Friday, February 12, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge

You know, this title is just as screwed up as the last one. Because once again, it’s not A nightmare, it’s MANY nightmares.

Plus, for what is Freddy seeking revenge? As near as I can tell, he WON. All the kids are dead, or so it would seem. So he already got his revenge.

Perhaps those problems will be dealt with in this installment? Sure. That’ll happen.

As our story begins, a yellow school bus drives down the block, pulls over, and lets some kids out.

But don’t worry about them, because then we get to watch inside the bus while it drives some more.

And stops. And drops off some kids. And drives some more.

And drives some more. And drops off some kids.

Finally, we’re down to the last two girls, and one dude in the back. The girls are all, “Hey, do YOU want the geeky dude?”

At which point, the driver goes barreling past his next stop. One of the girls calls out that the driver missed her stop. He keeps driving. She calls out again, and then the driver just keeps driving until he zooms over a curb and into a dusty, scrubby, almost-desert area.

We see the driver’s hand, which has the Freddy glove on it. Also, the driver is suddenly wearing the Freddy hat.

And then there’s more dangerous driving, and screaming, until the bus hits a big bump, flies in the air, and then crashes.

The two girls and the guy look outside the bus while the ground crumbles beneath them, leaving the bus trapped on two huge columns of rock over a giant canyon.

Up front, Freddy stands up.

Outside, one of the pillars of rock crumbles, so the bus is balanced on a single column of rock.

Freddy keeps on walking forward, while the kids scream about trying to keep the bus balanced so it doesn’t tip over.

Freddy brings back his arm to do some slashin’ and…

Cut to someone chopping up a tomato on a cutting board. It’s a mom-type, who has a husband-type and a daughter-type. They all hear a scream upstairs. A kind of girly scream.

The daughter-type asks why Jesse can’t wake up like everyone else. Mom says he’s just having a bad dream.

Yep, girly-screaming Jesse is a dude.

As it turns out, he’s a dude with no shirt, covered in sweat. Also, he was the geeky dude on the bus.

He heads downstairs, and there’s banter. Dad wants Jesse to finish unpacking. Mom wants dad to fix the air conditioning. Dad says it just “needs a shot of Freon.”

And sister wants to get the claw fingers out of a cereal box of Fu Man Chews. I know. It sounds like I’m making it up, but I swear to you, I am not.

At any rate, Jesse sees the claw fingers and poos in his shorts a little bit, because of course he just had that horrible dream.

So we’re having problems already, because it appears Freddy is going to get his so-called Revenge on Jesse here, even though Jesse’s parents have just moved in and weren’t involved in the murder of Freddy in any way.

Though I guess “Freddy Kills a Bunch of Random People for No Reason” isn’t much of a subtitle.

We solider on.

The doorbell rings. It’s “Lisa,” who Jesse knows and dad doesn’t. She’s cute, in a “We have no budget and it’s the 80s” kind of way.

Lisa and Jesse get into Jesse’s car and drive away. Jesse’s car has no key – he starts it by pressing a button. When Lisa expresses concern that someone might steal his car, and he notes, not incorrectly, that the car isn’t really worth stealing.

Later, at school, Jesse is playing softball in gym class. And looking at Lisa. He’s all smitten, so he doesn’t notice when someone hits the ball, and it conks him in the head.

Jesse gets taunted.

Jesse, in turn, tags out the dude who conked him in the head on the next play. Guy’s name is Grady, by the way. Grady doesn’t like being tagged out, so he pulls down Jesse’s pants.

The chick Lisa is talking to expresses a heartfelt enjoyment of the showing of Jesse’s bum.

Grady and Jesse get into a fistfight/wrestling match.

The gym teacher breaks it up. Eventually. And makes the guys do push-ups.

Jesse and Grady wonder when they’ll be allowed to leave. Don’t they have, like, another class? Guess not.

Grady continues to ask Jesse questions. He wants to know whether Jesse and Lisa are, you know, doing it. I guess this is supposed to be, like, what now? Male bonding? It’s kind of icky.

Finally, the teacher lets them go, and Grady asks where Jesse lives. While they get dressed. Turns out, Jesse now lives in Nancy’s old house. The story goes that mom locked Nancy up in the house and Nancy went crazy. After she saw her boyfriend butchered in the house across the street.

So… Nancy is alive, then? And Glen is still dead. And there’s no mention of the other two dead kids, yet. But still, attempted continuity. Let’s see how THAT plays out.

Jesse leaves, and we get a shot of the house at nighttime. As I recall, it used to have a blue door. And now it’s red. Strange.

