HOLLYWOOD—We’ve discussed a few sequels up to this point in celebration of all things horror. Well, now the conversation turns to a sequel that was a favorite of mine as a kid, and remains a favorite of mine as an adult. I have gone back and forth in the past regarding rather “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” or “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” is the best sequel in the franchise. While “Dream Warriors” is a better sequel, I just love the entertainment value of “The Dream Master.”
So what is it about this fourth installment in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise that is such a treat for Halloween? It’s big, it’s bold and it’s full of some epic kills and one-liners from our dream stalker Freddy Krueger. This chapter follows survivors Kristen, Kincaid and Joey who suspect they have left behind the bad dreams they endured courtesy of Freddy, but as we all know it’s never that easy to defeat a villain. Freddy returns and quickly dispatches of the survivors, and realizes if he takes out Kristin, he has to ensure he has a body that will allow him to continue to haunt the dreams of teens.
So here, we meet Alice. Yes, Lisa Wilcox portrays the role with perfection. She is a shy teen who daydreams, but finds herself coming out of her shell when she realizes that all her friends are dying and she is responsible for it. What is unique about “The Dream Master” is that the movie tackles a unique notion of bringing others into one’s dream and the idea that Alice obtains unique qualities from her friends after they die. This is the chapter in the franchise, where Freddy’s wit and sarcasm reached a feverish pitch. The one-liners were epic, especially before each kill. Freddy has a way with words that are funny, yet terrifying at the same time. “The Dream Master” has some of the best visuals in the franchise, and perhaps some of the best kills in the entire franchise if you ask me. And we can’t forget the climax, which is a perfect setting for our survivor Alice to finally go toe-to-toe with the enemy and banish him once and for all.
I would make the argument this is the first time since the original, we have a heroine who is an equal adversary to the villain and doesn’t make it easy for him to dispatch of her; she delivers one hell of a fight and it’s a fight that entertains from start to finish. Oh, and the ending, was just classic, a nice twist that is simple, original and gives that hint to the audience that it may not be over.
If you’re looking for an entertaining sequel for the spooky, then “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” will entertain on all fronts: great characters, a fun narrative, some great scares and an epic battle to the end.