Freddy is back and he wants vengeance. That’s the premise of the title, at least.
This movie feels weird compared to the first. Wes Craven didn’t want there to be any sequels and he wanted the original to have a happy ending. This is a case where the studio owns the character and can pretty much do what it wants. As a result, Freddy Kreuger does weird stuff like manifest in the waking world. Don’t ask me why, he was doing a good job killing people in their dreams.
The movie starts with a weird-ass nightmare, just because. A bus totters precariously over hell and Freddy Kreuger is chasing the three teens inside it. But then the dreamer wakes up. This is Jesse (Mark Patton.)
He and his family have moved into Nancy Thompson’s old house five years after the events of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
He’s been having trouble sleeping ever since they moved. To make matters worse, he’s having trouble in school. He’s fighting with his frenemy Grady (Robert Rusler) and his gym teacher, Coach Schneider (Marshall Bell) is picking on him.
He begins to have nightmares about Freddy and, like Nancy, is increasingly scared to go to sleep. In this movie, Freddy wants Jesse’s body. Jesse’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic. His not-quite-girlfriend Lisa (Kim Myers) finds Nancy’s old diary and starts to research Freddy Kreuger.
Jesse finds Freddy’s gloves and also starts to sleepwalk. This leads to one of the weirdest sequences I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s so weird that I thought it was a dream sequence at first. Jesse sneaks out of his house and goes to the “queer S&M bar” (Grady’s description, not mine) that Coach Schneider goes to. Schneider sees him there, takes him to the school, and makes him run laps. Can a teacher just kidnap you outside of school and then punish you? This is WEIRD. For what it’s worth, Schneider’s S&M gear is really tame. He’s just wearing a lady’s v-neck tank and a spiked wrist-cuff.
Schneider sends Jesse to the showers and goes to his office. Then, Schneider is assaulted by sports equipment. He’s attacked by all these sports balls and tied up by an unseen force and all I can think of is this scene;
Schneider’s tied up in the shower room, his clothes are ripped off and he’s whipped until Freddy slashes his back. But it’s Jesse holding the glove! Yeah, he’s pretty possessed by Freddy now. And that’s basically the movie, Jesse trying to fight Freddy.
I have to say, this is one of the gayest movies I’ve ever seen. I don’t mean gay the way people use gay as a pejorative. I mean it’s a movie about a kid dealing with his gayness and his gayness is personified by Freddy Kreuger.
I base this assessment on a few scenes. Aside from the coach whipping scene, there’s a scene at Lisa’s party where Jesse is about to have sex with Lisa but then his tongue turns into Freddy Kreuger’s gnarly tongue. Jesse runs away to Grady’s house and asks Grady to watch him while he sleeps. But then Freddy emerges and kills Grady. This is a pretty powerful message. I’m not sure if this is a progressive movie or not, considering that Jesse’s gay side is represented by an undead child-molesting serial killer.
How does this movie function as a horror movie? Definitely not as well as the original. I found myself having a hard time caring for Jesse but I liked his friends a lot. The movie definitely lacks the tension of the original, although I definitely enjoyed when Freddy crashed Lisa’s party. There’s also this amazing dance scene with Jesse. Oh, and CLU GULAGER is Jesse’s dad.
Freddy is as gross as ever and the scene where he kills Grady is pretty cool but the rest of the movie drags so much. For me, removing Freddy from the dreaming world was a big mistake. You’re so vulnerable when you’re asleep and you can’t control your dreams that much, even if you’re an active dreamer. That’s why Freddy’s scary, along with the pervert and murdering part and the fact that his victims in the movie are being punished for something they didn’t even do.
That being said, I’m looking forward to watching Dream Warriors. Is there anyone who really dislikes Dream Warriors?