Jesse can’t sleep, so he gets up and goes downstairs. He opens the fridge, and a bottle of some kind of liquid hits the floor and shatters. Jesse grabs a paper towel, and sees something moving outside.

So he goes outside to check it out. Great. We have one hero, and he’s an idiot.

Outside, Jesse sees some kind of fire in the basement. He looks through the basement window, and he can see Freddy, burning something in the wood stove.

So Jesse goes back into the house, and instead of finding his parents and going, “Um, there’s a dude in our basement?” He goes to the basement door, and opens it. Sure enough, there’s a fire.

So he closes the door, and calls to his dad. Took him long enough.

Someone tries to open the door from the other side. Jesse calls to his dad again. Then he runs from the door… directly into Freddy. Who says, “Daddy can’t help you now.” He shushes Jesse.

He says he needs Jesse, and that they have special work to do. “You’ve got the body. And I’ve got the brain.”

Freddy pulls the skin off his skull, so you can see his brain. Uh… I know, that sounds wrong, but that’s what happens. I guess Freddy has no skull. Explains a lot.

And now we’ve established two things that the makers of this movie don’t understand: that words mean things, and also, basic human anatomy.

Once again, Jesse wakes up covered in sweat. Mom and dad come to comfort him.

The next day, Jesse has trouble staying awake in biology class. Even after his teacher throws a heart on the desk.

As Jesse sleeps in class, a boa constrictor appears, out of nowhere, and wraps itself around Jesse’s neck.

Jesse wakes up, screaming. Turns out it’s an actual boa. The class boa. The teacher admonishes him.

Later that day, Lisa is swimming in her pool when Jesse calls.

Moments later, Jesse tries to leave the house, but dad says he can’t go until his room is unpacked.

Since it’s the 80s, Jesse puts on a cheeseball keyboardy song, throws on some sunglasses and unpacks via montage. This lasts right up until mom and Lisa open his door without knocking.

Ah, hijinks.

Jesse says that he was cleaning his room, and Lisa offers to help. So the movie jumps to when they’re almost done, so that Lisa ask Jesse where his can that says jock itch goes.

She goes to put away his sweaters, and finds Nancy’s diary in Jesse’s closet. Lisa says that Nancy was “before my time.” Wasn’t that a year ago? Yeah. It was. So I guess Lisa is new in town as well?

Lisa reads the diary. First she finds an entry about Nancy watching Glen “get ready for bed.” It’s maybe a touch naughty.

Then they start reading another entry, which first sounds kind of naughty, but then turns out to be about Nancy’s Freddy nightmares. This gives Jesse pause.

Then they find the entry where Nancy talks about Tina’s death. Lisa sees that Jesse is distressed. Jesse tells her the whole “Glen told me about Crazy Nancy” story.

The next morning, Jesse wakes up bathed in sweat (man, am I sick of typing that). He turns on the light, and discovers that all the plastic in his room has melted or is melting from the heat.

So Jesse, who was just covered with sweat in a room where everything is melting, puts on sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and heads down to the basement.

He finds the wood stove, which now looks a LOT bigger, and he opens it up. And there’s Freddy’s glove, still wrapped in cloth. A fire pops up in the stove.

Freddy stands in the corner. He tells Jesse to try the glove on for size. He continues: “Kill for me!”

Jesse runs, and trips, and when he “wakes up,” the glove is still there, and the fire is out in the wood stove. Though the stove is still smoking. I guess I can pretend the guy was sleepwalking, but I’m not convinced he also lit a fire while he was at it.

The next day, Jesse tells Lisa about his dream, and yeah, he uses the word “sleepwalking.” Lisa, in turn, wonders if he’s having premonitions, the way some people solve crimes.

Lisa asks to borrow the diary. Her friend Kerry walks up and says that she got the invite to the party.

Lisa gives Jesse a kiss on the cheek and heads to class.

Later, in gym class, Grady and Jesse talk. They make fun of the gym teacher, he hears them, and they get to do pushups again.

That night, Jesse’s mom covers the parakeet cage, and then whines that it’s really hot in the house. Dad goes to check the thermostat. It’s 97 degrees.

Suddenly, the parakeet cage starts shaking around. They pull off the cloth, revealing that one parakeet has killed the other. Jesse opens the cage to stop the bird, and it escapes. The family does battle with the evil parakeet. At least until it bursts into flame and then explodes.

The parents, naturally, try to find a rational explanation that involves either, a) a gas leak, or b) Jesse blowing up the bird with firecrackers.

That night, Jesse tries to sleep again. He looks around. All the plastic stuff is no longer melted.

So he heads downstairs (again) and stands by the sink. Lightning hits the dishes. So Jesse decides to go out in the rainstorm. With no shoes on.

