Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5 The Dream Child

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"Nine, ten, never sleep again "

Oct 11th, 2011

I tend to give Nightmare on Elm Street 2 bit of a bad rep and while it really isn't a worthy Nightmare film (let alone the first sequel) taken on its own it's not that bad. Nightmare 5 on the other hand has very few redeemable features other than making Part 4 look good (which it wasn't) and insuring Freddy's Dead as the final movie.

A lot of horror movie franchises decline in quality over time due to the rushed production schedules but rarely have I seen a movie where I can see the rushed schedule on screen. From rushed effects to quickly spouted lines it's as if everyone involved had other places to be.

The storyline is rushed, Freddy returns because he does. There's no real explanation but then again he came back from a dog pissing fire last film. I always give kudos to the originality of how they twist things up and this film has a nice idea but its squandered due to lack of logic. Alice returns from the last film (bad choice but we'll get to that) and expecting a child. Freddy access Alice's friends dreams via her sleeping baby? Thus a race is on to stop Kruger once and for all.

Plot wise I had hoped the baby dreams had been fully explored as it could have led to some sinister and creepy sequences. Unfortunately it's only used to allow Freddy to assault Alice's friends and even then it doesn't make sense (are they all pregnant?).

The last film fell prey to bad acting and ridiculous characterisations, rather than attempting to improve the same formula is kept so that we can watch the disposable teens. The teenage friend quota is downgraded which means we as the audience have to sit through painfully dull sequences with the cast when what we really want is to see Kruger slice and dice.

Alice takes centre stage once again in one of the worst moves in the franchise's history. She lacks any charisma and fails to live up to Nancy or Kristen's legacy. Why the producers decided to ditch the pass the torch style of the previous heroines is beyond me. Sure I'm a fan of continuity but her character lacks any personality other than generic female. On the topic of continuity at no point are any of the deaths from the last film mentioned (not even her brother tut tut)

The only real saving grace of the last film was the special effects and dream sequences and yet here they also got a downgrade. As I pointed out before they appeared rushed ideas that weren't fully formed. I get that practical effects from the 80's don't hold up when compared to modern effects but this film focused on lousy rubber masks with exaggerated features. It's all very cartoon and comic like with a Freddy bike, overstuffed cheeks and Super Freddy.

The death sequences were uninspired, sparse and throwaway. The characters who died added nothing to the plot prior to their encounters with Freddy which meant they had no impact on the viewer as a loss or on the characters of the universe. There's no real feeling of this being horror and I can't remember seeing a lick of blood that wasn't Freddy's.

The music also stood out due to it being quite bad. The Nightmare sequels have hardly been original recycling the same score from the first but they worked.. This time out we get some awful rerecording's of the typical themes and end the movie with a random rap track that has nothing to do with the film and is completely the wrong tone.

This also has to be Robert Englund's worst turn as the son of 1000 maniacs. Not only did it feel as if he was going through the motions but his dialogue was at its worst. Over the course of the franchise the character had become more comical with many a quip after a kill. This time Freddy was spouting nonsense throughout all the dream sequences ("Yee-haw! This boy feels the need for speed") taling over the action and leaving me wishing he'd shut up. That's not how I should be feeling when it comes to Fred Krueger.

To add to the lazy film making Fred's make up was on the shabby side. At the same time this movie was being made the Spin off TV series was in production (Freddy's Nightmares) and they had produced some cheaper make up effects for the Kruger make up. From the look of things it seems they carried the same shoddy techniques (it wasn't that bad for the TV show at the time) over into this sequel to try and save time and money.

I remember loving this movie and part 4 when I was younger but clearly I was watching through kid googles. This film has to be one of the most boring and insipid sequels of any horror franchise. When it comes to this film I tend to watch it due to its connectivity with the fourth. This is a bad movie and is only for completest of the nightmare series. The best thing about the DVD I have of this is the promotional music videos included as extras.

Other reviews in the series

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Freddy vs. Jason
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

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Movie Details

Movie Poster Here
Director:Stephen Hopkins
Screenplay: Leslie Bohem
Rating: 18
Starring: Robert Englund
Lisa Wilcox