A Nightmare On Elm St. 4: The Dream Master 1988 – Review

PLOT Once again Freddy returns to torment young teens in their dreams! That's right... Freddy is back! And he plans to pick up where he left off. His goal is to gain the souls of the last of the Elm St. children. Kristen also returns, along with her ability to bring others into her dreams. By now she has learned how to use her gift fairly well. She ends up passing her gift to Alice once she realizes her own demise is inevitable. Alice also has a secret...can her secret help her defeat Freddy? REVIEW A Nightmare on Elm St. 4: The Dream Master was released…

Review Overview

Acting
Visuals / Camera
Sound
Story
Pacing / Editing
Characters
Entertainment Value / X-Factor
Mood / Atmosphere

I am The Dream Master!

Once again, same formula here. Freddy Krueger torments teenagers in their nightmares. This is the last of the Elm St. children. Can Alice defeat Freddy?

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PLOT

Once again Freddy returns to torment young teens in their dreams! That’s right… Freddy is back! And he plans to pick up where he left off. His goal is to gain the souls of the last of the Elm St. children. Kristen also returns, along with her ability to bring others into her dreams. By now she has learned how to use her gift fairly well. She ends up passing her gift to Alice once she realizes her own demise is inevitable.

Alice also has a secret…can her secret help her defeat Freddy?

REVIEW

A Nightmare on Elm St. 4: The Dream Master was released August 19, 1988. It was directed by Renny Harlin and Produced by Robert Shaye and Rachel Talalay. Starring Robert Englund who continues to reprise his role as the razor gloved nightmare maniac known as Freddy Krueger.

Kristen Parker, now played by Tuesday Knight along with her two friends Joey and Kincaid have all been released from the institution and have been trying to carry on normal lives as teenagers going to high school and doing what makes teens “teens”. But soon Kristen starts to feel a very familiar eerily sense that Freddy is coming back soon. And of course no one believes her. She can’t tell her new friends of her troubles, at least yet anyway. But as luck would have it, Kincaid wakes up one night to find himself locked in the trunk of an old car in the very same junkyard Freddy was previously buried in the last film.

Starting to sense Kristen may in fact be right about Freddy’s imminent return, Kincaid starts to panic. He spots his dog acting freakishly weird digging and sniffing around the area Freddy was buried. The dog takes a hot piss, literally. The ground starts to quake and open up.

Freddy’s bones start reconstructing themselves, complete with burnt flesh and all! POOF! Freddy’s indeed back! Kincaid meets his demise as well as Joey that night. Joey is once again tricked into believing a beautiful woman wants to seduce him, this time inside his water bed. Freddy bursts thru killing Joey. The next day at school, Kristen realizes that the two must be dead when she sees their seats are empty in class. She freaks and decides she has no choice but to confide in her new friends. But they don’t believe her until it’s to late. Kristen eventually meets her demise, but not before she is able to gift Alice with her ability to bring others into her dreams.

After every death that takes place Alice receives her friends strongest ability. But Freddy gets their souls. Alice is determined to take Freddy down and set all the souls free that Freddy has held captive for so long. During the battle between the two, it looks as if Freddy is going to put an end to Alice. But then Alice quickly remembers the rest of the Dream Master nursery rhyme that her mother taught her when she was a little girl. As she repeats the lines of the Dream Master rhyme, she grabs a piece of reflective debris and Freddy see’s his reflection! It is at this time that all the souls start to turn on Freddy and begin to release themselves from this evil monster that has held them all captive for so long. Freddy can no longer hold them and use them to be powerful. Once all are released, Freddy goes down like one of his own helpless victims. Freddy has been defeated by Alice and the power of the Dream Master!

Is he gone forever? Not hardly, it’s Freddy Krueger!

Nightmare on Elm St. 4: The Dream Master was supposedly the second highest grossing Elm St. movie other then Freddy Vs. Jason. Nightmare on Elm St. 4 was quite different from what we are used to with the other Elm St. movies. Which that could be why this movie gained so many mixed reviews. Nightmare 4 is most notable for when Freddy decides to take on a new role as stand up comic/crazed killer. I never could get used to that whole new wise crackin Freddy. Sure he came off with some funny shit. But most fans of the original appreciated and preferred the dark, scary, mostly silent Freddy Krueger, If we wanted comedy, we would turn on the comedy channel. So the funny Freddy never appealed to me much. That was one of the biggest reasons why I lost enthusiasm for the franchise.

