Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

"You are all my children now"

Right after A Nightmare on Elm Street was a major success at the box office, producer Robert Shaye knew he had a great series on his hands. Eventually New Line Cinema would become “The House That Freddy Built”. Shaye immediately wanted a sequel, and rightfully so. This was 1984, the prime time of the slasher era and the time when anything in the horror genre would get a sequel. It was during the end of the slasher era, when it was dying a horrible death. Though the slasher film died out by 1986 or so, Freddy and Jason would live on into the early 1990s with no problems whatsoever.

When Nightmare 2 was being planned, Shaye asked Wes Craven to return to direct the film, but Craven knew better after reading the script and not liking what he saw, he decided to pass. But that wasn’t going to stop Shaye. He got his director and his talentless cast and began to film.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge takes place 5 years after the first (why? don’t ask me, it worked for Friday the 13th Part 2). This movie has a new family moving into 1428 Elm Street (the house from the original, for those of you who don’t know). But, this time around the center character is a male lead (a mistake they didn’t make again in any of the Nightmare films). We meet Jesse (Patton) whose family has just moved in. But, something is terribly wrong when strange things begin to happen around the house. Most notably the heat in the house, which is never explained nor do I care. Jesse is having terrible nightmares of Freddy. Freddy wants Jesse to kill for him declaring that Jesse has “the body” and Freddy has “the brains”. However this plot point never made much sense to me because Freddy had no problem killing in part one, but for some reason in this one he needs help. There’s even a “great” part when Freddy is able to come out of Jesse’s body to attack kids at a pool party.

My problem with this movie is that it makes no sense. This is also the reason why Wes Craven wanted nothing to do with this movie. It also seems very homosexually directed. Especially with the coach of the high school who is a cross dresser who gets whipped to death with jump ropes, not to mention Jesse screams like a girl throughout the entire film. The cast in this movie is pretty bad, with the exception of Kim Myers (who should have been the main character). There is a pretty good rule in the slasher genre and that is what is called “the last girl”, it’s basically the last person to survive. In every “good” slasher film it’s a girl. People make mistakes sometimes and try to make it a male, but it doesn’t work. In every Nightmare film after this, including Freddy vs. Jason it’s a female lead role. Lets keep it that way. Steer clear of this movie, unless you want to watch all the Nightmare films (which I encourage), but this is one of the worst and you won’t miss anything if you don’t watch this. Part 2 is not ever mentioned again in any of the Nightmare films. Parts 3 through 6 are all connected in one way or another and they almost all mention part 1, but not part 2 (and for good reason).