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Film / A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

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"You are all my children now..."
Freddy Krueger

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge is a 1985 American slasher film and the second installment in the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

The Walsh family has just moved in on the house previously owned by the Thompson family, and the oldest child Jesse has trouble sleeping. His dreams are haunted by Freddy Krueger, who has decided to take his night terrors into the real world, with Jesse as his vessel.

This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Freddy pins Grady to the door, then rakes his claws down his torso and the door, slicing through both like hot butter.
  • Accidental Murder: In the chaos caused by Freddy appearing at the pool party, a random reveler gets trampled.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played straight with Mr. Walsh, subverted with Mrs. Walsh and Lisa's parents. Jesse's mom has more common sense and realizes Jesse needs help, and while Lisa's parents are locked in their bedroom during most of Freddy's rampage at the party, the moment they get out there, Lisa's dad tries to kill Freddy with a shotgun.
  • Allegorical Character: This version of Freddy is a representation of Jesse's internalized oppression and personal struggle with his bisexuality.
  • All Gays Are Pedophiles: The only canonically gay character is Coach Schneider, who goes to gay bars. When he's there, he picks up Jesse, forces him to run laps around the gym, and then seems to be about to assault him when Freddy kills him. There's the added element that Jesse himself is Ambiguously Bi and he spends a lot of time being possessed by a child molester and murderer.
  • All in the Eyes: Used on Freddy when Jesse meets him in his house to highlight his red pupils.
  • The Alleged Car: Jesse's car, "the deadly dinosaur".
  • Ambiguously Bi: Jesse Walsh. There's a romance subplot with the Girl Next Door Lisa, but there's even more subtext with his best friend Grady and Coach Schneider. The actor who portrayed him came out of the closet a few years later.
  • Asshole Victim: Coach Schneider, as it is heavily implied that he planned to do bad things to Jesse before dying.
  • Badass Bystander: One of the guests at Lisa's party attempts to talk Freddy down while he is on a killing rampage.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Like the previous film, the movie ends with Freddy seemly defeated, only for it to turn out he is still alive and presumably kills Jesse and/or Lisa at the end
  • Beast with a Human Face: Lisa comes across two dogs with human faces when she goes to Freddy's former workplace to find her possessed boyfriend Jesse.
  • Big "NO!": Schneider's and Grady's last words.
  • Black Comedy: Grady is grounded because he threw his grandma down a flight of stairs, assuming that isn't itself a joke.
  • Blood from the Mouth: A partygoer at Lisa's party bleeds from the mouth as he gets trampled to death by the other teens, who are trying to escape from Freddy.
  • Body Horror: Freddy peeling back his scalp to reveal his brains, Freddy slowly emerging out of Jesse's body before he finally cuts himself free, and later, Freddy's blades are sticking out of his actual fingers.
  • Book Ends: Freddy's Revenge begins and ends on a bus ride to Hell.
  • Broad Strokes: The events of this movie are seemingly ignored in productions that followed - but elements introduced in that, such as Freddy retaining possession as a power and the Springwood Slasher nickname, appeared in the rest of the franchise, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors even follows the timeline set by it (Freddy's Revenge is five years after the original, Dream Warriors is six). Scenes from it are also used in the montages featured in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare' and Freddy vs. Jason''.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Jesse waking up from his second onscreen nightmare. The first one is a variation. We don't see Jesse jump awake (it happens offscreen), but he's screaming at the top of his lungs, so loud that his family downstairs can hear it.
  • Chest Burster: Freddy manifests himself into Grady's room by cutting his way out of Jesse's chest.
  • Creator Cameo: Series producer Robert Shaye appears as a bartender at Don's Place.
  • Creepy Gym Coach: Jesse finds Coach Schneider in a S&M bar and the latter brings him to the gym and makes him run laps before hitting the shower. It's heavily implied he intends to sexually abuse Jesse before Freddy possesses Jesse and kills him.
  • Daydream Surprise: Subverted. At one point during Lisa's journey into Freddy's lair, a wound on her leg is suddenly infested with insects. She frantically tries to get them off until she realizes that nothing is there, as it was another dream. Except she was never asleep—Freddy's powers are just starting to reach into the real world.
  • Demonic Possession: Freddy has found a way to return once again by possessing Jesse, the most recent inhabitant of the house on Elm Street. He eventually accomplishes this by painfully transforming Jesse's body into his own.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Coach Schneider is a sexually predatory gay man working as a gym coach at a high school. He abducts Jesse when he sees him in a gay bar, and it is implied that he was about to rape him before Freddy intervened and killed Schneider.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Averted and Downplayed: Ron Grady doesn't get to get back at Coach Schneider. And while Jesse Walsh does manage to get back at Coach Schneider, he doesn't do it on his own will. It's Freddy Krueger who possesses Jesse by making the gym/sports equipment come to life and beat Schneider along with two jump ropes with which Coach Schneider planned to rape Jesse that wrap around his wrists, drag him to the locker room showers where they tie him to the shower pipes, and causing towels to whip his butt after he is stripped naked and before he is killed by Freddy Krueger.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: A common criticism against this film was how it did not seem to follow the rules of the first movie. In particular, having Freddy possessing Jesse and coming out in the real world and killing teenagers at a pool party. He also somehow has demon dogs in the real world. Interestingly enough, in this movie, no one is killed by Freddy in their dreams with the possible exception of the end scene
