Movie Review – A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Dream Child

1989 New Line Cinema

Two Stars

The fifth movie in the series is a bit of a mixed bag. A direct sequel to the fourth movie Lisa Wilcox returns as Alice and Danny Hassel returns as Dan. Seems Alice and Dan hit it off nicely and are happy to be graduating high school and preparing for college. Alice is also a little bit pregnant which in a round about way gives Freddy the wacky dream killer a way to reenter the land of living with the help of Alice and his dead mother. Good thing there are so many loopholes for returning from the dead or these movies would be very short.

Right off the bat I liked this movie more than the fourth simply because of the visual style. Unlike the overly bright music video style part five is dark and moody. The lighting director uses a lot of cold shades of blue and keeps the scenery in the shadows.
The gotcha here is of course the story. This movie might look nice but the story is definitely lacking. In this entry Freddy once again takes out Alice’s close friends, this time feeding their souls into her unborn baby. Freddy’s mother tries to put a stop to his reign of terror once again but only if she can be freed from her earthly prison?

The characters are a little better rounded and more likable this time around they are still “defined” too much by one aspect of their character. Instead of three-dimensional characters we get “the swimmer”, “the model”, and “the comic book guy”.  This of course is for Freddy’s benefit only as he must kill them in a manner matching their one obvious personality trait. The deaths are more cleverly staged than the fourth movies somewhat lazy death scenes but are still too gimmicky. Again there is not a clear definition between some of the dreams and reality. It’s like the writers ran out of ideas so they bent the rules too far. The whole car accident dream sequence fixation concerning Dan is strange. It didn’t work that well in part four and doesn’t work here either.

Not much else to say about this one except that it is still somewhat entertaining although it is abundantly clear the series was running out of steam. I do think this entry has been somewhat unfairly criticized. Yes it’s a long way from quality of the first and third movies but in my opinion it’s not the worst of the series. Five Nightmares down and two to go before Freddy would finally say good bye for good. 

The good:

I love the look of this movie.

I’m glad Alice returned once again…and she survives!

Great set design on a budget.

This one too! This looks a little more expensive.

Look a cameo by dark and shadowy Freddy. Nice to see you.

Mark gets chopped up in dreamland…

..and actually has blood on him in the real world . What a concept.

The not so good:

Remember when Freddy just killed people instead of acting like a moron?

Very subtle portrayals of the parents.

No comment.

Super Freddy? Well at least it’s better than sunglasses Freddy but not by much.

Very inconsistent look to the makeup throughout this movie. Stupid expressions by Freddy as well.

Not the souls of the children crap again. Ugh!

Random thoughts and observations:

Nope it’s not Lisa Wilcox.

See I told you.

Who hid the corpse of Freddy’s mother and why?

The blade bends when Freddy rubs it on his nose. Cheap metal I guess (looks like plastic to me).

Special appearance by Aha. “Take me on…”

I kept expecting to see David Bowie in this scene.


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