Freddy's Craving for Craven
Watching the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street" recently there was part of me which was impressed whilst also a part of me which was disappointed. Sadly watching the second movie in the franchise "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge" left me disappointed with nothing at all impressing. From the storyline, the effects, the horror or distinct lack of it "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2" really is a poor sequel which fails to capture any of the magic of the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street". And it's not helped by the fact that Wes Craven chose not to come on board, his touch and eye for horror is most definitely missing.
A few years after the horrors which saw teenagers dieing in their sleep, Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton) and his family move into the home once occupied by Nancy Thompson. It doesn't take long for Jesse to be getting nightmares as Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) enters his dreams. But this time Freddy doesn't want to kill Jesse but turn him into a killer, only Jesse's girlfriend Lisa (Kim Myers) seems to believe and tries to help him stop Freddy from taking control of his life.
So "A Nightmare on Elm Street" ended a little ambiguously allowing for this sequel and we pick up the story a few years on from the horrors which befell the house on Elm Street with a new family moving in to the house where Nancy suffered her nightmares. It's not the most original idea as a link but it works adequately enough as when central figure Jesse starts suffering terrible nightmares and visits from Freddy Krueger his not knowing about the history of the house allows for his fear and naivety.
But that's where what is good about "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2" ends as whilst Freddy returns to plague young Jesse's dreams the storyline develops with Jesse becoming the killer, Freddy's puppet of death. It's an absolutely daft idea for a storyline and it comes over as just as daft. What made the first movie so good was that Freddy was the killer with a reason, now we have Jesse killing whoever takes Freddy's fancy. Maybe the storyline would have worked with a better script because the one on show is weak and full of plot holes.
What also doesn't help is the whole issue of dieing in your sleep, sleep depravation and so on is for the most ignored or skimmed over in favour of blatant killing. It makes "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2" both weak and unoriginal, lacking the cleverness which helped make the first movie so memorable. And talking about struggling to be memorable the effects this time around are less than spectacular with a demon parakeet being one of the more memorable effects driven scenes.
And to top it off the actual characters are less than impressive, with the exception of Freddy Krueger who is still a fearsome being. Jesse, the centre of the attention is lacking charisma to make him interesting, his father seems like he is trying to be the horror version of Clark W. Griswold and failing, whilst Jesse's girlfriend Lisa Webber is sweet is also just a boring 2 dimensional character. And that is the thing the characters are all 2 dimensional making it hard work to like any of them.
And it's just as hard to find anything noteworthy from the actors either Mark Patton as Jesse just doesn't command the role and Kim Myers delivers sweet as Lisa but little else. Which really just leaves Robert Englund who as Freddy Krueger is a terrifying creation; it's just a shame that he gets very little screen time or at least not enough to really give "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2" some much needed horror.
What this all boils down to is that "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2" really is a very disappointing sequel with very little to make it anything but disappointing. It just lacks everything you would hope for from a decent storyline, interesting characters, good acting and most importantly horror. Even Robert Englund struggles to make it work as Freddy Krueger with the storyline not giving him anywhere near enough time.