  • Evil Plan: Freddy plans to possess Jesse to wreak havoc outside the dream world.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Freddy killing Coach Schneider, who is implied to have considered raping Jesse. This is surely not out of an attempt at Even Evil Has Standards, but more likely that Freddy did not want Schneider damaging his potential vessel.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Before ripping his way out of Jesse, Freddy's eye appears at the back of his throat.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Jesse's and Lisa's make-out scene ends abruptly when he develops an Overly-Long Tongue and freaks out.
    • There's a non-visual version when Lisa reads Nancy's diary. It seems to be describing a nightly encounter between Nancy and her boyfriend Glen. Then it gets creepy when she describes how the guy claws at her with his blades...
  • Final Girl: A gender-flipped subversion, as Jesse is the one who needs saving while Lisa is the one who has to go and rescue him.
  • Finger Wag:
    • Jesse sees Freddy in the mirror in the place of his reflection, and Freddy wags his finger at him as he laughs.
    • He does it to Lisa too while telling her that Jesse is dead.
  • Fire Purifies: Freddy eventually possesses Jesse and goes on a murderous rampage. Lisa decides to confront Freddy and beats him with The Power of Love, which sets him on fire. Then Jesse crawls out of Freddy's torched remains alive and well.
  • Flipping the Bird: Jesse gives Grady the finger when he realizes that the snake-prank at the class was his idea.
  • Gainax Ending: Like the previous film, Freddy returns in the final scene to seemingly attack the protagonists again. We're never told if Jesse dies, or if this is just Freddy sending one last "screw you" with the last of his power as he likes to do. Or if it's a dream, even though it directly mirrors the dream scene in the opening.
  • Gay Cruising: Coach Schneider is depicted as cruising in full leather gear. It's also a possible interpretation of Jesse's turning up there in the rainstorm, although he was sleepwalking.
  • The Hero: Lisa Webber. Even though Jesse is the protagonist, it is Lisa who does the research on Freddy and tries to show Jesse how to overcome him. And when Freddy takes over Jesse's body and goes on a rampage, Lisa's the one who has to stop Freddy and save Jesse.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: See HoYay on the YMMV tab. The homoerotic themes are often commented on, with the creators themselves even acknowledging it.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The climax has Lisa confronting Freddy, and pleading for Jesse breaking free of him.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Freddy takes a bite out of Lisa's leg, after which she kicks him in the face.
  • I'm Not Afraid of You: Lisa says it to Freddy before defeating him.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Or in this case, dad. Grady desperately screams for his father when he sees Freddy Krueger coming out of Jesse's body. Unfortunately, the door is locked. and the only thing his father can do is see Freddy's blades tear through his son's body to the point of destroying the door between them.
  • Kickthe Dog: Coach Schneider constantly punishes Jesse Walsh and Ron Grady, even when it seems they didn't do anything offensive or punishable. He even abducts Jesse Walsh to the school and makes him run several laps around the gym as a punishment, then he shoves him against some chairs and forces him to take a shower after his punishment ends, planning to do bad things to Jesse, like raping him.
  • The Killer in Me: Played with on a less grand scale. Freddy kills Coach Schneider. The camera then pans back to Jesse looking at the dead body, covered in blood, and wearing Freddy's killing glove. When Jesse sees the evidence and realizes that he is the killer, he freaks out. In a later scene, Freddy bursts out of Jesse's body and kills Jesse's friend Grady. Pan back to Jesse again covered in blood and wearing the glove. He curses at Freddy, who is still standing in the room, but when he throws the glove at Freddy it breaks the door room mirror that Jesse saw Freddy in, revealing that Jesse was only looking at a reflection of himself.
  • Juxtaposed Reflection Poster: One poster has Jesse embracing Lisa as he stares at his reflection in a mirror. Half of the reflection's face is a skull with an exposed eyeball and has Freddy's claws resting on Lisa's back. Part of the reflection is cut (maybe it's a window) to show a dark-blue sky with a lightning and the silhouette of a crow.
  • Kiss of Death: Freddy's defeat by the power of love culminates in Lisa giving a kiss to Jesse, which sets Freddy on fire.
  • Leatherman: Coach Schneider is revealed to be one when Jesse encounters him at the underground club.
  • Man Bites Man: Freddy takes a bite out of Lisa's leg when she tries to run away from him.
  • Man on Fire: Freddy in Jesse's body once again burns to death in the climax. Jesse is revealed to be alive underneath the destroyed body.
  • Neck Lift: Freddy grabs one of his victims by the neck and lifts him against a door before gutting him.
  • New House, New Problems: The Walsh family has just moved into their house when Freddy starts making his comeback.
