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Movie Review: "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child"
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers.
Is "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" really a sequel to the popular Freddy Krueger franchise or was this more or less intended to be a spoof of it? There is a baby Freddy Krueger who runs around in this movie, for Christ's sake. One thing is for sure, the series is treading on some questionable territory here in 'The Dream Child'.
Let's recap. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" introduced us to the horror icon whom we've all come familiar with. "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" took a plunge by introducing a girlish male hero and there were many homosexual undertones going on all at once. "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors" brought back Nancy, the female protagonist of the original, to help a bunch of teens at a mental hospital whom happen to have special dream powers that could put up a challenge for Freddy.
"A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" was the highest point of the franchise, it concluded the story of the survivors from the previous one while introducing a new female protagonist, Alice, who went from Ms. Innocent to Ms. Kick-Ass when she decided to take a stand after a Freddy murdered all of her friends, it seemed she gave him a good burial too.
Now we come to "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" which picks up sometime after 'The Dream Master' and follows the survivors of that one (Alice and Dan) while introducing a few new characters for Freddy Krueger to kill. There's Greta, a skinny supermodel in training who's mother is obsessed with her weight maintenance; Yvonne, who works at a hospital and specializes in olympics and diving; and Mark, a comic book artist. We're also introduced to Freddy Krueger's mother, Amanda Kruger, who is depicted as a nun whom was locked away in an asylum.
So the plot this time around is that Alice is pregnant with Dan's baby and Freddy Krueger is trying to use their child's dreams to be reborn into the real world. Sounds interesting at first, but the end result is "The Omen" with Freddy Krueger instead of Damien and an over-emphasis on motherhood, pregnancy, and all that jazz. "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" does have some cool special effects but beneath all of that, there's nothing much else. Even the character of Freddy Krueger himself has lost all of the fear and appeal that came with him, now he's just one big joke.
It's a Boy!
The biggest problem with this movie is the plot itself. I don't see why Freddy Krueger would want to come into the real world to kill. Didn't he learn his lesson in the first "A Nightmare on Elm Street" movie when he fell into Nancy's trap towards the end and she brought him into the real world where he discovered he was vulnerable to just about every physical attack?
He's way more powerful in the dream world and he certainly knows this. The whole pregnancy aspect to this movie really just drags it down, turning it into a very awkward Lifetime channel horror movie of sorts, except this one actually has a decent budget. Not only that, but if Freddy's intention is to use Alice's child's nightmares to enter the real world, what exactly does he want with her friends? Why kill them? All he would have to do is focus on the baby anyway, killing Alice's new friends wouldn't have made a difference.
Freddy Krueger Returns
In the scene where Freddy Krueger is brought back in the chapel from 'Part 4: The Dream Master' and he reveals his new plan to Alice, everything that transpired at the end of the previous film is completely ruined. "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" concluded the series pretty neatly. This scene that marks Freddy Krueger's return is nothing more than a lame comeback that destroys the epic awesomeness of Part 4's big finale.
Random Things That Make No Sense
- During Greta's nightmare sequence and death scene, she basically falls asleep at a dinner table of about twenty or so guests, including her mother who is sitting right across from her. In the nightmare, Freddy force-feeds her food until she becomes bloated and starts choking. First and foremost, it would be impossible for Greta to remain asleep at the table for so long as someone would notice and wake her up, her mother especially would notice. Secondly, during the nightmare, Greta stands up from her seat and starts choking in her sleep while she is dreaming. Huh? I don't get it. Is that even possible? And everyone just sits around at the dinner table while she chokes? Someone could have gotten up and performed the heimlich maneuver on her -- There, nightmare solved!
- In a scene towards the end of the movie, Freddy is trying to persuade Alice's child, who is depicted as a young boy at this point, to take his side while Alice is trying to convince him otherwise. This all takes place on a series of separate staircases that are situated at different angles. In other words, they stole the scene from "Labyrinth" where Jennifer Connelly pursues her baby in the same kind of environment.
- All throughout the movie, Amanda keeps speaking to Alice through her dreams, trying to tell her that the only way she can help get rid of Freddy is if she is freed from the tower. So towards the end of the film, Yvonne enters this tower, sees Amanda, touches her shoulder and then she vanishes (i.e. she is now freed and can help kill Freddy Krueger) -- What!? That's all that had to be done to free her? Was the writer high while writing this?
What Should Have Been Done
The only solution to this would have been to axe "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" and move onto the next one. While "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" had its own issues, it's certainly nothing when compared to the likes of "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child".
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