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Subtitling this film 'Freddy's Revenge' is perhaps the worst thing this film does, and I'm proud to admit that. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge follows the story of Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton), a young teenager who moves into Elm Street with his family. A few days into his new school he meets Grady (Robert Rusler), who informs Jesse that the house he just moved into is the location of the Freddy Kruger attacks just a few years earlier. Soon after receiving this knowledge, Jesse begins to get a few nightmares of his own, all of which featuring the man himself, Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund).
Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is one of the most hated sequels in the Nightmare franchise, alongside a few of the latter ones. I wasn't expecting much, so when what I got was a thoroughly enjoyable and goddamn freaky horror movie, I was pleased. Not only can this film be incredibly scary when it wants to be and absolutely hilarious when it wants to be, but it can also be rather disturbing too. Unless you're Antichrist, there's not a lot of films that make me yell obscenities towards my television. I did in this film. There's a scene, a scene that's best left unspoilt, that is so revolting, horrific, unexpected and incredibly odd that I couldn't help but let the words out. I honestly consider this scene to be one of the most petrifying scenes in horror, and it's easily the best scene in the entire film. The only let down with the scares comes in the film's final confrontation, a confrontation which is more ridiculous than it is frightening.
The film never plays around with the dream-factor as much as it should. Freddy has become one of the most iconic villains not just because of how amazing the original movie is, but because of his powers. He is a pedophile who was burnt to a crisp and has risen from the dead to haunt teenagers through their dreams. He appears a couple of times in Jesse's dreams towards the start of the film, but this slowly dies down, resulting in a film that's got little of what made Freddy so famous. The film is more of a haunted house/possession type of horror movie than it is a dream invasion horror movie, changing the entire tone and appeal of the franchise around. While what they did they did well, a little exploration into his iconic style of torments would be mighty fine.
The film can also get rather ridiculous when the occasion unnecessarily calls for it. The film's plot is weak, thin and stupid, but some of the events are even more so. For the most part, this film is fine. It's more than fine, actually. It's guilty pleasures at their best, creating a film so ridiculous and over the top that, despite being uncomfortable to watch at times, is a lot of fun. There's a scene where a character is tied up to a pole with skipping ropes by an invisible Freddy Kruger, who then goes on to remove all of his clothes and spank him with towels before finally revealing himself and murdering him. It's just absolutely ridiculous, but it's so much fun to watch.
To sum up, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge is an example of guilty pleasures at their best. It can be scary when it wants to be, as well as funny. It's thin plot and ridiculous situations, although very poorly made, are a blast to watch.
3 1/2 Stars