1989; Rated R; 86 Minutes
Erika Anderson: Greta
Valerie Armstrong: Mrs. Jordan
Michael Ashton: Gurney Orderly
Beatrice Boepple: Amanda
Matt Borlenghi: Jock
Noble Craig: Merging Freddy
Beth DePatie: Anne
Produced by Rupert
Harvey, Sara Risher and Robert Shaye; Directed by
Stephen Hopkins; Screenwritten by Leslie Bohem, John
Skipp, Craig Spector and David Spector
by DAVID KEYES
is terribly wrong here.
movies aren't supposed to be funny. They're supposed to
be frightening, intense, creepy, realistic--whatever it
attempts to inflict, that's supposed to be the internal
the moment when a horror movie turns out to be funny without
even trying, something has to be seriously wrong. With the
case that is "A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Dream Child,"
I laughed my head off so hard that I could scarcely stop
in attempt to write this review.
is a first, even for a popular franchise like "A Nightmare
On Elm Street." I presume this happened purely by accident,
though--judging from the movie's cumulative story, you can
tell the screenwriters tried desperately hard to deliver
some shocks in this movie. In attempting to do so, however,
they produced disorganized mixtures of story, characters,
plot twists, and horror elements. The blended result emerges
"The Dream Child" one of the most incompetent horror movies
ever seen by human eyes.
I gather you can call this a downright shame. The original
"Elm Street" film was one of the most effective ever, while
it's sequels had their qualities. In the fourth chapter,
Hollywood proved that sequels can go too far, and now, part
five destroys our faith. No longer are we subject to the
fright and surreal tendencies brought on by Fred Krueger;
now, we are appalled by his clumsy routines to the point
where hysterical laughter breaks the silence. In between
some of these clumsy sequences are story directions and
characters just as bad as the rest of the movie. They are,
in their own little ways, dead pieces of a film that should
be burned along with every other copy of this movie.
story sounds intriguing, but without proper development,
it's completely useless. It's about (once again) Freddy's
spiritual opposite, 'The Dream Master.' Only this time,
she's pregnant, and she fears that Krueger might come looking
for her again.
a few mysterious deaths, wouldn't you know it? Freddy's
back! And this time, he's haunting the 'Dream Master' outside
of her dreams.
is a situation beyond description, but later in the film,
we learn how it is possible. Since she is, after all, pregnant,
the child has dreams on its own, and thus, Krueger pulls
the child's mother into his dreams while she is still in
a conscious state.
are other pieces and tidbits of information that fit in
different places of the movie, but instead of following
a linear, understandable routine, the script staggers these
things throughout the movie. It's like a puzzle you have
to put together, and at the end, pieces are missing.
did I mention Krueger? The man is pathetic here; instead
of being shrouded in the typical darkness and mocking laughter
from the original film, he now has light relief and comical
laughter. The light reveals his facial structure very graphically,
but everything on his face is thrown together so ineptly
by the makeup artists that he looks like his head got caught
in a meat grinder.
his brain went with it as well. Aside from the backdrop
of his persona, this guy attempts to offer relief in the
movie by shouting one-liners and stupid jokes that make
Jim Carrey's acts look almost respectable. There was apparently
an intention to add humor into Freddy's character, but it
just doesn't work well. All the humor belongs to the clumsy
steps and turns the whole movie takes.
one could have saved this--not even Wes Craven, the creator
of the first. Can you imagine what he thinks of this movie?
Do you think he appreciates the fact that other directors
stretch his franchise beyond the boundaries of film decency?
If I were you, Wes, the next time you decide to make a horror
movie, do the rest of the franchise yourself. Otherwise,
these inexperienced twits will get a hold of your series
and damage it as much as they can.
look at "The Dream Child" and you'll know what I mean.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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