Hank wanted to do the first Nightmare on Elm Street, which was the plan for me as well. But then I saw that the much-hated sequel was on YouTube, so I decided to check it out, as I’ve only ever seen it once.
My memories of it weren’t good. I think the first time I watched it was on TV on one of those stations that eventually became The CW.
On weekends they’d play horror movies in the evening, I think that’s how I watched the first A Nightmare on Elm Street movie as well.
Even with commercials that film still freaked me out. You’d think that scene where his arms grow really long would be silly, try walking your dog late at night and I dare that scene not pop up in your head.
Freddy’s Revenge is basically the bastard redheaded stepchild of the franchise. I wanted to try watching it again after all these years and see if maybe it got better with time, like say Halloween 3.
The plot reminds be a bit of Halloween Ends actually, another reason I wanted to give this one another shot.
But sadly, this film didn’t get any better. It’s still just as bad as I remember it being. That isn’t to say this film doesn’t have its moments. There are a few things I think this film does very well.
For instance, Freddy takes a very serious tone this time around. Though I think the jokey stuff didn’t happen until later films. I guess he was still cracking one lines in the first film, he just didn’t turn kids into cartoon or have videogame fights.
Here, there really isn’t much of the oneliners. I’d say next to the remake, this is about as serious as Freddy gets. Say what you will about the remake, but Jackie Earle Haley was great in that role. Even if he has stated he isn’t a fan of these movies.
Another thing I enjoyed was Freddy’s design. They forego the glove and give him blades that protrude from his fingers. It’s a really cool addition that I wish they stuck with. The glove always slightly puzzled me. Why was there not a blade on the thumb?
I feel like there should be a thumb blade, right?
You kind of have an idea of what to expect right from the start of Freddy’s Revenge, with that idiotic opening bus scene. They must have really liked the idea of Freddy driving a school bus because not only do they start with it but ends with it as well.
Our scream queen this time around is Jesse, and oh boy does he scream in this. They make him scream his little heart out in this movie.
I like the setup for Freddy’s Revenge, where a new family moves into the house Freddy was defeated in, only to haunt our lead’s dreams so he can use him to pull him into reality once again.
Of course, that would have worked better if Jesse was bullied at school, maybe give him a reason to fall into Freddy’s arms. Kind of like Halloween Ends. Give a reason why Jesse would turn to the dark side.
It’s kind of hard to really get a grasp on his character, as he is the new kid, but isn’t treated like one. When we first meet him, not only does he have a car, but also is giving the rich girl rides to school.
They never explain how they met, how they started dating, nothing. Even his friendships are bizarre as I have no clue if the only guy, you’d consider a friend in the movie is his bully or not.
I guess I can’t talk about this movie without bringing up the gay subtext. But after watching it again, it isn’t subtext, like it’s blatantly clear just how gay this movie is.
I mean, the gym coach meets our lead at a gay club while dressed as a leather daddy. He then takes him back to school where he is tied up with ropes and whipped to death on his bare ass.
Subtle this film is not.
Jesse’s parents are also interesting as I wasn’t sure if his mom was his grandmother or not. For a few good minutes I thought it was a single dad living with his elderly mom and his two kids.
Ever since moving into Nancy’s old house, Jesse has been getting nightmares of a man with a glove that has knives on it. Except the thumb for some reason.
Jesse has been waking up screaming every morning before school. His uptight dad thinks he’s on drugs, while his mom/grandmother thinks he’s just batshit crazy.
But a lot of weird shit happens before their eyes, like the unplugged toaster igniting, to one of their pet birds exploding in the air.
The dad just ignores it, accusing Jesse of stuffing a firecracker up its butt.
School life is also starting to suck, as he has caught the ire of the gym coach, who makes him, and another fellow classmate named Grady do pushups together. That is before they wrestle on the ground, with Jesse’s bare ass on display.
I have no clue what Jesse and Grady’s relationship is. They seem to hate each other, but they also hang out with each other during lunch time. Later, he even goes to Grady’s house to look out for him as he sleeps, so he doesn’t summon Freddy.
Why him? The only times we see them together, they either end up telling each other to fuck off or are wrestling… oh, wait. They’re gay for each other. Okay, never mind, I get it now. Thanks movie, I see you.
