Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (Review)
United States/1985
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...the film has its moments and is ultimately entertaining."

The Walshes move into Nancy Thompson's old home 5 years after the first incident. Jesse, a high school student, begins to have nightmares of a burned man with a bladed glove on his hand, and, after finding Nancy's diary, realizes that Freddy Krueger has returned.

Freddy's Revenge has an interesting concept that moves away from the original as it no longer focuses on dreams vs. reality. This time around, Freddy Krueger is looking to possess Jesse through fear. You see, Freddy Krueger gets his strength through fear, and nightmares invoke that needed fear within Jesse. And, through possession, Freddy Krueger can wreak havoc in the real world. Most of the story focuses on Jesse's struggle - his inner battle against Freddy Krueger. The film flows with a fast pace towards a gory and surreal-like final act and a great ending. Again, a predictable 80's slasher ending, but a fun ending regardless.

The concept is interesting, but it never is fully fleshed out or actually scary. The horror consists of some jump-scares, gore, and surreal visuals. The jump-scares work well, but I felt like some stronger suspense could've helped. There are some great gore scenes, including a wicked transformation. The surreal visuals have a stronger presence towards the end where it feels like the original film, creating a mind-playing-tricks-on-you vibe. There is some humor, unfortunately it's hit-or-miss; some scenes made me laugh, while I questioned if I should laugh during others. Fortunately, the humor doesn't have a strong presence overall. The real problem with the story is that it lacks effectiveness, it doesn't have many memorable scenes that will make you come back or stay up at night.

The acting is great. Mark Patton plays Jesse Walsh in the lead. He speaks fluently and shows great emotion, like fear. He reacts like a real person, albeit a little over the top. Robert Englund returns as Freddy Krueger and he does a wonderful job with his sinister laugh and expressions. The writing felt a bit misguided at times, mostly during its attempts at humors. Again, it doesn't fail, but it doesn't hit a perfect mark. The special effects are fantastic, I always loved the old-school effects.

Overall, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is a good horror film. It's not as original, creative, or scary as the first, but it holds its own with a refined concept and competent execution. Although it lacks impact, the film has its moments and is ultimately entertaining. I recommend a purchase for fans of the genre and franchise, a rental otherwise.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some nudity.

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