A Nightmare On Elm Street part 5: The Dream Child

Dir: Stephen Hopkins, 1989

7/10

The box office receipts came rolling in, so Freddy was churned out once more to murder a bunch of clueless teenagers, only, this time, he’s killing for two.

Alice from the previous entry (Lisa Wilcox) is in a relationship with Dan, also from part 4.

Unawares to her, Alice is pregnant and Freddy (Robert Englund) is using her unborn child to continue his spree of murder.

Don’t ask me how. He just is.

To be honest, I found the film to be incoherent.

I couldn’t understand how he was able to use a foetus to intrude on people’s dreams.

It’s clear, that New Line Cinema were scraping the bottom of the barrel in desperation to keep their number one money spinner going. The studio isn’t called “The House That Freddy Built” for nothing. It’s a cash cow.

However, a special mention must go to the special effects department. Whether it’s a homage to A-ha’s Take On Me or Greta’s gluttonous killing, an impressive array of effects are deployed to wonderment.

The most interesting aspect of the film, is the scenes in the asylum, where Amanda Krueger is attacked by the inmates.

A decaying, rancid place of hell, the set ably shows off the frightening existence of 100 deranged patients, one of which is Englund without the Freddy make up.

The plot is convoluted and not that interesting, with the characters stereotypes of American pupils; ie.annoying and unrealistic.

Becoming self-parodies, the series played up to Freddy’s cult persona, relying more on inventive death sequences and one liners, than a decent plot.

Unfortunately, it often slips into the silly side of things and is, unintentionally funny.

An example of this is Freddy skateboarding with his skateboard having blades on the end, representing his gloves.

In the same sequence, our favourite bogeyman moulds into a comic book villain, complete with cape and built up chest.

This kind of goofiness takes you out of the film and makes an already unbelievable situation worse.

It’s a pity that the series took this route as there was still potential, plainly evident in this one.

Hopkins shows an ability to portray nightmares, with sets inspired by Escher, giving that creepy terror.

Working with what he’s got, Hopkins does admirable. The story lets everything down.

Like the very first film, this ran into trouble with the US censors. A few seconds was trimmed out of Dan’s dream sequence, where the cables of the motorbike penetrate his hands and legs. The uncut version was released in the rest of the world, including the UK.

Again, like the original, all worldwide DVD pressings were struck from the censored US print, so the only available version, whether DVD or Blu Ray, is the cut one. The UK VHS was also uncut.

All in all, it’s an okay watch with periods of enjoyment. Don’t expect too much and it’ll pass your time.

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