There’s like a whole subplot of Jesse needing to clean his room, unboxing everything since moving in. After his dance, the second most memed clip next to Crispin Glover’s dance scene from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Lisa, the rich girl he drives to school every morning, stops over to help him clean his room, finding Nancy’s old diary in the process.
In it, she talks about the same man popping up in Jesse’s nightmares. A man named Freddy Krueger.
After that, the dreams start to get more serious, with Freddy coming to him, asking Jesse to kill for him. Wanting nothing to do with this crispy man, Jesse wanders off at night. That’s where he runs into the gym coach in his leather daddy gear.
I guess as punishment, the coach takes him to the gym and has him run laps. Afterwards, he makes him take a shower as he readies a bunch of jump ropes.
I have no idea what he plans on doing with these ropes and we never get to find out because the coach is attacked, dragged to the showers and whipped on his bare ass, with Freddy emerging, dragging his claws down his back, killing him.
Jesse awakes from the dream, getting escorted back to his house by the police. For sleepwalking. But as he goes to school in the morning, he learns that it wasn’t a dream, and the gym coach is actually dead.
Jesse now fears he is the one responsible. He asks Grady for help, to make sure he doesn’t fall asleep, fearing Freddy might reappear once again.
There really isn’t a whole lot of gore scenes. For a Nightmare on Elm Street movie, this is pretty tame. However, it does feature a really cool transformation, with Freddy basically ripping his way out of Jesse.
After killing Grady, Freddy shows up at Lisa’s house where she is having a big pool party. He goes on a killing spree, or more like a slashing spree since I’m not sure how many people actually died.
This was a pretty fun scene as well. I really enjoyed Freddy posing as the BBQ grill explodes behind him.
The film isn’t all bad, it does have some moments, they just aren’t enough to really save it.
Like for instance, the rest of the third act. It’s pretty bad, and it seemed liked they had no idea how to end things.
Jesse is still fighting Freddy’s takeover, only being able to fight him off once Lisa confesses her love for him and exploding Freddy with a kiss.
After that, everything seems to go back to normal, except Jesse and Lisa are taking the bus now. That’s when they try to pull a jump scare ending like the end to the first film by reusing the whole school bus sequence yet again.
So yeah, this movie blows. Not a whole lot really happens in it, aside from when Freddy starts slashing folks at the pool party, he really doesn’t do much killing.
He mostly sticks to Jesse, tormenting him with sweaty dreams, trying to get him to put on the Freddy glove.
They also don’t do much with the dream sequences, nothing as creative as the first film.
I actually met the actor who played Jesse. He was at this film fest I was nominated in and as I was signing in to get my badge, he was at the front, taking autographs.
And I of course had no idea who he was. I’d only seen Freddy’s Revenge once; I didn’t know who this guy was. But as I was waiting, we started talking and stuff. Still not knowing who he was.
That also might be why I wanted to review this film instead of the original. In my opinion, I think A Nightmare on Elm Street is Wes Craven’s best film. Not the one I enjoy the most, that would be People Under the Stairs, I mean on a technical level Nightmare is his best.
You can even see some proto-Nightmare on Elm Street in his previous films like Deadly Blessing, which he made 4 or so years before Elm Street.
They both share a very similar bathtub scene that has become pretty infamous.
So, if you’re doing a marathon of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, should you skip Freddy’s Revenge? Yes, as in my opinion the only good films in the franchise is the first film and part 3, Dream Warriors.
Dream Warriors pretty much set the way we think of Freddy Krueger, full of quips and outlandish kills.
It also helps it was written by Frank Darabont. The Mist, Green Mile, Walking Dead, Shawshank Redemption, the list goes on.
Not to say Freddy’s Revenge wasn’t without its own talented people as this was directed by Jack Sholder, the man who did my favorite horror movie Alone in the Dark.
Sadly however, I have to give Freddy’s Revenge a SKIP IT rating. I do think there are worst sequels in the franchise, but not ones this boring.
And that concludes another year of Horror Month. I feel this was pretty successful when he came to horror movies I enjoyed, from horror comedy like Deadstream, to over-the-top gory goodness like Terrifier 2.
Until next year!
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