He ends up in a leather bar called Don’s Place. He orders a beer. He pours it into a glass. His gym teacher stops him from drinking it, and then he has to run laps in the gym. He’s told to hit the shower. He hits the shower.

While Jesse showers, his gym teacher hears a noise in his office. The racket strings are super-heating and snapping. Then the balls start attacking him. This barely phases the gym teacher.

He hits the floor and crawls towards the door.

Two jump ropes leap off the desk, wrap themselves around the gym teacher’s arms, and start dragging him down the hall.

In the shower, all the showers Jesse wasn’t using start to turn on.

Jesse turns, and sees his gym teacher getting dragged into the shower. The teacher is dragged to his feet, his arms are tied to pipes over his head, and his clothes are stripped off. Then invisible bullies start whipping the teacher in the rear with wet towels.

Jesse keeps watching. The whipping stops. Steam covers Jesse. When we see “Jesse” again, Jesse is gone and Freddy is in his place. Freddy slashes the gym teacher, the gym teacher dies, and blood shoots out the showerheads.

Steam comes up, steam vanishes, and now there’s Jesse again, only he’s wearing the Freddy glove. He screams like a little girl.

And here we are, in Jesse’s house, as Jesse’s mom and dad run to the front door.

Two cops and Jesse are outside. The cops tell Jesse’s parents that he was wandering around the road. Naked.

Jesse comes in, and dad has two questions. “What are you taking, son? Who are you getting it from?”

Jesse insists he’s not taking drugs. Dad seems perplexed.

Jesse goes upstairs to go to bed.

The next day, Jesse’s dad starts taking the bars off the windows. Mom thinks Jesse needs to see a shrink. Dad thinks he needs a methadone clinic.

And Jesse thinks he needs to take Lisa to school.

When they get there, the cops have arrived. The gym teacher was killed the night before. Jesse is freaked out.

That night, Jesse can’t sleep. Again. He gets out of the bed in his underpants (hoo boy) and goes to his desk drawer. The Freddy glove is in there, crawling around. Freddy’s voice says, “Kill for me.”

So Jesse gets dressed again, and leaves his room. He opens the door to his sister’s room, and finds his sister jumping rope and doing the Freddy chant.

The next morning, Jesse asks his dad about the murder across the street, and Crazy Nancy. Turns out dad knew. Oh, and we learn that Nancy’s mom “killed herself” in the living room.

This freaks out little sister.

Then the toaster starts on fire. Even though it was unplugged.

Jesse and Lisa go for a drive, and she tells him that even though the gym teacher is dead, in the exact way Freddy killed him, the teacher’s death is in no way Jesse’s fault.

Here’s a question: Why does Lisa go to Jessie’s house to get a ride to school every day? He’s the new kid, right? She must have had a way to get there before, and she doesn’t appear to live that close to him. So how does that work out?

Finally, Lisa reveals just where they’re driving. It’s Freddy’s old workplace. The boiler room is in an old, abandoned power plant. She also has copies of old news article about Freddy.

Lisa and Jesse go for a walk around the power plant, and Lisa tells him that Fred killed 20 kids. Lisa is hoping that Jesse can establish some sort of psychic link by being there.

But Jesse doesn’t “feel anything.” At least not until he sees an old burned, rusted, metal cabinet. He opens it up, and… there’s a rat living in it. Fake scare!

Back at Jesse’s house, the wood stove fires up again. A point-of-view shot floats from the basement up to little sis’s room. Freddy’s voice says, “Wake up, little girl.”

Jesse is standing over the bed. He tells her to go back to sleep. He goes to pull up the covers, and he’s wearing the Freddy glove again.

Jesse takes more anti-sleep pills, washing them down with a can of Coke.

The next morning, Jesse, who looks pretty drawn out, has some coffee and chats with his family at breakfast. His mom says he’s “looking better.”

While driving to school, Lisa tries to get Jesse to open up about his problem. But Jesse isn’t all that in touch with his feelings.

At lunch, Jesse manages to be all snappy and mean to his few friends. Including Grady.

Then it’s POOL PARTY TIME! At Lisa’s house. Dad is grilling, mom is chaperoning. Mom realizes dad is making the party lame, so she tells dad it’s “time for bed.” She’s kind of meaningful about it, if you catch my drift.

I think, if I were Lisa, I’d be kind of torn about the whole thing. The party is going to get better, but now she has to think about what her mom and dad are doing. During her party.

Jesse sneaks off to the changing room, and Lisa follows him in. She’s still trying to get him to talk about his feelings. Which is sweet and all, but really. We’ve been over this. And it’s kind of dull.

