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Jack Sholder
Cast:Robert Englund, Mark Patton, Kim Myers
Writing Credits:
David Chaskin

A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by deceased child murderer Freddy Krueger, who is out to possess him in order to continue his reign of terror in the real world.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$2,865,475 on 522 Screens
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Monaural
French Monaural
German Monaural
Italian Monaural
Castillian Monaural
Portuguese Monaural
Czech Monaural
Thai Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 85 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 9/27/2011
Available as Two-Movie Set with Nightmare on Elm Street 3

• “Heroes and Villains” Featurette
• “Psycho Sexual Circus” Featurette
• “The Male Witch” Featurette
• “Freddy on 8th Street” Featurette
• Trailer


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A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge [Blu-Ray] (1985)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 17, 2020)

As inevitably as day following night, hit horror movies inspire sequels. Heck, often marginally successful genre films prompt subsequent efforts, so a flick as popular as 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street clearly would get another chapter.

The original Nightmare became something special because it was different. Instead of the usual superhuman threat ala Halloween or Friday the 13th, Elm presented a different kind of villain, one who attacked us from inside our heads when we were at our most vulnerable.

Who hasn't been spooked by nightmares and sometimes felt absolutely convinced that our dreams were real? Elm capitalized on those fears and convictions in a compelling manner that made it unique.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, however, just capitalized on the success of the first film. On its own, it's hard to find a reason for this movie's existence, as it appears for no reason other than to make some more money based on the first picture's reputation.

Five years after the first movie’s events, a new family moves into the house terrorized in the prior story. High school student Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton) suffers from nightmares in which scarred maniac Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) brutalizes various locals.

Once again, these dreams turn out to come true, though this time, Freddy enjoys grander plans. He wants to take over Jesse’s body and become a force of mayhem in the real world as well as the dream realm.

Revenge earned major criticism over the years as one of the weaker horror sequels, and those statements make some sense, though I don't think the film is nearly as terrible as so many seem to believe.

Actually, I think it's greatest sin is that it lacks any true spark and it seems too much like a generic rehash of the first movie without any creativity of its own.

In that way, Revenge comes across much more like a generic slasher film than did the first movie, which appeared so creative and fresh. In the sequel, Freddy seems less like a spooky supernatural force than just some nasty baddie.

The story involves none of the same characters as the first film, which feels like another miscalculation. Strangely, although the story is supposed to take place five years after the first one, no styles have changed at all - sure looks like the mid-Eighties to me! Okay, it may be too much to expect the filmmakers to anticipate future trends, but the dated look of the project doesn't help it.

In terms of plot, we find a problematic deviation from the first story. In that one, Freddy haunted the children of the Elm Street adults who killed him.

As far as I can tell, Jesse and his family have no connection to that event. They become attached to the problem just via haunted house syndrome, something that makes no sense in the context of the original plot.

This gives the filmmakers an excuse to bring back Freddy, and that's all they wanted. The usual fears and doubts occur as Jesse wonders if he's nuts, and the tale actually features a mildly promising premise when Freddy attempts to make Jesse his human agent.

I have no idea how this is supposed to work, but hey, it's a horror movie! If we can accept a creepy guy who kills people in their dreams, then the rest of it seems acceptable as well.

Except when the story deviates from the already-established rules. As so wonderfully mocked in the Scream series, horror films have to work on some sort of internal consistency, so we'll buy pretty much anything as long as it continues along a seemingly sensible line within the flick’s universe.

Revenge further deviates from the standard in that one scene actually shows Freddy in real-life. Granted, I suppose it's possible that this external Freddy delivers a manifestation of Jesse, but I don't get that impression, so I'm pretty sure he's actually supposed to be a separate entity.

There's another strike, and nothing else about Revenge can overcome those flaws. The characters feel tremendously thin and the acting does nothing to beef up the parts.

Patton flops in the lead, as he presents a bland and unengaging presence that never prompts the slightest interest in him. Really, this kind of movie works best with a female lead, as - excuse any possible sexism - women seem more believable as pursued victims.

It's tough for a guy in that situation to not come off as whiny and weak, and when the actor in question is as milquetoast as Patton, the going becomes even more difficult.

Revenge does feature a major female participant in the person of Jesse's girlfriend Lisa (Kim Myers), but she also seems drab and bland. She's a cute girl who bears a striking physical resemblance to Meryl Streep, but her acting chops aren't quite on that level, and she fails to ignite any spark in the character.

Were it not for its brand name, A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 would have been forgotten long ago. Its connection to the famous series keeps it in the public eye, but even compared to some of the later lackluster sequels, this one appears weak.

Honestly, it's not a terrible movie, but it seems generic. Revenge provides a letdown after the invigorating and creative first film.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddie’s Revenge appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Given the movie’s age and origins, this became a fairly good presentation.

For the most part, sharpness worked fine. Some wider shots and interiors looked a little soft, but the majority of the movie appeared reasonably accurate and tight. This wasn’t a razor-sharp film but it seemed more than acceptable.

Shimmering and jaggies remained absent, and I noticed no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the proceedings.

Revenge featured a fairly subdued palette, and the colors looked adequate. I thought they could’ve been more vivid, but they were mostly good, and at least they usually lacked the murkiness that affects so many 1980s movies.

Black levels seemed to be pretty dense and dark, and shadow detail was clean and natural. Nothing about the image excelled, but I thought the transfer offered a decent representation of an older flick.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 remix, the track opened up the audio pretty nicely, though don't expect anything terribly special. The forward spectrum presents some well-localized sound that spread appropriately to the various channels and also blended accurately between them.

The surrounds seemed less well-utilized as they generally offered basic ambiance, but a few more active examples existed. I also detected some occasional split-surround usage. Much of the soundscape remained limited, but the other channels added some pizzazz.

Audio quality was relatively positive. Dialogue seemed slightly weak at times, as I occasionally heard some mild edginess, but it generally appeared warm and natural. Effects were fairly well-defined and full, though louder occasionally betrayed some distortion.

Music sounded clean and lively, as the score was reproduced in a satisfying manner. This was an above-average mix for its era.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? The lossless audio added a little range and punch, while visuals felt tighter and more dynamic. The Blu-ray became the superior rendition of the film.

In addition to the film’s trailer, four featurettes flesh out the disc, and these open with Heroes and Villains. In this six-minute, 22-second reel, we hear from New Line CEO Robert Shaye, director Jack Sholder and creator Wes Craven.

The program looks at story/character and the push toward a sequel. It offers a good synopsis of these areas.

With Psycho Sexual Circus, we find a three-minute, 26-second clip that features Sholder, production assistant Rachel Talalay, and actor Robert Englund. The show investigates controversies and themes to become another solid little clip.

The Male Witch lasts two minutes, 46 seconds and includes Sholder and special makeup effects Kevin Yagher. We learn about the makeup design and execution for Freddy in this brief but useful reel.

Finally, Freddy on 8th Street spans five minutes, 28 seconds with remarks from Sholder, Englund and publicist Jeffrey Wells. “Street” covers the series’ publicity and burgeoning popularity. Expect a decent overview.

As a horror film, you could do worse than A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, but you could also find many more valuable entries in the genre. It seems disappointing as part of a very successful series. The Blu-ray brings generally good picture and audio along with a handful of supplements. This becomes an adequate release for a mediocre movie.

Note that this version of Revenge comes paired with 1987’s A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors as a two-movie package. It also can be found as part of a bargain priced seven-movie set with the whole collection of Nightmare flicks from 1984 through 1994.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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