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A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Directed By: Renny Harlin

Starring: Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Tuesday Knight, Danny Hassel, Brooke Theiss, Andras Jones, Toy Newkirk, Rodney Eastman, Ken Sagoes, Nicholas Mele, Brooke Bundy




Looks like Krueger still needs that eye exam.


Well, my friends, it looks like we're into Wes Craven-less territory here. Craven left the series to it's folly after Dream Warriors and wouldn't come back until 1994's New Nightmare. That meant New Line Cinema could do anything they want with the Elm Street movies. Thankfully, they didn't do TOO much with them that would've angered fans....




....Because that's where Friday The 13th comes in.


But seriously, at this point, I don't think New Line Cinema was even taking this series seriously anymore. Have you seen this music video?






Nowadays, people are kinda harsh on this movie, complaining this was the film that made Krueger into a comic relief. Well, how can he NOT be a comic relief? Have you seen how he comes back to life in this movie? But, ignoring all the nit-picking, this actually isn't a bad sequel. Sure, it's no Dream Warriors (friggin' DUH!), at least it does what Friday The 13th doesn't do and what even a sequel like Freddy's Revenge does: continue the story.

But despite NLC's strange marketing techniques (see above), the makers of this film try their best to make this sequel classy. How classy, you say? They put in scripture, of course! Way to top Dream Warriors, guys.




How did the movie get one of the drawings I made when I was 3 years old?




The camera's about to fall on Freddy! Look out!




Pee-wee's Playhouse, AFTER Armageddon.




WHAT'S THE FILM ABOUT?

The film picks up after where the previous film left off: Kristen Parker (Knight) and the remaining Dream Warriors (Eastman, Sagoes) are back to living normal lives, relieved that the scarred child-murderer Freddy Krueger (Englund) is dead. Or is he?

In the dream world, Freddy is revived by flaming dog urine (I'm dead freakin' serious) and goes back to killing random teenagers in their dreams. He even kills off the Dream Warriors, so it's up to new-comer Alice (Wilcox) to stop Freddy's reign of terror.



"Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Freddy!"





It's the new eductaional CD-ROM game, Freddy Teaches Typing!




WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?

The plot in this movie is probably the flatest of the series. The story doesn't really kick until about 40 minutes in, where we find out some made-up Socrates crap and that Alice has the powers of Kristen inside her, yadda-yadda-yadda.

And I didn't really care for Wilcox's performance in this movie. It just comes across as wooden and bland.

Hey, every movie franchise can't win 'em all.


WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?

The special effects are the main highlight, as usual. Like I even need to go into deep detail, since the effects in these movies are always top-notch. Anyways, the best scenes where they show off the effects the best include Alice being sucked into a theatre screen and when (spoilers!) Freddy is defeated by the souls stuck in his stomach.


I thought that Tuesday Knight is a much Kristen than Patricia Arquette was in the 3rd one. Knight gives the character more personality, as I felt that the character in the 3rd one seemed to be the weakest of the Dream Warriors, as the others were more intriguing and likable. Here, Kristen is smarter and far from defenseless. Even when she's killed off by Krueger, she has a plan B; just give her Dream Warrior power to Alice, thus making Alice "the Dream Master"...I think.

Finally, I liked how they continued the story from the previous movie, instead of just introducing new victims with little backstory. Not only do we get new likable characters, but we also get see some of the characters that we knew and loved from Dream Warriors and see them contribute to more than just getting killed or making a quick cameo. We see how they live their new lives...just before Freddy makes a pizza out of them.




Freddy Krueger in Dick Tracy.







When did this turn into Dune?







"Oh, God, do I really look like THAT?"



BOTTOM LINE:

Probably the last of the Elm Street movies that are good. It still continues the line of likable characters, awesome death sequences, and appealing special effects. It may not hold up to most people nowdays, but I found it not too bad.

OVERALL SCORE:

4/5



Up next, we'll look at a double feature of disappointment, as we look at #5 and 6. Then, to wrap it all up before Christmas shows up, we'll look at Wes Craven's return to the film that launched his career.


See ya!