A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by Freddy Krueger who is out to possess him to continue his murdering in the real world.
After the huge success of the first film it was inevitable there would be a sequel. This film is 5 years after we saw Nancy and her friends terrorised by Freddy, now there’s a new family living in the house and the son, Jesse, is in Nancy’s old room and it’s not long before he starts having nightmares about a burnt man with a special glove.
In all honesty this wasn’t exactly the sequel we all thought we would get, are Nancy and co now Freddy’s victims? We don’t find out here but I have to give credit to the writers, they stepped outside the box quite early. For example we have a male lead which might not sound like much but as we all know that when it comes to Horror films, especially the slasher genre, it’s more common to have a female lead. We also see the dream mythology being scrapped for more of a possession storyline. This really was a very brave move, I think it worked well and paid off.
There’s also a-lot of subtext in this film, primarily sexuality. For those who have seen it you will most likely know this but for those who haven’t I’ll try to explain. For many years this film has been dissected and analyzed, the big question was “Is this a film about homosexuality?” well I think it’s fair to say it’s a film about a sexually confused teenager, which again is a very bold move.
Of-course Jesse isn’t alone in this film, his friends end up getting dragged into his troubles as-well, we see some great death scenes, most notably another bed death. The gore factor is toned down in this film (but it’s still not a film for the squeamish), instead were given more of a breakdown of Jesse’s mental state as he’s being terrorised by Freddy, which makes for great viewing.
The film plays out very smoothly and we see more of the dark humor that would become more noticeable as the series went on. The effects are once again outstanding as is the script itself. Also I have to mention the pool scene, easily my favourite scene of the film and the thing that makes it so great is watching Robert Englund as Freddy running around terrifying the teens, he looks like a man in his element.
Freddy’s Revenge is known as the black sheep of the Elm Street films, I personally think it worked very well and as sequels go, it could be worse.
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
- Special-effects man Rick Lazzarini created a “demonic parakeet” puppet for the scene in which the Walsh’s pet parakeet flies around and explodes. His puppet was not used because they wanted a regular-looking bird.
- This is the only film in the series not to use Charles Bernstein’s original theme, or a variation of it.
- In the opening sequence, the bus driver is Robert Englund without the heavy “Freddy Krueger” make-up and his signature clothing.
- Brad Pitt, John Stamos and Christian Slater all auditioned for the role of Jesse.
- Nightmare series creator Wes Craven refused to work on this film because he never wanted or intended A Nightmare on Elm Street to become an ongoing franchise (and even wanted the first film to have a happy ending), and also because he didn’t like the idea of Freddy manipulating the protagonist into committing the murders.
- The running time for this film is 87 minutes, Freddy appears in just 13 of them.
- JoAnn Willette is one of the girls seated in the back of the school bus driven by Freddy at the beginning of the film. She would later go on to star in the ABC sitcom Just the Ten of Us, a program which not only featured numerous references to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, but also co-starred Heather Langenkamp (from the first, third, and seventh films) and Brooke Theiss (from the fourth film).
- The last film in the original “Nightmare” franchise in which Freddy’s house is the focal point of Freddy’s terror. In the rest of the series, Freddy’s terror revolves generally around Elm Street and the town of Springwood with the house occasionally making an appearance. In the hybrid film, “Freddy vs. Jason”, there was a reference in the film that Lori lived in Freddy’s house but the reference was cut from the theatrical release (but appears in the Deleted Scenes section of the DVD).
- The eye in Jesse’s throat was Kevin Yagher’s girlfriend’s eye.
- In the breakfast scene near the beginning, the family is eating “Fu Man Chews” cereal.
- Robert Rusler auditioned for the role of Ron Grady on the last day of shooting Weird Science. Robert Downey Jr. drove him to the audition.
- David Chaskin deliberately wrote his screenplay to contain homo-erotic subtexts. Director Jack Sholder was completely unaware of this.
- Whenever Freddy is on-screen, whalesong has been added to the background music. This only adds to the eerie dream feeling.
- New Line originally refused to give Robert Englund a pay raise, and an extra was cast as Freddy at the start of production. After two weeks of filming, Robert Shaye realized his error and met Englund’s demands.
- Robert Shaye makes a cameo.