Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
Battles often erupt when two schools of thought get together. One side says that sequels can and are often better than their predecessors. The opposition dismisses sequels out of hand, claiming that they all "suck." Despite the fact that I'm a card-carrying member of the former, I'm afraid that A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge only fuels the arguments of the latter.
Simply put, NoES 2 lacks everything that made the first movie so creepy. Almost all of the killings are standard slasher-movie blah, belonging more to Friday the 13th's Jason than Freddy Kreuger. The generational conflict, so strong in the first A Nightmare on Elm Street, is a poorly drawn parody of itself. Even Robert Englund seems to be phoning in his performance.
The script's concepts are interesting but poorly executed. Jesse moves into the house once occupied by Nancy from the previous film. Through dialogue we learn that she has gone cuckoo from her experiences. Jesse finds himself under attack from Freddy Kreuger, but the scarred bogeyman appears to be after something other than the young man's innards. No, he has more sinister plans for the unsuspecting young lad.
This is one of those movies that makes me wish that there was a clearly defined line between what is horror and what is simply trying to shock you for the hell of it. Director Jack Sholder and screenwriter David Chaskin had the opportunity to try and create a truly terrifying bit of psychological horror, ambiguously playing with the question, "Is Freddy back, or is Jesse crazy?" Of course, this being a Nightmare movie, the answer would have been Freddy, but I would've appreciated having my head screwed with rather than this tepid paint-by-the-killings flick with a bit of "love conquers" dashed in with equal incompetence.
An interview with Sholder appearing at the end of my tape only confirmed by suspicions. He talks for 5 minutes on how he was desperately trying to move a murder up, ostensibly to make the movie more frightening. He also noted his tendency to laugh at "scary stuff," which probably is why he has no concept of what is truly disturbing to the human psyche. Do yourself a favor and skip ahead to the third in the series.