But don’t get me wrong, I love the movies, just some more then others. And I can completely show respect to Freddy Krueger as one of the most original iconic killers in horror movie history. I just think some people took the franchise down a few wrong paths. The films seemed to rely more on fancy special effects more then anything else after a while. Not that it’s a bad thing. But I always felt there was great potential for the series if it just stayed true to it’s original roots. Anyway, part 4 wasn’t a complete mess. It had it’s moments. We got a new female super hero, Alice! Alice was seen as the new “Nancy” to many.

I thought the soundtrack was pretty good, that is for it’s time. The Fat Boys featured Robert Englund performing “Are you ready for Freddy” and included Freddy rapping. There is even audio of Nancy from the first film saying “don’t fall asleep”. The video is on the 1999 box set bonus DVD. I thought this video also played on the first ever VHS release as well. Vinnie Vincent Invasion performs “Love Kills” on the soundtrack as well. Tuesday Knight sings the song “Running from this Nightmare” that’s played at the start of the film.

But don’t worry, Freddy won’t be gone for long! You can find him in the next sequel!

 

CAST

Tuesday Knight as Kristen Parker
Ken Sagoes as Roland Kincaid
Rodney Eastman as Joey Crusel
Lisa Wilcox as Alice Johnson
Andras Jones as Rick Johnson
Danny Hassel as Dan Jordan
Brooke Theiss as Debbie Stevens
Toy Newkirk as Sheila Kopecky
Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger

 

Lilith’s Tidbits:

Patricia Arquette was unable to reprise her role as Kristen Parker due to the fact that she was pregnant during the filming of the movie.

The Diner that Alice works at in the movie was called the “Crave Inn”, which is a reference to Wes Craven!

A magazine can be seen in Kristen Parker’s room with a picture of Johnny Depp on it.

Tuesday Knight herself, sings the theme song for Nightmare 4.

In Nightmare 4, Rodney and Ken were unable to convey feelings and emotions called for in the script for Tuesday Knight in the heartfelt reunion because she had replaced Patricia Arquette as the original Kristen Parker.

Because of the success of Nightmare 4, producers decided to create “Freddy’s Nightmares” TV Show.

Ellie Cornell, better known for her role in Halloween 4 and 5, auditioned for the part of Alice in Nightmare 4.

 

In Memoriam:

Wes Craven recently passed away due to brain cancer. The shocking News broke just this past Sunday night, August 30, 2015. The Horror Community was shaken to it’s core in disbelief. Many fans took to the internet and social media to express their condolences and sadness of losing such a legend. Many called Wes Craven the Hitchcock of our generation. He will be greatly missed among fans and colleagues.

Always remember…. The House That Freddy Built!

Rest in peace Mr. Craven….

Wes

 

TRAILER:

About Lilith

Hello to all you horror fans out there! I go by the handle "Lilith", I am one of the original reviewers for TalkHorror.com. Since TH is back, I have resumed as part of the TH staff! Really happy to be back, I have missed the place! A bit about me as far as horror goes.... I am known for my old school horror ways. While I try not to be biased towards today's modern horror, sometimes it can come across. But I do try my best to bring honest, open minded opinions and thoughts to the table. One thing you will learn about me is that I am very open minded and strongly opinionated. I also have a very twisted sense of humor that I am known for. My sense of humor doesn't have to many limits. Back to horror... I tend to enjoy horror movies mainly from the 70's and 80's. I feel some of the greatest horror movies came from this time period. I find them to be more scary, creepy and more realistic and believable. Back then people making these movies seemed to take more time, effort and care in their project. Hard work had to be put into the special FX and mostly done manually. Not like today's horror, where CGI is getting overused because it is easier and faster. For me, it takes something away from the movie. I have seen good horror movies with potential become ruined because of to much CGI. I am also not a big fan of remakes and found footage films. I do give them a chance, but the majority seems to fall short. Some start off with some great potential, but then end up losing me by the end of the movie. Very few I end up actually liking. I also am a huge collector of horror movies. I collect rare hard to find OOP VHS movies. I have quite a few rare VHS. I also collect DVDs as well. I do not have a lot of horror memorabilia otherwise, but I do have a few things. Mostly the problem is that I have ran out of room, lol! I have around 1200 horror movies alone, VHS & DVD. That isn't even counting the regular movies I have. So that is about it really, if you have questions for me, just ask! I don't bite! Lilith

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