Take a Drink: for homoerotic over, under, anytones
Take a Drink: for each nightmare, of course
Take a Drink: for signs of excessive heat
Take a Drink: for authoritarian male orders
Do a Shot: Bye Bye Birdy
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
It seems like every horror franchise has its Black Sheep- the early entry that doesn’t quite fit, and which often gets treated like a series lowpoint regardless of how Death Valley limbo low the later installments go.
Sometimes they’re even the highpoint
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge holds just that reputation for its series. In it high-schooler Jesse (Mark Patton) finds out that the house his family just moved into has a horrific history, and that something inside it is slowly turning him into something… else, something that terrifies him.
What both earned Freddy’s Revenge its notorious reputation and its place as perhaps the most interesting of Nightmare‘s sequels is that it dares to zag hard instead of follow the template of its predecessor. Jesse’s Freddy problem starts in his dreams, but crosses into reality more quickly and brazenly than the original.
Who doesn’t like a pool party?
The reason for this is the other controversial element of the film- it’s totally a gay allegory. Jesse starts to discover something himself that confuses, terrifies, and fascinates him, something that turns him into a “monster” with base urges demanding to be satisfied… by knifing men (and only men). Also, he pummels his gym coach with balls. Anyway, his girlfriend (a very Meryl Streep-y Kim Myers) does her damndest to save him, but those urges will always resurface, until they own him completely. Talk about the nightmares of teen boys…
While the grisly horror scenes, which lean fittingly more Cronenbergian body horror than the original, are your ticket to ride, but it’s the subtext that compels.
Of course, that subtext isn’t terribly sub- at points.
Craven’s unique flair for blood-drenched setpieces is missed. Some of director Jack Sholder’s are excellent, while others, like eyeball throats and babyfaced dogs, are just a bit sillier than what he was going for.
Just a bit.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (dumb title, btw) dares to take the elements of its successful predecessor and build something new, different, and thematically unique. Controversial opinion alert: it’s every bit the equal of the original.