A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989)
A Very Bad Dream
Told you comic books was bad for ya! - Freddy Krueger
The first 4 "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies were a rollercoaster which went good, bad, good and then bad again so theoretically the 5th movie "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" should once more be good. Unfortunately theory is wrong because "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" is bad and rather dull with little of it being that good. It does follow on from the previous movies with the survivor of the last movie returning to find Freddy up to his old tricks again having found a new way of plaguing people's lives but beyond that there is nothing about "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" which is really that good.
Having survived the murderous ways of Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) once again Alice (Lisa Wilcox) finds that he is back again and again after her and her friends. But this time Freddy has another way of getting at her and that is through the dreams of the unborn child she is carrying. As Freddy starts picking off her friends she tries to free the spirit of his dead mother in the hope that she can be the one who can stop Freddy's campaign of terror.
So as already mentioned "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" manages to be a continuation of the legend with Alice still being plagued by Freddy which also means that her friends are also plagued by the knife fingered nightmare. To try and make it a bit different we learn that Alice is pregnant and so Freddy manages to terrorize people by materializing through the foetus's dreams. And to add to that and try and give a bit of substance we get a bit of Freddy history where we discover who his mother was and how comes she ends up giving birth to the future nightmare stalker. It's then a shame really that none of this is that interesting and "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" ends up a movie which feeds on visuals rather than an interesting storyline which could have effectively built upon the legend.
Ignoring the disappointing story and "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" becomes all about the special effects be it the various incarnations of Freddy in different guises or the way he draws people into his nightmare world. Now on a visual level it is impressive and there are many nice touches such as the way the cartoonist friend, I forgot his name because he's uninteresting, gets drawn into Freddy's world via his drawings, very much in the style of Aha's "Take on Me" music video. And a scene where Freddy ends up as a waiter at a dinner party is also a treat for the eyes. But scene after scene of great visuals don't make up for what ends up a pointless storyline.
Harking back to the deficient storyline it has to be said that whilst pointless and expectedly daft the various scenes surrounding Freddy's mum are quite good. When we first meet her at what is a mental institution where she works it is quite disturbing and whilst we don't see much the implied horror of what happens works a treat. It's just a shame that the decent level of implied horror doesn't continue through out. And to be honest I found "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" one of the least scary movies in the franchise.
As for the acting well you don't expect great things and you don't get great things either. Lisa Wilcox leads the movie as Alex and does okay as does Kelly Jo Minter as her friend Yvonne but they're not memorable performances. And whilst the level of horror wasn't frightening Robert Englund seems to be having more fun as Freddy with more scenes which allow him to explore what is almost comedy horror such as the dining room scene. But none of it is great and like the movie is instantly forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" is sadly another disappointing movie in "The Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise and other than featuring plenty of nice special effects and visuals doesn't really deliver what other "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies have. It most certainly isn't very scary and in fact is more daft than anything else although learning a bit more about Freddy's murky past makes it a little bit interesting and I do mean just a little bit.
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