Monday, October 21, 2019

Movie Review: "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" (1989)

Director: Stephen Hopkins
Year: 1989
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Dream master Alice thought she destroyed Freddy Kruger and believed she could keep him at bay for good. When Freddy suddenly returns, even when she's awake, Alice must scramble to figure out how this is possible and must formulate a plan to stop him.

Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) grabs Alice (Lisa Wilcox) so he can torture her in a movie scene for the film A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
"He's really real, isn't he?!" (Image Source)
We thought the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" series would be all downhill after "The Dream Master," but maybe we were wrong. "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" is directed by Stephen Hopkins, who would go on to direct movies like "Predator 2," "The Ghost and the Darkness," and "Race." The screenplay is written by Leslie Bohem, who also wrote the story along with John Skipp and Craig Spector. Some time has passed since Alice (Lisa Wilcox) last faced off against the evil Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund). She thought she had defeated him forever and would be able to keep him at bay since he needs her to dream him back into existence. When Freddy starts reemerging while she is awake, Alice can't figure out how it happened. Now, Alice must figure out how Freddy returned and find a way to conquer him all over again.
"A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" (1988) movie still featuring a gross mutant baby Freddy Kruger coming to life in a church
"He's doing something to my baby, I know it!" (Image Source)
Since the third installment in the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise, each filmmaker has put a lot of effort into creating new, compelling ways for Freddy Kruger to exploit and torment his victims. This sentiment absolutely continues in "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child." Freddy Kruger has always had a playful-and-taunting streak, and in this installment, he really gets to shine in this department. Most of the deaths here are quite creative. Some are downright grotesque, while others are almost whimsical in nature. The fabulous makeup work really helps sell each of these scenes and makes them all the more fun. From the motorcycle sequence to the comic book murder, impressive death scenes like these have never been an issue for this series. The main problem has always been keeping intriguing storylines that aren't just rehashes of what came before. Where "The Dream Master" struggled was in its story, its bland characters, and the dreadful acting. Luckily, Lisa Wilcox's performance this time around is vastly improved. Where Wilcox was entirely monotonic in her delivery in the last movie, here, she actually shows a little emotion and delivers her lines with inflection. Robert Englund is as excellent as always, but that almost goes without saying by this point in the franchise. His stellar performances have turned Freddy into a horror movie icon. As goofy as the narrative can be from time to time, we also found it to be pretty compelling and imaginative. The twist on which character is dreaming and what needs to be done to stop Freddy might be obvious to some viewers, but we found it to be captivating enough to keep us invested from start to finish.
The Dream Child, Jacob (Whit Hertford), is taunted by Freddy Kruger in a movie scene for Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child horror film
"Kids. Always a disappointment." (Image Source)
In the end, though it's a bit ridiculous at times, we think "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" is an improvement on the previous entry.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.1/10
RT Rating: 32%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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