A new family moves into the house on Elm Street, and before long, the kids are again having nightmares about deceased child murderer Freddy Krueger. This time, Freddy attempts to possess a teenage boy to cause havoc in the real world, and can only be overcome if the boy's sweetheart can master her fear.
Possession is nine-tenths of the law. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge is the runt of the Elm Street litter. It was unfortunate to be the sequel to a landmark horror film, a film that birthed one of the ultimate horror icons whilst having at its core a terrifying premise. A premise that was superbly executed by all involved in the first film. Part 2 bravely tried to advance the bogeyman story to another level, to one of possession, which in hindsight was a mistake. There's also the mixed tonal flow and confused intents that hamper the pic. Whilst the young members of the cast are too blank to garner the required amount of sympathy to get us to care about their plight, especially lead lad Mark Patton as Jesse Walsh. However, there is still a lot to like here, some striking imagery grabs the attention and it is not without some unnerving scares. The debates about what metaphors the makers were going for still exist, and that homo-erotic sheen is never going to go away, but even though it's an average Elm Street movie, it's not as dreadful as it was first painted. 5/10
Freddy's Revenge deserves redemption. If you don't expect a film about Freddy, you can appreciate this sequel for what it is, instead of begrudging it for what it isn't. The argument for a gay reading--the idea that Freddy is symbolic of the protagonist's repressed homosexual desires--isn't entirely convincing but even without it, the movie's a lot better than many credit it. This is a Nightmare on Elm Street story that uses the creature to explore what it feels like to grow up. It's confusing and scary and transformational. Tonal shifts and plot mistakes only contribute to the overall intent.