Hello horror lovers, it’s me, Slick Dungeon. It’s still Halloween month so we’re diving into more spooky films. This time I am reviewing the fourth film in the Freddy franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. There will be some spoilers for the movie below so if you haven’t seen it yet, give it a watch, realize you don’t want to go to sleep, and come back here to read the review.
This film picks up some time after the events of the third film in the series. Three of the teenagers who survived the last film are back. However, the role of Kristin Parker is now played by Tuesday Knight instead of Patricia Arquette.
Things have been relatively normal in the little town where Elm street is. It seems Freddy was defeated, but Kristin still sometimes has bad dreams, and still can pull in the other dream warriors Joey and Kincaid. We’re also introduced to Kristin’s best friend, Alice who will become central to the film.
Kristin is convinced Freddy is not gone. Her dreams get worse and whether she wants to or not, she keeps bringing her friends into her dreams. This allows Freddy access to the teenagers. One by one he visits their dreams. And one by one they start dying in reality.
Joey dies in an interesting call back to the way Glen died in the first movie and Kincaid does not survive his confrontation with Freddy. Kristin does realize their deaths are at least partly her fault since she brought them into her dream. And she knows Freddy is coming for her.
Kristin is also dating Alice’s brother Rick. While Alice and Rick have a hard time believing Kristin, they can’t deny the sudden deaths of their friends. One night, Kristin brings Alice into her dream and this is the link Freddy needs.
He is able to kill Kristin but Kristin transfers her dream powers to Alice before she dies. Alice, who is known to daydream a lot has a pretty deep understanding of dreams and catches on to the fact she is in danger pretty quickly. Rick still has a hard time believing her but he knows there is something going on.
Alice’s friends start dying, both at night and whenever they fall asleep in class. I will say, Freddy is responsible for all of the deaths, but I’ve noticed that in all of these movies, at least one horrible nightmare happens in class while a teacher is delivering a boring lecture. Maybe the poor school curriculum is partially to blame?
The rest of the movie is pretty much Freddy trying to get Alice to bring her friends into her dreams so he can kill them and Alice trying to stop Freddy. We don’t get a ton more background on Freddy other than him saying they shouldn’t have buried him.
While the acting is pretty good in this one, it is hard to get over the fact Kristin is not played by the same person. Knight does a fine job but it just doesn’t feel quite right.
The soundtrack is solidly stuck in the 1980’s and makes no apologies for it. It feels very much like a music video of the time, albeit a little smarter than most of those were.
There is also a heavy dose of body horror, even more so than in the last three films. Robert Englund still delivers as a terrifying, yet humorous presence.
In the end, as always, it seems Freddy has been defeated. There are no more children connected to what happened to Freddy, although the parents are still alive in many cases. I’m not sure why Freddy wouldn’t also go after them but he did always have a preference for killing children so it makes sense in that regard.
This is not a bad follow up and it is worth watching. But so far, none of the sequels can quite top the terror of the first film.