And there isn’t exactly a lot Lisa can do for him, outside of telling him to look into professional help.

Lisa says they’ll stay up all night. She’s not going to let anything happen to Jesse. Then she kisses him. So I guess she has some plans about how to keep awake all night. More kissing happens.

Upstairs, mom and dad drink some booze and turn out the light.

At which point, the kids turn on the crazy-loud music and bring out the beer. Mom and dad comment about how it’s kind of noisy, but, you know. Hey. They’re kids.

In the changing room, more fooling around happens, and then Jesse sprouts an eight-inch long tongue. He freaks. Lisa doesn’t see it, as it pops back into Jesse’s mouth at the last second.

Jesse clambers off of Lisa, puts his shoes on, and leaves. He doesn’t say anything. So she doesn’t see his freaky tongue, I’m thinking.

One cut later, and Jesse is about a foot from Grady’s face. Grady is lying in bed. Yes, that’s correct, Jesse actually broke into the dude’s house, and then the dude’s room, and got a foot away from him before alerting Grady to his presence.

He tells Grady he wants to stay the night. He goes on to say he killed the gym teacher, and snuck into his sister’s room at night, and that something almost happened with Lisa. But he’s super-vague about the whole thing.

Grady says, basically, “You had some bad dreams. And you should be with Lisa, not with me.”

I’m not going to say that “With” has a double meaning here, only because the movie kind of does that without any help from me. I’m kind of confused about the exact nature of Jesse’s problems, if you understand me. And I suspect you do.

Back at the party, Lisa tells her friend Kerry that she really wants to go help Jesse, but she can’t leave her own party. Kerry says, hey, no, you actually CAN leave your own party. So Lisa gets ready to leave the party.

Back in Grady’s room, Jesse is asleep, and Grady is trying to find something to watch on TV. But he can’t really find anything. So he opts to go to sleep, despite explicit instructions from Jesse.

Jesse “wakes up,” only of course he’s gotta be dreaming. He tells Grady it’s “starting to happen again.”

Grady wakes up, and asks what’s happening.

Knives sprout from Jesse’s fingers, and his arm starts to decay. He screams, and there’s an eye in his mouth. Freddy’s face pushes its way out of Jesse’s chest.

Grady, meanwhile, discovers that his door is locked, and he pounds on the door, telling his parents to open it.

After a few minutes, Grady’s parents go to Grady’s door, and pound on it, demanding to be let in.

Freddy grabs Grady by the neck and lifts him up.

Outside the door, Grady’s parents just keep on pounding. Freddy’s claws slash through the door, and blood appears in the slits. Freddy has just stabbed Grady with his claws.

I must clarify: From this point on, Freddy never again wears a glove. His knives now sprout from his actual fingers. I’d consider discussing the science of all this, but, well… it’s all a dream, right?

Except, at this point, it clearly isn’t a dream in any way, shape, or form. At this juncture, Freddy is in possession of Jesse. Otherwise, Glen would be alive. The rules of the first movie were, “You fall asleep, Freddy kills you.”

Whereas here, it’s, “Jesse falls asleep, and Freddy takes him over and kills other people.”

Which doesn’t make a lick of sense. But I guess when you want to get your part 2 out a year after part 1 hits the big screen, you shoot first and ask questions later. Much later. About 25 years later, in this case.

But where were we? Oh yes.

Inside the room, Grady dies.

Jesse stands in the room, looking into a mirror. Freddy is there, as his “reflection.” Jesse is once again wearing the Freddy glove. Jesse accuses Freddy of killing Grady. He throws the glove and smashes the mirror, but it doesn’t make Freddy vanish.

Outside, Jesse can hear sirens. So he gets ready to jump out the window.

A few minutes later, Jesse is at Lisa’s house again. He’s covered in blood. He confesses to killing both Grady and the gym teacher. Jesse says that Freddy is inside him.

Lisa says, “This is not happening,” and tries to explain it away. Badly. Jesse gets angry at Lisa, making her look at, you know, the blood that’s on his hands at this very second. Which Lisa is ignoring.

Outside, things are heating up. The hot dogs on the grill overheat and explode. As does the beer.

Inside the house, Lisa reads from Nancy’s diary again. Something about how, “Our screams were all he needed.” She tells Jesse that Jesse can fight Freddy. “You created him, you can destroy him!”

She tells Jesse that Freddy is living off of his fear. Jesse starts to freak out, and yell things like, “He’s coming!”

Around the house, locks start to lock. The fish tank explodes. Light on wires outside blow up.

Lisa looks around, and Jesse is gone. She tells Jesse to fight, and Freddy says, “He can’t fight me. I’m him.”

