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  • Writer's pictureMr. Pat

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Trick-or-treating part two was a rousing success. Lincoln got a whole lot of candy, and compliments. Plus he killed it during a little bean bag throwing game. Then we ended by going to a restaurant. A good time was had by all. I'm ready for the third and final round coming this Monday! But before that, Dear and I watched...

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

I didn't realize this at first when I was watching because I found the fourth movie to be forgettable, but it stars the survivors of part four. But it's not like that movie in the fact that the old heroes aren't introduced and then promptly killed off. Well... not all of them. Alice is actually the star! We follow Alice, her boyfriend Dan, along with newcomers Greta, Mark and Yvonne. They're actually a fun bunch but as you know, they're not long for this world. We later learn that Alice is pregnant and Freddy is using the baby's dreams as a way to use his powers while people are still awake.

It's actually a really interesting premise. At one point Yvonne says something to the effect that babies are dreaming 70% of the time. In the series, you know you're at least safe if you're awake. I mean, you have to sleep some time but you know he can't get you if you're not asleep. In this movie bad stuff can start happening to you at any moment. It's a cool idea and there's a lot you can do with it, it just... falls flat. Some of it because the production was rushed, some of it was that it's not that great and some of it can be blamed on our friends at the M.P.A.A. The organization once again forced a whole lot of changes to what sound like really cool death scenes.

In the last one, Alice became the Dreammaster. She was strong, knew karate and some other powers I can't remember. In this one, she never really fights Freddy, mainly runs away from him. She is able to enter dreams but other than that, there's not much connection to number four. One thing I did appreciate was her father grew as a character. In the last one, he was a drunk and an abusive asshole. Here, he's given up drinking and immediately supports his daughter when he finds out she's pregnant.

I mentioned this earlier, but I really did like the supporting cast. They all have their unique personalities, even if they're there just so their death can be "ironic." But still they're an interesting group that's fun to watch. I really liked the comic book nerd, Mark. He had a thing for the out-of-his-league Greta and he's the first to listen to and believe Alice that Freddy is back. His death was also one of the more interesting ones in that it made good use of Freddy's power to control reality.

I've written a few paragraphs and have been thinking about it, but this movie puzzles me. In the first two of this franchise, Freddy is a sinister and less jokey character. In number three it's the perfect balance of the two, while four goes more silly. When we get to five, you'd think he'd be even more wacky, but he's not. He's also not the sinister, evil character from the first two. You get a few jokes and multiple "fitting" deaths but it doesn't feel the same. When reading about the stuff they were forced to cut, and the director's dissatisfaction with the final product, I put that more on the studios and the censors than anyone else.

When we were talking about it later, Dear said it wasn't scary. I know horror is subjective, but she's right. Most of the deaths are relatively quick affairs without much of a cat and mouse game. Plus of the deaths happen relatively quickly. There are two chases that are longer, and they're more cool than anything. I enjoyed "Super Freddy" and the final chase was visually striking because it was like, as Dear pointed out, The Labyrinth with stairs leading to different perspectives that was interesting to look at. We also got to learn a little more about Freddy's family history and it was a nice bit of storytelling bringing his mother back but the movie needed more to save it.

5.5 Dr. Chainsaws!

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