Kreuger is confined and imprisoned within the dream world so how is he supposed to be able to manifest himself in the real world!!

Unlike A Nightmare on Elm Street this big screen outing for the eponymous boogeyman Freddy Kreuger has very little capacity to scare you......except of course for the heavy homo-erotic direction of Jack Sholder. Mark Patton portrays a "sensitive" teenager who appears to have some problems with his sexuality which is about the only convincing part of his performance because on the whole he is a complete acting non-entity and the result is that you hope for his speedy demise. Wes Craven evidently disagreed with the story and script for this film which he was presented with when given first refusal to direct it. Later explaining that it wasn't what he had envisioned for the characters that he had created and that the story involved infringement upon the rules that he had established for A Nightmare on Elm Street so he declined. (Thankfully he came back to write Elm Street 3)

Mark Patton's performance is by no means the only bad one, as one by one an ensemble cast provide some abysmal performances. The only exceptions to the acting talent abyss of this film are Robert Englund of course as Freddy Kreuger and newcomer Robert Russler better known for his later role as Lieutenant Warren Keffer in Babylon 5 television series. The sexuality battle for Jesse includes his trip to a "gay bar" where he is picked up by his homosexual high school sports coach played by Marshall Bell and their trip to the showers where the coach gets a stabbing pain in his back whilst being tied to the pipes by skipping ropes. The acting is one of many downfalls to this movie, a poor script and Jack Sholder's homo-erotic and overly "gay" direction are the major contributing factors and yet somehow it managed to fuel the Freddy Kreuger phenomena. The redesigned Freddy Kreuger make up by Kevin Yagher is a frighteningly and intensely effective than the original by David Miller possibly because you see more of it in this film. In each of the films the Freddy make up evolves with the character and Kevin Yagher is responsible for several of them and each one being more realistic or gruesomely intense as the last.

Too many inferior special effects used for the sake of using them and what plays as a terribly rushed story deaden what potential the story may have had. Not particuarly gruesome or terrifying and trying to emulate the first film by starting with a dream and finishing with a dream. To be honest by the end of the film you couldn't care less about the characters or the ending, you just wished that they had died horribly earlier. Despite a larger budget than the original and access to supposedly better special effects, the film falls flat on it's face and is barely entertaining and is at best mediocre. Quite possibly the worst of the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

Quote

Daddy can't help you now Jesse!

Rating: 1 out of 5

DVD
Picture 1.85:1 Great digitally remastered transfer
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 & Original Mono soundtrack Good Dolby mix.
Cast & Crew Biographies.
"Jump to a Nightmare" scene selection.
Cool interactive menu
Verdict As this disc is part of The Nightmare on Elm Street "Platinum Series" boxed set the disc is different to the standard release and minimal extra's on this disc are reflected by a seperate disc within the collection which contains the bulk of the extras for this and the other films. On the whole this is a good disc with an excellent presentation of a mediocre movie.

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home