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Picture yourself in this scenario: you're a director with a grand total of one movie under your belt and you get the chance to direct the follow-up to the smash hit A Nightmare on Elm Street, a movie that brought in over a million dollars while in theaters (that's in 1984 dollars, mind you) and already had legions of fans. You've got a few choices on how you can proceed with this sequel: you could expand on the storyline and flesh out some of the history while moving forward with the character, or you can take the easy route and do a simple rehash of the original; after all, either of these would work and although one choice would be more interesting than the other, either choice would easily sell tickets. Neither of those choices panned out for this release, so our good pal Jack Sholder decided that the best way to proceed would be to completely ignore the storyline that the original set up, change all of the rules regarding what Fred Krueger can and can not do, and proceed to basically skullfuck the mythos surrounding this beloved horror icon. Gee, I wonder why the stories found in the following sequels ignore just about everything found in this one?
Review by Chad
Added: December 28, 2006
The story here takes place quite some time after the original and focuses on the Walsh family who have just moved into an infamous house on Elm Street. We soon discover that Jesse (Mark Patton), the teen son of the family, has been having horrible nightmares every night which, without fail, prompts him to wake up screaming like a little girl. These dreams consist of an eerily familiar guy with a peculiar glove, and after a few people wind up dead, his girlfriend Lisa (Kim Myers) decides that maybe she should start taking Jesse's claims seriously. This leads us into the main plot of the movie, as we find out that Fred (Robert Englund) wants to use Jesse in order to move over into the real world, a feat that he can only accomplish while Jesse is asleep.
Yes, the whole dream aspect is pretty much tossed aside for this entry in the series. There are a few nightmares to be found to open the film, but these seem like they were tacked on out of necessity rather than being vital to the storyline. After the first couple of scenes, Fred makes himself known in the real world by destroying household appliances, setting small birds on fire, and terrorizing Jesse. Again, I have to wonder who made the decision to completely shit on the "He can only come to you while you're asleep" rule that the original had clearly established.
I also thought that the decision to cast Mark Patton in the leading role was a choice that turned out to be horrible beyond words. The man screams in a high-pitched girlish voice, almost as though he had been kicked in the nether region instead of being scared or in pain or whatever the situation at hand required. I could have forgiven that had he been able to somewhat convincingly portray this character, but that wasn't to be since the man is about as talented as a fluff girl assigned to the latest Jenna Jameson masterpiece. There's also a lot of homoerotic undertones coming from his character (and a few others, to be fair), and while I don't have a problem with that in general, it felt very out of place here. On the plus side, Clu Gulager is outstanding as Jesse's father, delivering some highly memorable lines and basically stealing the scene every time he showed up.
Had this been a standalone movie or had the idea of Fred moving over into the real world come with some sort of explanation attached to it, I might have enjoyed this a little more. It certainly wasn't as awful as it could have been, all things considered. The character of Mr. Krueger is handled excellently, and he's just as menacing here as he was in the original. The makeup and gore effects are also handled nicely and there are some effective scenes delivered to us, but I simply couldn't get over how those responsible for this movie disregarded the core storyline behind this unique character. If you can tolerate that detail better than I can, then perhaps you'd enjoy this release; however, I thought it was completely asinine and it ruined the entire film for me, so for that, I'm going with a 3/10.
- added 12/28/2006, 03:08 PM
Yes, this film was not what one would expect for
a follow up to a hit like "Nightmare". Mark
Patton's only other memorable role was in the
atrocious "Come Back to the 5 & Dime..." and thank
God for veteran horror actor Clu Gulager, who can
be currently seen chewing up scenes in "Feast".
This film was all over the map, though the
schoolbus sequence is still one of the best from
the franchise. If only the rest of the film had
been as creative. They just needed a different
director and maybe things would have turned out
better. But, for the bus sequence, I still give
- added 08/30/2007, 06:57 PM
So yeah, I essentially don't want to watch the
rest of the series after seeing this one. What a
clusterfuck of ideas. The director went in so many
directions, and blew all of them. I could have
handled Freddy possessing Jesse. Sure, it's a bit
out there as far as the series, but hey, it's only
the sequel. But to have him transition over to
reality out of the blue, and start terrorizing
kids by tossing around the odd plate, or locking
some doors, well, I give up. And maybe the best
scene is his attacking Lisa. Yes, you have a hand
full of razors, so naturally you're going to bite
her leg. Go fuck yourself Jack Sholder. Englund's
performance was the only thing saving this movie,
and even that was botched in the final act. 2/10
- added 10/23/2009, 01:44 AM
I've never seen a movie with so many gay hints in
a movie. Pretty bad overall, 2/10.