What do you know? There’s Freddy. Right where Jason was a moment ago. Despite the fact that Jesse isn’t asleep. Forget the fact that the word “Revenge” doesn’t make any sense in this flick. The word “Nightmare” is pretty much right out the window as well.

I mean, come on now. The rules are supposed to be, someone falls asleep, Freddy attacks the sleeping person. Not, “Freddy can sometimes take over people’s bodies for periods of time as the story deems necessary.”

No matter. Freddy attacks Lisa.

Lisa fights back, and runs for another exit door. The door is locked. Aren’t they always? She bumps into Freddy. They tussle. He bites her ankle. She kicks him.

Outside, the pool is boiling.

Inside, Freddy breaks a plate to show that he’s, like, angry and stuff.

Lisa picks up a butcher knife and calls out to Jesse.

Freddy says, “I’m Jesse now.”

Freddy’s mouth, with Jesse’s voice, asks Lisa to kill him.

So Lisa stabs Freddy a little. Not much. She calls out to Jesse again, and his voice says, “I love you, Lisa.”

Then Freddy jumps out the glass-paneled doors, smashing them, and vanishing into thin air.

Outside, partygoers try to figure out what just happened, with no success. And then Freddy jumps up out of… the ground? I can’t tell. It looks like he broke through the cement blocks that surround the pool, but they look more like wood panels. Which might just be bad special effects work.

Freddy looks around, in a sort of menacing way, and partygoers try to run away. Only now the pool is on fire, and parts of the fence appear to be electrified.

Freddy stabs a few people, and at least one is trampled. Finally, all the partygoers are standing in a big group, and one of them tries to calm Freddy down, saying things like, “We’re not going to hurt you.”

Which is really stupid, but you knew that.

Freddy kills the dude, looks menacing for a moment, then says, “You are all my children now.”

At that moment, Lisa’s dad comes running out with a loaded shotgun. He fires, and misses. Strangely, all the people still alive at the party don’t hit the ground in an effort to avoid being shot.

Lisa and Lisa’s mom come running up, and Lisa pushes on the shotgun so that dad’s second shot goes into the ground.

Freddy looks at Lisa and her family for a long moment, then starts walking towards all the remaining party members. They part like the Red Sea, and just as Freddy reaches the wooden fence he bursts into flames, vanishing.

Lisa runs back towards the house, and a short while later, she’s driving Jesse’s car. To the abandoned electric plant. Which has several lights on, despite the fact that it’s “abandoned.” But whatever.

Lisa walks into the plant, and two dogs with “human” faces (actually, REALLY poorly made masks) freak her out, but don’t attack.

Inside the plant, Lisa walks around. And walks around. And walks around. I mean, granted, good location, nice production value, but we’re pretty close to the end of the movie, so it would be nice is they picked up the pace a bit.

Lisa stops, and reaches down, and pulls off the cloth she tied around the bite Freddy took out of her ankle. There are ants there. She makes sad mewling noises and tries to brush them off. Suddenly, she “comes to,” and the bandage is back over her ankle.

Lisa climbs a bunch of stairs, until she sees the rat. She freaks. A cat kills the rat. The cat seems to have Freddy teeth.

Lisa runs. She falls. She stands up. Freddy is there. He slashes at her, but misses. She runs.

She keeps insisting that Jesse is “in” Freddy, and that she loves him. She says things like, “I love you, Jesse. Come back to me.” She pulls off Freddy’s hat, and kisses Freddy.

Freddy pushes her away. This is clearly freaking him out.

The railing around Freddy starts on fire. Freddy starts to burn, but instead of doing something about it, he sits there while his face melts.

Lisa observes all of this from a few feet away while she sits and cries.

Eventually, all that’s left is a soot-covered body. It rolls over. And sits up. And pulls off its charred face and clothing.

And there’s Jesse. Lisa, crying, moves over to him. She embraces him. Fade out.

Fade in. A school bus arrives. Jesse comes out of his house. He’s all happy. He gets on the bus.

Lisa is there. As is Lisa’s friend, Kerry. Jesse says he’s just happy it’s all over, while the friend says, “That was a really great party.”

Uh. People died, lady. At least three that I saw. What’s wrong with you?

The bus hits a big bump. Jesse says he thinks that the bus is going too fast. He stands up and demands that the driver stop.

The driver does stop, to pick up another passenger. Jesse apologizes.

Lisa says, it’s okay. “It’s all over.” Then Freddy’s hand bursts out of Kerry’s chest, and the bus drives into the scrub, exactly the same way it did at the start of the movie.

Oh. Kay. Um, if anyone wants to tell me what just happened there, I’d be obliged.

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