This was a step in the right direction, getting Wes Craven back on board on script and story duty and a fresh new Director, Chuck Russell who brings enthusiasm and brightness to the franchise. We’ve also got some of the cast from the first film and a medley of cracking actors to boot!
Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) is back, all grown up (with a cool white streak in her hair) after studying dream psychology. Krueger is back too, in what seems to be his master stroke to finish off the kids from Elm Street who have all been having bad dreams, to the extremity that they are now in a special hospital, creating a club or team of Dream Warriors. Nancy is here to guide the youths in a mission to destroy Fred once and for all. Meanwhile, Nancy’s dad (John Saxon) digs out the old stashed bones of Krueger from the trunk of a car on a crushing site with some dramatic Harryhausen results.
This is a true sequel to the fine first movie. It’s well shot with an interesting plot. It’s dream world enhancements to the story are huge with most of the film set within the dream realm, Nancy coaching the youths in tricks to control their thoughts within the dream space. All interesting stuff. A great cast too. Patricia Arquette is brilliant here, (as always) Larry Fishburne is always cool on the screen too, but it’s great to see a return of Langenkamp who knocks out a brilliant performance.
What really makes this film though is the inventiveness and extremes that the plotline can take the viewer with some crazy masterful ways to die by the hand of Fred Krueger, and this is what makes him such a horror legend. No other slasher villain can rip out the veins from a teen’s arms and legs and dance them like a puppet. Great effects too, care of Shoshtrom and Yagher who provide plenty of comic fantastical gore. And of cause, Rob Englund has perfected the role with this film, mixing what he learned from the first two and creating a nasty, yet witty child murderer. Great visuals early on also, reinforcing and taking us back to the roots that Fred is actually a ‘child’ murder and not a ‘teen’ murderer which was kind of forgotten in the second outing.
Finally. Angelo Badalamenti brings the whole piece together with a terrific score, complimenting Bernstein’s original Krueger theme tune.