A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
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5 years have passed...
Jesse (Mark Patton) and his folks have moved to Springwood, or more exactly, Elm Street. Jesse is having a tough time. Not only he is going through adolesence, but he is also having doubts about his sexuality. He starts suffering from sleepwalking and finds himself waking up in such places as S&M bars.
When he keeps getting hassle from the coach, Jesse makes a new friend, Grady (Robert Rusler), another victim of the coach's tirades. Jesse also hits it off with a girl, Lisa (Kim Myers). Not bad.
His life takes a turn for the worse, though, when he starts dreaming of a guy in a red and green sweater, with claws for hands.
After finding the diary belonging to Nancy Thompson, Jesse learns of Freddy and the events of the previous films. Jesse is then visited by Freddy, who tells him that he plans to take over Jesse's body to continue his killing spree. Jesse refuses, but finds he's not quite in control of his body. Every night Jesse goes to sleep and wakes up with blood on his hands, quite literally.
With his relationship with Lisa and Grady growing stronger, Jesse gains the strength to fight Freddy for ownership of his soul. Events come to a head at a pool party, where Jesse and Freddy quite literally battle for possession of the body.
Alas, when he goes to Grady for help, Freddy takes over and in a scene of extreme gore, kills him. With the help of Lisa, however, Jesse defeats Freddy, only to find evil isn't so easy to beat.
At last, a stalker/slasher movie with a smidgen of intelligence.
The parallels between Jesse's sexual confusion and Freddy taking over his body demonstrate the feelings of Jesse. He feel no longer in control of his body by way of sex and it is made literal by the introduction of Freddy. The clearest indication of this is in the killing of Grady. Jesse has feelings for him bordering on the sexual (a fact not unnoticed by Grady, who asks if Jesse fancies him when he turns up at his bedroom door in the middle of the night) but the fear inside him leads the negative side, Freddy, to kill the object of his affections. This kind of topic is a bold move for any film and kudos to David Chaskin, the screenwriter, for putting it across so well.
This would not have mattered, however, if the acting could not support it. Fortunately, it does. Mark Patton excels as the confused young man, demonstrating a flair for emoting pain and fear. Co-incidentally, as well as playing a homo/bi-sexual in the film, Patton is a homosexual in real life. Robert Rustler provides sterling support as Grady, the type of guy every bloke would like as a friend. He is macho, but not to the point of stupidity. Likewise, he is sensitive, but not to the point of tears. Kim Myers is a revelation as Lisa. It is disappointing she has not had more roles, but this one performance is incredible. She possesses the girl next door charm most horror film actresses do not possess at all and makes you "feel" for the character and her situation, especially after the pool party scene. All three actors portray the characters as real individuals, a marvelous feat.
Plaudits go to Robert Englund as well. Playing Freddy as a machiavellian character, he is less comedic than the sequels. He takes a back seat for most of the film, which is a bold move but one that works. By focusing on characters, Freddy's appearances are not saturated but are fresh every time.
The SFX and music are top-notch. Chief among them are the chest explosion accompanying Freddy literally bursting out of Jesse and the pool party sequence, possibly the most memorable scene out the entire series. The soundtrack is composed of slightly more industrial music than the first, with a significantly superior arrangement and selection of pop tracks and orchestal pieces.
In a short, everyone should own a copy of this film.
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