#9 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
Maybe the most controversial film on the top 10 list is the awesome 1985 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. "Controversial" in that many "film buffs", even of the horror genre, have a prejudice against commercialized movies, which is understandable. Devoid of any "art", studios crank out the next formulaic installment ASAP, just to grab moviegoers cash ... A Nightmare on Elm Street has definitely been guilty of that, BUT ... That being said, Freddy's Revenge was the standout exception, best of the bunch, even surpassing the original.
How does it make the top 10?
Freddy Krueger invades teenagers dreams, hacks and slashes them to pieces after teasing them for a bit. *yawn*. "Old hat", you say? Well, beginning with the fact that original creator Wes Craven was NOT the director or principal writer for Freddy's Revenge, it was writer David Chaskin and director Jack Sholder that were able to set it apart from its predecessor by bucking all the traditional trends of horror movies at the time. For starters? The main protagonist was male. You NEVER saw this in horror films. The hero and eventual sole survivor was almost always exclusively female. Next - every Nightmare movie had the stock "Dysfunctional household" i.e. - Clueless, selfish, and/or neglectful parents who refused to listen or be useful in any way. Freddy's Revenge was the opposite. Although butting heads, the kid's parents actually gave a shit about him and actually attempted to help.
In addition to actually taking a lot of time in establishing characters and their relationships, Freddy's Revenge also brought the menace into the "real world". The other Nightmare movies had the terror going on in the teenagers' dreams where nobody else could really see it. This time, the boy was being possessed by, and consequently BECOMING Freddy in the real world - able to attack ANYONE - teen, adult, awake, OR asleep. It was very original compared to the rest.
And lastly? Freddy's Revenge was just downright scary. This movie was BEFORE Freedy had become the playful, pun-spitting, comical, (not scary) Freddy. And it played on real emotional triggers of fear - "an invader in the home, and calling out to your parents to save you"; "trapped on a speeding vehicle with no way to escape", as well classically simple, yet unnerving imagery, i.e. - "the vastness and emptiness of an open space", and the blending of the "human & inhuman" as in the case of the "Freddy Dog".
They really knew what they were doing when they made this movie, and unfortunately, it doesn't receive the credit it deserves for being one of the best horror movies of all-time.
Check back in tomorrow as the countdown continues with #8!!
What, oh what could it be???
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