There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun. Today we discuss A Nightmare on Elmstreet Part 2.
Today’s Key Movie:
It has been five years since the events the original Nightmare and Jesse Walsh’s family has moved into the former home of Nancy Thompson. He soon begins having nightmares….of a man with knives for fingers.
Starring Mark Patton, Kim Myers and Robert Englund returning as Freddy, this is the second installment in one of the biggest horror franchises of all time.
Why this movie?
This was yet another I had to wait for VHS to see but, having already seen the first one, I knew I could not miss it’s sequel, especially how the first installment ended. However, I was a little shocked when I first saw it as, rather than continuing the story of Nancy Thompson from the first film, it was another tale of Freddy attacking people using a young man Jesse Walsh who has the unfortunate luck to live in Nancy’s former house. It made sense though, seeing that the fate of Nancy was left largely unknown and Freddy, unlike many horror slasher films at the time, was left undefeated and free to continue his torment.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
This is a very 80’s horror ‘slasher’ film, now, that’s not saying it’s bad but it is extremely 80’s in just about every way possible. Filled with awkward moments, glam music and clothing that really lock in the time period through and through. Where the original had an almost timeless quality to it, this film is extremely dated making it almost difficult to watch at times. This would not normally be enough to derail such a film but the other aspect that doesn’t quite work is the plot itself.
While I understand that this film has reached cult status in recent years due to many of the homoerotic overtones that are apparent throughout, it doesn’t quite work as a Nightmare on Elmstreet film. Diverging from the original with Freddy attempting to steal Jesse’s body to use in the waking world, Freddy is also no longer only attacking the children of the people who killed him, but pretty much anyone he wants as long as it suits him. This includes a rather disturbing murder involving a killer towel in a school shower. Additionally, the fantastic score in the first film by Bernstein has been replaced using a much weaker score by Christopher Young, giving the film a sense that it isn’t even in the same universe. All of this topped with some rather cringey moments including a rather racist breakfast cereal that is clearly called out called as Fu Man Chews.
Bottom line, As a stand alone horror film with a different antagonist I think this movie would have been recognized as a much more memorable horror film. It has all the makings of a genuinely creepy 80’s horror movie but, by forcing it to be in the Nightmare franchise, it instead comes off as little more than a lackluster sequel to a touchstone horror film. It is not a bad scary movie, it’s just not a good Freddy movie.
Next week join us for our review of A Nightmare on Elmstreet Part 3 The Dream Warriors where the franchise takes a turn from true horror to something more of a dark comedy. Does it work? Well, you will just have to wait until our next review to find out!
OK, where do I get this movie?
This is one you can this get both on disc on it’s own and in the giant awesome boxed set that has all of the films. If you are a fan of the franchise, then you really should have this one in your collection, if you are a passing horror fan, it’s worth watching, but I am not sure if you would want to buy it on it’s own.
Late To The Game 12/3/2020
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
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