A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
Rating -

Horror (US); 1985; Rated R; 84 Minutes

Mark Patton: Jesse Walsh
Kim Myers: Lisa Poletti
Robert Rusler: Ron Grady
Clu Gulager: Mr. Walsh
Hope Lange: Mrs. Walsh
Marshall Bell: Coach Schneider

Produced by Robert Shaye; Directed by Jack Sholder; Screenwritten by David Chaskin

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Written by DAVID KEYES

There are two moments in "Freddy's Revenge" that are so frightening that they can easily be compared to the shower scene from "Psycho." The first is the shot that opens the movie, and the second doesn't happen until the tale end of the picture. In between is a film that pretty much is deadweight, especially compared to its predecessor, "A Nightmare On Elm Street." Like so many sequels of the horror genre, "Part 2" of the franchise mixes elements that worked for the first into a script as dead as Krueger himself. No, this isn't a bad movie, but if there had been more scenes as realistic as the two I have already mentioned, I would have enjoyed the picture more.

The first scene, like I said, is one of the best. It involves a kid named Jesse Walsh, played by Mark Patton, who is on the way home from school on a bus. He, along with two other girls and the bus driver, are the only ones on board. The driver swerves off the road and into a patch of desert, where the sky turns dark, the windows and doors are sealed, and the ground below them begins to drop, forming a huge pit all around it.

The driver turns to the three teenagers, who are in the back of the bus screaming their heads off, and instead of a normal human, we see a man, cloaked in darkness, with finger-knives slashing up the seats as they scrape along them. As he gets closer to the teenagers, the boy screams out, and wakes up.

This scene is done with very little dialogue, lots of screaming, and that twisted, Krueger laughter. It brought on a shock of nostalgia as I sat there watching it unfold.

In later scenes, we learn that this Walsh kid, going to high school, has moved into the house which once belonged to a family called the Thompsons.

Think closely: this is undoubtedly the family which occupied the house in part one of the series. We get verification of that when young Jesse discovers a diary in his closet which belonged to Nancy Thompson, the daughter of the household.

Then it gets complicated. We thought Freddy got the 'axe' in the last film, but apparently, his soul lives within the walls of the old Thompson house. Young Jesse discovers, along the way, that Krueger is using his body to carry on his murders, though initially, he doesn't realize it until after a few people have already been murdered. The strange thing is, however, that the people who are killed happen to be closely involved in Jesse's life.

For example, Jesse is on the football team, and one night, his coach gets killed in the locker room, after treating Jesse like crap for weeks. Jesse is later spotted walking along the freeway, unaware of what Krueger's entity has already done.

The film sets up this plot in a logical way, with more scenes of blood then dialogue, representing a good mental picture of what usually goes on in these types of films. However, the scenes appear more gruesome than they should, and most of them aren't very frightening.

The only other scene where we feel we get our money's worth is one of the last, where Jesse's girlfriend tracks down Krueger's entity and Jesse's body in that old boiler room Freddy is so famous for. By this point, Jesse is covered in blood, and Krueger's spirit is driven from sanity. His girlfriend, feeling like she can get through to Jesse by going through Krueger, kisses him, trying to make Jesse realize that he should be in control, I guess.

I'm not really sure what happened in this scene, but after that kiss, Krueger was gone. It seemed kind of frightening, because kissing a body with Krueger in it sounds a little creepy. And it is--very creepy. The moment it happens, a chill goes down our spine.

Though these two scenes are more frightening and realistic than most of the scenes in the first film, you still can't help but feel that this film isn't as good as it's predecessor. The script is very shallow, with blood and gore to satisfy the audience, and very little dialogue, which, if there had been more, would have helped the script develop appropriately.

This is no bad film, but it's no masterpiece either. Craven's original hit was superb, shocking, and totally convincing. You look at "Freddy's Revenge," and you see the same thing, but without a logical pattern to pace itself with, and not enough dialogue to set it up appropriately.

1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org. Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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