Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

Ostensibly about the progression of “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” from a dead-on-arrival dud to its post-mortem reinterpretation as a bold confrontation of the psychological effects of homophobia, “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street” is primarily interested in “Nightmare 2” lead star Mark Patton, who left a promising career following the public’s rejection and Hollywood’s vicious homophobia to start over in Mexico. Patton himself is a charming, articulate screen presence who brings layered retroactive insight to the acting career he once pursued that ends up doubling as a history lesson about Hollywood’s aggressive homophobia during the 1980s as a result of the AIDS crisis, and it’s clear that the experience has left deep psychological scars on him. Patton’s personal journey is central to the fabric of the movie, which leads to several uncomfortable moments including a late scene where Patton confronts “Nightmare 2” screenwriter David Chaskin (rather unfairly, in my opinion), and it adds an electrifying edge that’s unexpectedly poignant and often heartbreaking. Overall, if you’re looking for a fan-service puff-piece you’ll likely to be unsatisfied, because this is more about the corrosive effect of homophobia but is all the more urgent because of it.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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