Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 1985. New Line Cinema, Heron Communications, Smart Egg Pictures, Second Elm Street Venture. Screenplay by David Chaskin, based on characters created by Wes Craven. Cinematography by Jacques Haitkin, Christopher Tufty. Produced by Robert Shaye. Music by Christopher Young. Production Design by Gregg Fonseca. Costume Design by Gail Viola. Film Editing by Bob Brady, Arline Garson. Podcast: Bad Gay Movies.
Budgets low and profits high means there’s a sequel no matter what happened to the bad guy in the last one. This unusual anomaly in the Elm Street series has the only male protagonist of the series being haunted by bad dreams after his family moves into the house formerly occupied by Heather Langenkamp. Mark Patton, in a fully amiable performance, begins to feel that a monster is trying to burst out of him, kept up late with nightmares of a scarred face and knife-bladed hand convincing him to commit gruesome murders, while his girlfriend Kim Myers is concerned about his well-being and believes he is suffering psychosis. It doesn’t take much of a genius to find the intentional homoerotic elements to the story, not to mention the allegory of queer identity breaking out of the homogeneity of suburban middle-class American iconography; the unfortunate part is that it’s poorly directed and never scary, with a plot that breaks its own rules and doesn’t actually hold with the mythology set up in the first (he’s not killing people in their dreams in this one, in fact he’s not even waiting til they fall asleep). Most of it is dull and director Jack Sholder has none of the sense of pace or imagination that Wes Craven contributed the first time around.