A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) - IMDb

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master isn’t nearly as good as I remembered it. I found it to be kind of shallow, a style over substance affair that really stands out from rest of the series so far. There are amazing visuals in the movie, especially in the climax. Outside of that there really isn’t much to the movie, it from what I remember starts the downfall of the franchise.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master was directed by Renny Harlin. It was written by Brian Helgeland, Ken and Jim Wheats, with story by William Kotzwinkle and Brian Helgeland. It stars Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Tuesday Knight, Ken Sagoes, Rodney Eastman, and Danny Hassel. Robert Englund is still having a lot of fun in The Dream Warriors. He even gets to play the school nurse outside of the Freddy makeup.

Alice isn’t really much of a character. I mean she becomes more rounded as her friends die and she gains traits from them. Kristen isn’t really written like she had faced Freddy and become a stronger person because of it. She’s written like someone that didn’t experience any growth and still relies on her two male friends for strength. Both of the leads aren’t really written well, but Alice is kind of supposed to be that way from what I can tell. That being said all the characters are one note.

The plot of The Dream Warriors starts out with Kristen pulling Kincaid and Joey in her dream because she is afraid the Freddy is back. Kristen has a boyfriend and a whole group of friends that she hangs out with at school while mostly isolated from Kincaid and Joey. The next night Freddy is resurrected and kills Kincaid and Joey. Kristen feels guilty and tries to tell her new friend group about Freddy, though they don’t really believe her. That night Kristen pulls Alice, one of her new friends and her boyfriend’s sister, into her dream and gives Alice her dream powers. This leads to Alice accidentally using the powers to pull her friends into her dreams which leads to Freddy killing her friends. Alice does come together with her crush Dan through the deaths of her brother and friends. Before her final face off against Freddy, Alice suits up with bits from everyone that she’s lost. The ending is kind of goofy with Freddy being defeated by looking at his own reflection. Alice and Dan are make a wish at a fountain as the movie ends. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it even if this wasn’t the best synopsis.

The special effects are amazing in The Dream Master. All of the practical effects look pretty gnarly. The Debbie turning into a cockroach is just so hard to watch even now. I’m almost certain that Screaming Mad George is behind that specific effect. All of the effects are amazing though. Craig Safan did the music for the movie. The score is pretty okay, the Asian tinged version of the main theme is pretty interesting.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is an incredibly flawed movie. The pace and characters are not that great, but the effects are pretty amazing. It’s a fun watch, so at least it isn’t boring. I would give The Dream Master five Freddy gloves out of ten.

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