(out of 5)
You can’t keep a good burn-scarred dreamworld mass murderer down, and our good friend Freddy is proof that where there’s an evil will, there’s a way. Patricia Arquette makes her film debut as a teenager who does her best to stay up late and avoid going to sleep because when she does, she has nightmares of being in a creepy old house populated by an evil man with knives for fingers. Freddy has a bad habit of causing physical harm to the real bodies of his sleeping victims, so when Arquette’s mother witnesses her harming herself with a razor blade, she has her committed to an insane asylum where the young woman finds herself among a group of youngsters suffering the same problems. How lucky for them, then, that Heather Langenkamp, survivor of the first bout of Nightmares, is now grown up and working as a psychiatrist intern. Langenkamp knows what’s going on with the kids, but only doctor Craig Wasson believes her, while tough therapist Priscilla Pointer thinks they all need to toughen up and get over themselves. One by one the bodies pile up as Langenkamp tries to get everyone to enter the same dream together and fight the bad guy while, above ground, Wasson looks for his remains in order to bury him in consecrated earth and be rid of the guy for good. No end of silliness abounds in this second sequel to the hit original, a definite improvement on the previous entry that employs a huge range of creative ways to both present the villain and do away with his victims (the best of them when he appears as a marionette). It’s not certain if the film means for things like spooky nuns or fantasy punk outfits to be funny or not, but the kids are all game for it and their earnestness makes for a good time.
Directed by Chuck Russell
Cinematography by Roy H. Wagner
Produced by Robert Shaye
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Costume Design by Camile Morris