6.14.2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

All aboard the Freddy Express! Next stop, A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

Unlike the first movie, NoES2 is generally seen as one of the poorer attempts at a Freddy movie. This is unfortunate, because not only is this film the best of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, it's just a great horror film overall.

Jesse Walsh and his family are having a rough time. Jesse can't sleep without having shriek-inducing nightmares, the air conditioning doesn't work, their pet bird explodes, and then it is revealed that they are living in the house Nancy, the heroine from the first movie, went crazy in. Eventually Freddy starts telling Jesse to kill his friends for him, and it just so happens that Freddy's glove is still in the basement so it's not like Freddy is even asking him to do anything particularly inconvenient.

But for whatever reason, Jesse has a problem with this and it's up to him, his rich girlfriend Lisa, and his best friend Ron to figure things out.

Nightmare Part 2 avoids all the awful stuff from Nightmare the first. The script is much better and I found myself ashamed to like horror movies only a couple of times the whole ninety minutes. The acting is good all around, and Jesse's descent into madness is handled very well (though pretty sudden). This is the third or fourth time I've watched this movie, and I was glued to the screen the entire time.

If there is one thing people will not shut up about when it comes to this movie, like it or hate it, it is the gay subtext. Even the wikipedia article has a section about it, and the font size is the same as that of Cast and Production, which means according to wikipedia the gay undercurrent of this movie is just as important as everything else about it. So I can't avoid it.

Jesse spends most of his time shirtless with his pal Ron, and avoids talking to, looking at, or touching his girlfriend throughout the movie. Then there is the part where he goes to the gay S&M bar, meets his gym teacher, and then they go back to the gym for pushups and showers (this actually happens). So rather than referring to this movie as "that Freddy movie with the gay subtext" it's almost better to call it "that gay movie with the Freddy subtext."

But maybe that is why this is such a good movie. The other movies in the series are unquestionably about Freddy and the kids he kills, and when it comes to that kind of movie you are going to have a hard time outdoing a Friday 13th or a Halloween. This movie, Freddy is just kind of around. And I think it's better off that way.

2 comments:

Sean said...

You've got the body, I've got the brain!

newtmonkey said...

!! Have you seen this?