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

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

Directed by: Jack Sholder

Premise: Taking place five years after the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, a young man (Mark Patton) has moved into the house of the first film and begins having dreams of Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). It becomes clear that Freddy is attempting to take over the boy’s body in order to kill again.

What Works: Freddy’s Revenge is not well regarded in the Nightmare pantheon but the film has some extremely strong visuals and merges walking life and dreams more effectively than many other entries in the series. This film weds a demonic possession storyline with the slasher plot, although it follows more along the lines of the former subgenre than the latter.  Freddy’s Revenge indulges some of the sadomasochistic subtext of the original film and brings it out into the open, such as the murder of a gym teacher that invokes images of S&M fetishism. This gives Freddy’s Revenge some of the strongest and grittiest images of the series. The performances by the teens continue some of the better instincts of the original film, and the film keeps its focus on the drama and terror of the teens with Freddy maintaining his role as an antagonist.

What Doesn’t: Although the film works, it violates the main concept of Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street series by pulling Freddy out of the dream world. The result undermines the film as it robs the character of what makes him special and ultimately makes no sense.

DVD extras: Trailer, DVD-ROM features.

Bottom Line: While it is not the best film in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Freddy’s Revenge does have a few of its strongest moments.  Despite some serious short comings, it is a more or less successful follow up to the original.

Episode: #261 (October 25, 2009)