Matt’s Walk Down Elm Street #2
Freddy's Revenge
Written By: Matt Parks
September 1, 2017

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 instantly sets an incredibly low bar for its successors.  It’s important that I note that Wes Craven was in no way attached to this project. Other than creating Freddy Krueger, he had no part in the movie as a director, writer, or even producer. His departure from the franchise is evident upon watching it just due to how absolutely stupid the movie is.  The movie is an absolute mess tonally that fails to blend horror and comedy without becoming an outright bad comedy.  The movie also has a strange homoerotic undertone that is consistently carried out through the movie that can only be explained by interviews with the director Jack Sholder, and the lead star Mark Patton.

Imagine if after the original movie, Wes Craven chose to pass the reigns of the franchise to John Hughes. You already have an idea of what this movie is like.  It somehow turns the direction of the franchise towards a coming of the age teenage comedy about sexual awakening.  This may make a little sense when you take into account the fact that the original is a play on sexual morality and promiscuity, however the sequel takes a much less subtle approach including a homoerotic dance scene, and a scene where the protagonist Jesse meets his gym teacher in a gay bar. See what I mean?


Written By: Matt Parks
September 1, 2017

What’s important to note is the feud that this movie caused between Mark Patton and Jack Sholder. Patton was hoping that a horror movie directed at teenage boys would shake him of his typecast as a gay character after he’d come out of the closet to Hollywood, however Sholder had other intentions. Sholder decided to play to Patton’s typecast by making a movie about a boy who hasn’t quite discovered his sexuality yet.  Sholder accused Patton of “playing the role too gay”, whereas Patton knew exactly what Sholder was doing, and presumably explained that dancing in your underwear to “Touch Me All Night Long” by Fonda Rae isn’t something you really can do in a completely heterosexual way.  Patton later explained that he was hoping that he could use a franchise whose target audience was adolescent boys to help certain boys understand themselves more, however he isn’t forgiven because it took him until the 2010’s to finally admit to his initial intentions.

Enough about the odd subtext, let’s get back to the movie itself which is fundamentally broken.  The movie ignores the lore from the original, and adds any in that seems fit to them.  In this movie, Freddy is a poltergeist who can make birds spontaneously combust, and essentially light everything on fire, even outside of the dream world.  This is precisely where the movie falls flat.  The entire draw back to Freddy’s abilities is that he can’t hurt you until you’re asleep, he’s absolutely powerless until you are asleep. Nightmare 2 completely omits what is an important aspect to Freddy’s character, which has you begging “Why doesn’t Freddy just make the family spontaneously combust? Hell, why doesn’t he just turn all of Elm Street into the seventh ring of Dante’s Inferno?”. Freddy is given too much power, and doesn’t use it for some reason which is a major plot hole that ruins the movie.

Let’s get to the plot of the movie. Freddy’s back, and now he’s seeking vengeance on… some new kid… for some reason.  It’s funny because this one is called Freddy’s revenge, but he’s literally just trying to use a kid as his pawn for no reason other than outright senseless slaughter. It’s the original film that he’s seeking vengeance in. Freddy decides that to get any of that good ol’ killing done, he’s going to need a surrogate to the real world.  He decides to use the boy living where Nancy Thompson once lived, and he begins to terrorize him in his sleep. He also makes stuff in his house catch on fire sometimes because it’s spooky. Also, as previously mentioned he makes one of Jessie’s birds explode, only for Jesse’s dad to accuse him of sabotage because there’s nothing we teenage boys love more than making house pets spontaneously combust. Jesse also discovers the diary of Nancy Thompson in the house. Maybe the diary was in some deleted scene footage in the first movie, but I don’t remember her having the time or energy to outline everything that happened over the course of the original. It conveniently explains Freddy’s weaknesses to Jesse and his beard, I mean girlfriend, Lisa. Freddy tries to channel Jesse’s rage to make him kill for him, but Lisa spends the movie convincing Jesse that he’s straight, I mean, that he’s not a murderer and can fight his homosexual urges. I mean Freddy.  Freddy manages to make Jesse kill his gym teacher, and takes full control of Jesse’s body at his party and slaughters a few of the teenage guests. At one point, Freddy boils the water in the swimming pool, which doesn’t make sense, but I admit is badass for what it’s worth.  In the climax of the movie, Lisa is able to use true love’s kiss to pull Jesse from Freddy’s control, and saves the day.  The movie ends with the two of them in a school bus, and one of Lisa’s friends says, “Great party!” because no joke is more tasteful than one made at the expense of slaughtered teenagers. The bus is then suspended on a mountain over a pit of flames, and for the rest of the series, this movie is completely omitted from the timeline… for good reason.

I tried my best to streamline the plot, but with the muddled use of Freddy’s abilities, the hilarious subtext, and the hellhounds with plastic baby faces, the plot is impossible to describe seriously. Whether it was Craven’s lack of involvement, or just Jack Sholder’s involvement, this installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is one of the weakest.  It’s unintentionally funny when it tries to be either scary or dramatic, and the only unsettling aspect of the movie is the awful attempts at humor.  Freddy essentially gives away his existence to all of Elm Street in the party scene, and that’s why the movie is never referenced later in the franchise.  Freddy’s ambiguous existence is what makes him terrifying in the original film. Nobody believes Nancy until they become Freddy’s next victim.  Nightmare 2 absolutely stomps on that aspect of the original, causing this installment to be completely ignored throughout the rest of the franchise.  Overall, Nightmare 2 is great for a laugh if you ever want to watch a bad movie with some friends.  Everything about it from its moronic characters, outrageous subtext, and attempt at scares make for the perfect So Bad It’s Good movie. My score of a Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is a 2/10.