Nightmare on Elm Street 2, A: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

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Released 6-Oct-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Menu Animation & Audio
Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Train
Featurette-Heroes And Villains
Featurette-Freddy On 8th Street
Featurette-The Male Witch
Featurette-Psycho Sexual Circus
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 81:56
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jack Sholder
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Mark Patton
Kim Myers
Robert Rusler
Clu Gulager
Hope Lange
Marshall Bell
Melinda O. Fee
Tom McFadden
Sydney Walsh
Robert Englund
Edward Blackoff
Christie Clark
Lyman Ward
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Christopher Young


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was prompted by the success of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Wes Craven, the creator of the original, was not involved in this sequel in any way and it’s widely regarded as one of the lesser films in the franchise.

    Jesse (Mark Patton) is the new kid in town whose family have just moved into the house that Nancy from the first film previously lived in. Like Nancy, Jesse’s nightmares are being plagued by Freddy Kruegar (Robert Englund). Unlike the original film where Freddy can only get to his victims through their nightmares, he is now able to possess Jesse and use him to kill other victims in real life.

    Thus we get to the thing that really lets this sequel down. It rejects the constructs and rules of the original and creates its own. Furthermore, where the original used atmosphere and psychological suspense, this one relies far more heavily on gore for its cheap thrills. The characters also have far less depth in this film compared to the original and this makes it hard to really care that much about them.

    The fun in this movie comes more from the unintentional. The homoerotic overtones are thick and fast but apparently completely accidental. Just when Jesse is about to get intimate with his girlfriend, he panics and rushes to be with his male buddy. In another scene he ties up his male gym teacher, strips him and then whips him. There are many more examples just like this and watching out for them can be fun.

    Overall, however, this film just didn’t work for me. There were no real thrills or scares and if it were not for the fact that I needed to watch it in order to write this review I doubt I would have sat through it under normal circumstances. I should however point out that while I enjoy a good horror film, I am not necessarily a fan of the genre. Fans of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise may share a different opinion to mine but this film really did nothing for me.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The second film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series sports a sharper image than the original but lacks the general film-like quality of the first.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which matches the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. This DVD is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is reasonably sharp but the fine detail tends to be lost in what I can best describe as digital grain. Shadow detail is only average and I suspect this image may have had the brightness boosted resulting in a brighter overall image. Compare the image in the main film to the trailer provided and you’ll probably see what I mean. It’s impossible to say for sure but I suspect the trailer is more accurate in the way the film was intended to be seen.

    The filmmakers have made extensive use of red as a motif throughout the film and I suspect the colour red has been boosted to emphasis this point. This tends to result in reds being a little oversaturated at times and tends to give flesh tones an overripe appearance.

    The overall image has the appearance of slight overcompression which mostly takes the form of fine digital grain. This was certainly evident on my 90” screen but will be far less of a problem when viewed on a standard size television. Minor edge enhancement was noticed such as on a lamp post at 49:00.

    Only English subtitles are available on the disc. These are white and fairly easy to read. They match the on-screen dialogue quite well but often skip lines that are only one word like “yes” or “no” and I think this may be annoying for the hearing impaired who rely on the subtitles.

    The film is presented on a dual layer disc. Like the first film the actual movie fits entirely onto one layer with the bonus features on the other so there is no layer change to report.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Two English soundtracks are provided; a Dolby Digital 5.1 Soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in its entirety and I sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Both are very good though they tend to show their age a little, having a slightly thin quality.

    Dialogue was mostly easy to understand and audio sync was generally fine although there were a few instances where the sync wasn’t quite perfect, probably due to looping of the dialogue after filming.

    The original music by Christopher Young is effective at creating tension in the film but does sometimes come off a bit clichéd and a tad derivative of past horror film classics such as The Exorcist (Tubular Bells) and Psycho. Interestingly this is the only film in the franchise to not feature Charles Berstein’s original and familiar theme.

    The surround channels are used primarily to convey music and atmosphere, with sound effects and so on still being fairly front oriented.

    For a horror film the subwoofer was not used nearly as aggressively as I would have expected, but nonetheless does add to the tension in a few scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Contrary to the DVD jacket the disc contains a few featurettes as well as the listed theatrical trailer.

Menu

    The menus are 16x9 enhanced, animated with appropriated atmospheric music from the film.

Heroes and Villains (6:25)

    This features various participants in the film discussing their involvement in the production. It opens with New Line Cinema CEO Robert Shayne discussing how with the success of the first film they realised that they may have a usable franchise on their hands. Wes Craven talks about how he was asked to be involved but declined the offer as he didn’t really like the script and felt it veered too far away from what he felt was the essence of the story and the characters. While he is complementary of director Jack Sholder I can’t help but feel Wes was right. Direct Jack Sholder seems pretty defensive of his participation in the film and tries to explain why the film ended up the way it did. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

The Male Witch (2:46)

    This is primarily about the make-up for the Freddy Kruegar character in this film. Make-up artist Kevin Yagher discusses the changes made from the first film including his focus on making Kruegar look more like a male witch. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Freddy on 8th Street (5:29)

    Director Jack Sholder, publicist Jeffrey Wells and actor Robert Englund discuss the marketing of the film. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Psycho Sexual Circus (3:27)

    This short featurette is primarily focused on the homo-erotic overtones of the film. Production assistant Rachel Talalay talks about how it was a mistake to not have a female lead while director Jack Sholder discusses the feminine qualities of lead actor Mark Patton. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Original Trailer (1:20)

    This trailer is somewhat dated by today’s standards but is otherwise a fairy standard trailer. The trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Nightmare on Elm Street films are available on individual barebone Region 1 DVDs featuring only the films or they are available as part of an 8 disc box set featuring the 7 movies and an 8th disc titled “The Nightmare Series Encyclopedia”. I was unable to find reliable information about the exact contents of this 8th disc but I think it’s a fair assumption that the bonus features on our Region 4 discs are the appropriate material for each film from that DVD. Therefore, if you wish to buy one of the films separately then the Region 4 versions are by far the best choice. If, however, you want to buy the whole series then the 8 disc Box Set from Region 1 is the only way to go.

Summary

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is widely regarded as one of the lesser films in the series and it certainly did very little for me. The video and audio transfers are reasonable and the extras package is quite good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Gauntlett (read my bio if you're bored.)
Monday, November 28, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS575-S Progressive Scan, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE900E HD LCD Projector onto 90" 16x9 Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

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Buy the R1s - UberAspie