Tuesday, 17 March 2009

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

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This is rather an oddball entry into the Elm Street series. In a way it is the Halloween 3 of Elm Street as it deviates from the norm (quite considerably once you think about it) in several ways.

1) The main protagonist is Male

2) Freddy isn’t actually killing people per se, the implication is that it is Jesse being controlled by old scarface.

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3) Not one person dies during a dream, yep not one.

I will start with a nit pick which is a shame as I still sort off like this film.

Revenge \Re*venge"\, n.

1. The act of revenging; vengeance; retaliation; a returning of evil for evil. Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is even with his enemy; but in passing it over he is superior. --Bacon.

2. The disposition to revenge; a malignant wishing of evil to one who has done us an injury. Revenge now goes To lay a complot to betray thy foes. --Shak. The indulgence of revenge tends to make men more savage and cruel. --Kames.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

So really in Elm Street 1 Freddy is revenging, in this film he is merely being a bastard! Nit pick 2 is Freddy's power in the real world. In 1 we established that Freddy acts through dreams, in this one it appears that he has power over the world and can kill, well, anyone really. Why he wants to possess Jesse at all when he can just kill through him and stay empowered is beyond my ken!

On the plus side however Englunds performance is brilliant, he goes at the Freddy role with aplomb and it has yet to degrade into the heights of silliness as it does later. The story is interesting and reasonably well written if you allow the apparent lack of understanding in the ethos of the original. This remains the only film that I can name where the role of useless parents are played so well and Jesses dad is a cringe worthy nightmare in himself.

The final scenes however again damage the picture as a whole. The transmutation of the factory into Freddy's realm in the real world damage the believability of the story (and yes even fantasies need that!) and the setting is just not as nice as in the first film with very little feeling of claustrophobia, almost seeming to be deliberately replaced by a grand scale that does not suit Freddy's realm at all.

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Then the films ending that seems to conveniently forget about the dead friends and go to a world of happy and shiny just to throw in a silly “shock” ending is the icing on a rather flawed cake. Fun but not great.

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