A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Freddy’s Revenge

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?


About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
This entry was posted in 1980's, famous movie monsters, serial killers, slasher, supernatural and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Freddy’s Revenge

  1. Hey Scarina–I hated the second Nightmare, but love the first one and third. Patricia Arquette tumbling, Jennifer Rubin with one of my favorite lines ever, and a Dokken song–what’s not to like? Saw Wes Craven at a film fest panel, and he was so incredibly soft-spoken my voice recorder couldn’t pick him up, even when he had a microphone. He’s a smart guy who knows how to terrify.

    • scarina says:

      Yeah, this definitely is at the bottom of my Nightmare on Elm St. list. And Dream Warrior is towards the top, with the 1st one. This one doesn’t even have the campy aspect of the later Nightmare movies.
      You know, I’ve never been to a horror convention or anything like that. I’ve always wanted to, despite my fear of crowds. That doesn’t surprise me about Wes Craven, even his goofy movies, like The People Under the Stairs (Which I love), are thoughtful.

      • We should hit one together one of these days. When I’ve gone before, the audience has always been rather dudey. We horror ladies got to represent!

      • scarina says:

        Hell yeah! My main source of horror news is Rue Morgue magazine. There are always ad’s for conventions but they all seem to take place in Canada (Makes sense, it’s a Canadian magazine) or out west in Texas or California. What gives? There have to be cool horror conventions on the east coast.

  2. Crypticpsych says:

    I actually like Nightmare 2…precisely as the franchise’s noncanon film (Halloween has Season of the Witch, Friday has A New Beginning, Hellraiser…is a bad example because it’s basically everything in the franchise since Hell on Earth and that one’s debatable, [REC] has Genesis). Taken on it’s own it’s a very interesting alternative spin on the franchise.

    For the record, the movie earned the title of gayest horror movie ever (meant in precisely the way you use it above) on tons of websites. I mentioned to you on Twitter that the Never Sleep Again documentary (4 hours of pure unadulterated backstory of every film and an extra 4 of special features not counting if you get the version with the commentary) is pretty amazing…this is one of the areas where it shines. It basically found Mark Patton and Kim Myers for the first time in years and got them to start doing conventions since no one had a clue where Patton was. It’s also probably the most interesting piece of the doc as it specifically tackles that very aspect of the movie’s feel. (Apparently, the writer tried to be cute and put a gay subtext into the movie…he just was as subtle as a bus hitting you). I personally feel this is better than at least two other films in the franchise with one being an utter chore for me (I HAAAAAATE Dream Child), but I know a ton of people vitriolically hate this.

    Incidentally, don’t let this color your opinion of Jack Sholder, the director. The movie he made before this, his feature debut, is generally recognized as an underrated classic. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083542/) and the movie he made directly after it is cultily popular as well (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093185/).

    • scarina says:

      Diff’rent Strokes, I guess. I just couldn’t get into it but I do wish it were a different movie. I mean, maybe a guy dealing with his secret gay side that and it comes out in negative ways. I just wish that Freddy hadn’t been the choice to personify that.
      LoL I thought I was just being jaded and cynical about the gay tone. I’m glad the internet agrees with me and that I’m just super behind the curve. You know, I really liked Kim Myers in this. She had a quirky kind of beauty and I think Mark Patton did a good job with what he had to work with. I think I’ll end up checking the documentary out.
      Funnily enough, I’ve heard of both of those movies and they’re both movies I want to see. So what the hell was going through his mind with this one?

  3. Crypticpsych says:

    Horror conventions nearby, for the record, for both you and horrorfeminista’s FYI:

    Chiller Theatre (Parsippany): April and October (just happened last weekend)
    Monstermania (Cherry Hill NJ, Hunt Valley MD): March, August, and September (first two in Jersey, third is in Maryland)

    35mm events:
    Hudson Horror Show (Poughkeepsie NY): one in roughly May-June, one in Nov-Dec
    Crystal Plumage Films (Metuchen NJ): Varies from April through roughly November (One in May will be Jeff Lieberman’s Just Before Dawn with Lieberman in attendance, one in June not yet added to their website is Basket Case II with Kevin Van Hentenryck in attendance)

  4. Pingback: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 The Dream Masters | Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

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  6. Brian says:

    coukd you please clarify,so the S&M gym teacher fetishist was in woman’s leather tank top? Now that IS scary, we don’t get cross-dressing closet gay sports teachers in horror cinema that often

    • scarina says:

      Yup, the gym teacher wears the Misses’ leather tank from JC Penny. It was pretty much the scariest moment in the movie, the fact that he basically kidnaps Jesse.

  7. Pingback: Slumber Party Massacre II | Scarina's Scary Vault of Scariness

  8. “Schneider’s S&M gear is really tame.” Maybe from a modern perspective, but it was pretty adventurous and daring for its time. In fact, the movie’s producers took a huge gamble injecting so much homoeroticism into their film. It could easily have backfired if large numbers stayed away from a film that was rumoured to be weird and gay. But it made for a classic film and one that far exceeds anything they can produce with their lame-ass remakes today.

    • scarina says:

      That’s a good point. Who’d have thought that in just six years, the dad in “People Under the Stairs” would be running around in a full gimp suit? And I would definitely take this any day of the week over the stupid remake.
      Thanks for the comment!

  9. Dracoortatis says:

    Perdonally i thought the movie sucked but i also liked it in a way, partly because i like Kim Myers and thought she did a good job in the movie.

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