Friday, February 21, 2014


Dir. Jack Sholder
87 mins.

This entry in the popular series is considered amongst many in the horror community to be the worst. I myself am one of the few that considers it to be the best. Let me explain.
Firstly, fans of the franchise, and even the producers themselves, have complained that ground rules set in the original were broken by having Freddy possess a boy, Jesse, and using him to kill in the real world. Yet possession has happened in other films in the series a few times, including a mental patient in Part 3, an unborn baby in Part 5 and a dimwitted stoner in Part 6. Oh, and a dimwitted stoner in Freddy Vs. Jason.
What makes this movie stand out to me is the monstrousness of the possession itself. It is well known by now that the original intention of the first movie was to establish Freddy as a child molester. Because of the controversial McMartin case that was making headlines at the time of the filming of the first Elm Street, the material was lightened and Freddy was referred to as a "filthy" child murderer. Still, the intent is clear.
With the second movie, it is evident to anyone with a modicum observational skills, that the protagonist Jesse is a repressed homosexual or bisexual teen. As Jesse struggles with this, Freddy uses it as a means of possessing his body, in essence an act of rape. Freddy knows Jesse's weaknesses, and is using it to control him, so he can murder more than just the Elm Street kids.
This makes perfect sense, as Freddy has attempted to expand his murdering repertoire on multiple occasions throughout the series, and is a major theme of Parts 4-6. Yet this possession also represents the villainy of sexual predators, who often exploit their victim's own sexual confusion and vulnerability to accomplish their crimes. The themes of rape and sexual repression in Freddy's Revenge were far ahead of their time and give this entry a depth unseen amongst it peers.
This extends itself to the killings that Jesse is made to commit. One victim, Jesse's high school gym coach, is murdered in the gymnasium's locker room, naked and tied to shower heads. When this event is mentioned at school the next day, Jesse's best friend Grady mentions that the coach had been "packed". It is a quick reference, but one that suggests that Jesse had anally raped the coach. This adds to the subtexts that are in play in this film, Freddy is molding Jesse into an image of himself, and that the cycle of violence is reproducing itself.
Freddy himself is far more frightening than in the other movies. He doesn't crack jokes. He is not yet a kid's plushie doll or a terrible NES game. He is a rapist and killer that will stop at nothing to harm others. It helps that his makeup in this is fantastic and far outshines the makeup in the others, including the original. It is more boney and angular than the first, and less streamlined as the third. He looks like a corpse. And those eyes... the contacts added a lot.
Though the movie has its flaws, such as the absence of the iconic theme song, and an absurd incident involving a combustible parakeet, I encourage naysayers to reevaluate it, is a lot better than its reputation has afforded it.



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