One year after Wes Craven changed the horror genre (again) with the introduction of the dream stalker, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), New Line Cinema delivered the first follow-up sequel. All of the Nightmare sequels can be hit or miss, with the third one arguably the best of the bunch. And while the film was successful at the time and kept Freddy alive in our dreams, it has gone on to become an iconic entry in the genre of Queer Cinema.
This was something that may or may not have been intentional, and I can’t help but recommend the doc about the film, and it’s star Mark Patton, Scream, Queen! which further explores that concept.
The issue that most Freddy fans have with the film isn’t the homosexual undertones, but the fact that the film has a more supernatural bent as we not only delve into possession, Freddy is intent on taking over young Jessie (Patton) to use him to kill in the real world, but Freddy seems to have some supernatural powers in the real world, something that he very much didn’t have in the first film.
There’s also the whole timeline. The first film took place in the 80s, this one takes place in the 80s, and yet there is the intimation that there is a number of years between the two films, though neither styles nor locations really seemed to change too much. But everyone seems to have forgotten what happened on Elm Street, except for Jessie’s frenemy, Ron (Robert Russler).
Jessie is new in town, and his family have just moved into the empty house on Elm Street. He hasn;t finished unpacking, clashes with his dad (Clu Gulager) and has to avoid exploding birds (something that could have been included in a dream sequence, but is supposed to be part of Freddy’s real world powers apparently).
There’s a girl, Lisa (Kim Myers, who I crushed on immediately), who is apparently barking up the wrong tree, but it is her connection to Jessie that enables both characters to save themselves from Freddy, though how they are going to prove Jessie didn’t commit the murders is a whole ‘nother thing.
Of course, the film ends with a dream reminding us that Freddy is still out there, and that maybe no one survived the film after all.
It’s a fun film, Freddy, when we get glimpses of him in this film is not the quipy fella he is about to become, he’s still very frightening, his first appearance in the film, dragging his razors up the bus seats is really unnerving, as is the makeup that suggests that he and Jessie are joined; the razor glove disappears partway through the film, and the razors simply become extensions of Jessie/Freddy’s fingers.
This is definitely not a sequel that surpasses the original, but the years have been fairly kind to it, and like I said, it is now a staple of queer cinema, and honestly, watching it now, it’s very easy to see, and celebrate (I mean all the stuff with Marshall Bell alone…).
Next time, Freddy will be taking on the Dream Warriors.