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

<strong class="MovieTitle">A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge</strong> (1985)

(On Blu-ray, November 2018) I probably shouldn’t expect much from the Nightmare on Elm Street series, but its second instalment feels silly and dull. Freddy’s Revenge clearly isn’t beholden to any kind of internal logic, meaning that stuff happens without explanations or rigour in what is made possible by the rules of the series. The strength of the Nightmare on Elm Street series is how its films can flip squarely in dream logic without much notice, but there isn’t enough of that in this sequel. There are, to be fair, some decent sequences here and there—the idea of a character possessed to conduct a series of murders is horrifying enough, and there is one showcase sequence in which antagonist Freddy gruesomely emerges from the protagonist’s body. The special effects do have a quaintly charming quality that reminds us that this is merely a movie. Still, taken at face value, Freddy’s Revenge isn’t much to talk about—as if someone had seen the first film and had to turn out a half-baked script in a few weeks. But if you do read about the film and discover that there was an intentional attempt (not recognized by the director) from screenwriter David Chaskin to insert a significant amount of homosexual subtext, then the film suddenly become far more interesting, even in retrospect: Suddenly, the lack of romantic chemistry between hero and heroine, the tone of the coach sequence, the “friendship” between the two male leads and the body-horror all become pieces of evidence in a deeper reading of the film. I’m not among the target audience for such alternate takes on material, but it’s there and it does lend quite a bit of depth to what had been at face value an uninspired sequel.

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