A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hello horror lovers, it’s Slick Dungeon here. I’m back again to review another of the Freddy films with A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. This review may contain spoilers so if you haven’t seen it, put your kids to bed, watch the movie and come on back here for the review.

For a series of films with five installments, the Nightmare movies have done a pretty good line of keep a consistent story. The only real miss with that was the second film but so far each movie has done something to build on the legend of Freddy Krueger.

Robert Englund is back again as the man in the worst of your dreams. We also pick up the story with Alice who survived the fourth film. She is able to tell Freddy is back but this time something is different. This time, he’s been killing her friends while she is awake.

Once again, no one believes the main character when they say Freddy is real and he’s coming to kill everyone, even after teenagers start dying rapidly in town. Alice still has her boyfriend Dan and even though he survived the events of the last movie, he still isn’t sure if Freddy is back.

Of course, we all know Freddy is back and we see him wade through nightmares and kill people who are unlucky enough to fall asleep when he can get to them.

The story of this movie gets a bit weird and wonky, which is why I can’t really give it more than three stars. On the plus side, it really goes into the origins of Freddy and his mother. On the minus side it still uses the whole, “lunatics in the asylum” trope and not very well either. Also, some of the effects probably looked great when it came out but now just seem like overkill. It sort of becomes too grotesque to be truly scary and you find yourself thinking, how long did they spend making it look like that, rather than just being frightened of what is on the screen.

The first film is so scary because while Freddy does kill you in your dreams, it sort of feels like all the dreams begin plausibly in reality and become horrors unexpectedly. This one feels more like when you walk through a Haunted House at a carnival or something. You know there will be things in there that are scary, you know they will be frightening to look at or might make you jump, but you also know it’s fake and just think about the production more than the story.

Even the tone of the background is darker, which oddly, makes it feel less real. While they definitely pull off some impressive makeup, the acting is fine, and they further the story, it just doesn’t quite work. I don’t think it is the worst of the Nightmare series but it’s far from the best one.

In addition, the characters other than Alice, Dan, and Alice’s father all just feel like tacked on friends you have to have in the movie just so someone can die.

The dream child itself is kind of an interesting idea but it just doesn’t quite work. Basically, the reason Freddy can kill while Alice is awake is because Alice is pregnant with Dan’s child. While the baby dreams, Freddy has an entry point into nightmares.

In the first movie, Freddy didn’t exactly need permission to invade anyone’s dreams so I’m really not sure why he has to have Alice as a connection but that’s still consistent from the last movie so I can’t fault it too much.

While a lot of this is sort of peak Freddy it’s just not the scariest Freddy so it’s not the best one. Still, if you want to know what happens in the series and why Freddy is able to come back, and theoretically how to stop him (but we know that’s only temporary) then this movie does deliver all of that.

We’re getting toward the end of the main line of these movies but I will be reviewing most of the reboots and spinoff movies as well so stay tuned for that.

Do you have a favorite Freddy movie? So far, I think the best one remains the first one. Let me know in the comments if you do.

Nightmarishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

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