  • Non-Indicative Title: Freddy returns, but he isn't getting revenge on anyone. Nancy, the only survivor of the original film is not in this one, and she didn't even beat him then, prompting no actual revenge. There is also no hint that the kids' parents in this film were responsible for killing Freddy; Jesse's parents in particular only recently moved into the neighborhood.
  • Not My Driver: In Jesse's first nightmare at the start of the movie, Freddy replaces the bus driver just before the bus careers off into the desert. (The original driver is played by Robert Englund sans Freddy makeup.) The same thing happens at the end of the movie.
  • Oddball in the Series: Freddy attacks people in reality, rather than in dreams, and manipulates the protagonist to do his bidding. It is also the only film in the series with a male protagonist.
  • Painful Transformation: Freddy takes over Jesse's body by messily transforming it into his shape. This includes blades growing out of Jesse's fingers, his skin peeling off, and Freddy ripping open and bursting out of his chest. Jesse is howling in visible agony the entire time.
  • Pants-Pulling Prank: After Jesse beats Grady during a game of baseball, Grady pulls down Jesse's pants. Another girl comments with approval on his rear.
  • The Power of Love: Pretty much what beats Freddy, as Jesse's love for Lisa stops him from killing her, and in turn, her love for Jesse makes him able to break free from Freddy.
  • Psychosexual Horror: Although it's up to debate on whether or not this was intended by the creator, the fanbase for this movie believes it's an allegory Jesse Walsh's internal struggle with being bisexual during a time when homosexuality was heavily stigmatized and while the AIDS epidemic was active.
  • Rain of Blood: The school showers start spewing blood as Schneider dies at the hands of Freddy.
  • Reality Warper: As Freddy gains more power over Jesse, he can alter things in reality. He goes completely nuts at the pool party, boiling the water in the pool, creating a wall of fire around the yard, making himself temporarily intangible before jumping out from under the floorboards, and blowing up the barbecue and most of the electrical appliances that are there.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: On the VHS release, tracked-in music from Christopher Young's score replaces Bing Crosby's version of "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?" over the end credits.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: It's called Freddy's Revenge of course.
  • Right Behind Me: Jesse and Grady joke about how "Schneider always has a stick up in his ass" in the locker room without realizing that he is behind them.
    Schneider: Hello, dirtballs!
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Jesse lets out a few high-pitched girly screams throughout the film.
  • Self-Mutilation Demonstration: Freddy's "body and the brain" quote is emphasized by him ripping the skin on his head, exposing his brains.
  • Shipper on Deck: Kerry has a few moments, notably when she encourages Lisa to leave the party and go find Jesse.
  • Shirtless Scene: Jesse has a few.
  • Sleepwalking: Freddy's possession attempts on Jesse manifest as him sleepwalking.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Bing Crosby's "Have You Ever Seen a Dream Walking?" during the end credits.
  • Shower Scene: Jesse takes a shower as Coach Schneider ponders what to do to with him.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Freddy does it to Jesse to lure him outside during second onscreen nightmare.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: When Lisa is running through the old power station, several of her routes are cut off when Freddy causes scalding steam to be blasted across her path.
  • Super Window Jump: Freddy jumps through the glass doors of Lisa's house and disappears briefly after confusion at his inability to kill Lisa (Jesse, whose body he is controlling, won't let him).
  • Supernatural-Proof Father: Jesse's father Ken. His parakeet is suddenly possessed by the devil and bursts into flames in front of his eyes, but he chalks it down to the airconditioning.
  • Theme Music Abandonment: This in the only film of the franchise that doesn't use the series main theme by Charles Bernstein. Later sequels picked it up again.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The teenager who tries to reason with Freddy during the pool party rampage.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Every time Freddy takes over, he converts Jesse's body into his form.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The two girls who were with Jesse in the initial nightmare on the bus. They were real or just part of the dream? If it is the first case, then why does Jesse never hear about two girls killed while sleeping at any point in the film? And if they were part of the dream, that still doesn't explain what their purpose was.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: Late at night, Jesse suddenly gets the urge to visit a bar called Don's Place where everybody is either a Leatherman or a Drag Queen.
  • Women Are Wiser:
    • Jesse's mother comes across as much more reasonable and understanding than his dad does, who believes that Jesse figured out how to make one of their pet lovebirds explode and is on drugs. Jesse's mom, on the other hand, figures that something is indeed wrong with Jesse and that they need someone who can help since they obviously can't.
    • Lisa's mom is bright enough to realize that a bunch of teenagers don't want to spend the evening listening to Benny Goodman records and being prohibited from jumping in the pool. She conspires to keep her husband upstairs so the real party can begin.
  • You Are Grounded!: Grady can't go to Lisa's party because his parents grounded him for something bad he did (implied to be throwing his grandmother down a flight of stairs). Jesse breaks into his room late at light to get Grady to watch over him because Freddy is trying to take over Jesse's body.

Alternative Title(s): A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 Freddys Revenge