You know, there are just some movies that make you ask, “Sweet Jesus, WHY?”
Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge isn’t remotely anywhere near the sphere of good-bad. It’s just all around bad.
The basic premise is that Jesse, a young high school aged kid, moves into Nancy Thompson’s old house and begins having the weird Freddy Krueger dreams. There’s a difference to his dreams, though: it’s apparent that Krueger wants to use his body as a vessel to the outside world.
Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is practically a primer for where the franchise could go terribly, terribly wrong.
- They broke from the original formula.
There’s something that really works about having a strong female lead against Krueger that’s a good contrast. By comparison, the whining, miserable Jesse has none of the spunk or spark that Nancy or most of the other female leads did. Watching Jesse will make you never want to have children. He was born with the birth defect of “missing personality” and he’s nothing but teary-eyed and angry through the whole movie. Oh, we do understand that he loves his girlfriend – like, a whole LOT! – but you really just want Freddy to hack him up to pieces.
- The special effects sucked.
Latex dummies and obvious rigs ahoy! One of Craven’s talents on the first Nightmare was making really good special effects on what had to be a shoestring budget. Craven’s absent from this one and it shows. I think at one point they just rigged up one of those CPR dummies you used in a Red Cross first aid class with a bunch of Strawberry Quik and said, “Look! Dead person! Now, quickly, locate the xyphoid process!”
- The plot is stupid.
If your character defeats Freddy Krueger through resisting his evil pull from the love of his (annoying) girlfriend, the plot sucks.
- Freddy Krueger doesn’t look like himself.
He’s much more gooey in this one. And not in a good way. And the glove is mostly missing – Krueger’s razor blades come through his fingernails. And the minimal slasher scenes suck. Watching Krueger terrorize a teenage pool party is just eighty kinds of suck.
There’s also a weird subtext involving a gay gym teacher who bites the dust in the lamest possible way. I eventually amused myself with all of the late ’80’s references/random products in the film. Does anyone remember Body Glove? Oh man, that was like the highlight of my viewing experience on this one. A Body Glove sticker and a Stray Cats poster. Don’t knock Brian Setzer, man, he and that hair used to be super cool.
Knowing the film that bookends this one, I find Part II to be all kinds of depressing and I remember now why I blocked it out of my memory. Even the franchise, which is notorious for referencing past events in movies, doesn’t ever harken back to this one, if I remember my Nightmare trivia all that well.
So not worth the time. (Hence why there are no screencaps. Not even the hilarious outfits could make me ‘cap this one.)