SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
This is the story of Freddy's Revenge. Or at least, that's the subtitle of the movie. In point of fact, Freddy engages in precisely zero revenge in this entire movie, and I think they just called it that because it's the first sequel. This story is actually a very non-traditional Nightmare on Elm Street, in which Freddy (some dead guy who normally kills people in their dreams) is trying to get into the real world by possessing the body of a teenager who's moved into a house on Elm Street, in which much action from the first movie apparently took place. Claw scraping ensues.
I wanted to dip into the classic serieses this year, which I guess I always shoot for, but this was the only Elm Street movie on Netflix, which is pretty disappointing, as it completely ignores the entire premise of Elm Street. There are definitely some dreams here, including the really cool opening scene of a bus driving right out of town and straight into the underworld, but most of what happens is actually Freddy running around in the real world... I was going to finish that sentence with "chopping people up" but honestly most of what he does is flipping over tables and gesturing angrily. He's really not that threatening (he's actually a skinny guy, not very imposing) other than his completely random magical powers like making everything get hot, or shorting out electrical things, or locking doors with his mind, or walking through hedges (well, we can all do that one, he just can do it without getting stuck). This movie completely disregards the formula of Elm Street, and that's what I had been looking to see, so I was pretty disappointed.
I was also disappointed because it's really dumb. The plot is pretty much nothing (Freddy gradually gets more control, then eventually burns up and re-dies because the kid's girlfriend loves him), and without a comprehensible mythology or set of rules behind it, there's not even anything to think about. You have no idea what will happen from one moment to the next because what can happen is anything. There's no explanation as to how Freddy comes to inhabit this boy's brain, or why he's the target. It just happens. A normal Freddy movie is full of rules, and the goodguys win by taking control of those rules. This is just random nonsense, including exploding parakeets, cheesy lightning, a near-total lack of quips from Freddy, terrible acting (shockingly bad for a big Hollywood movie), and really bad foley work. I don't normally notice foley work at all, but when picking up a claw glove causes loud clanking noises, it stands out.
So in the end, the body count is quite unclear - 2 parakeets, 6 people, and possibly around 6 more killed at the pool party, but it's not made clear. The final score for this embarrassing chapter in Freddy's existence is a dreary 1 out of 5 Dreams of Better Times
For this movie, I was just imagining what life was like before Freddy died. Nothing creepy about a gardener who uses a claw glove to trim the hedges!