Sep 28 2011
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a direct sequel to the previous installment, it has Alice (Lisa Wilcox) return as the lead role. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child picks up about a year after the events of the previous film. Alice has gone on to live a nice peaceful life with one of the previous survivors Dan. Unfortunately like with previous Nightmare installments the main character’s peace is soon interrupted, Alice begins having nightmares again. One in particular features a Nun giving birth to an infant Freddy Krueger. Alice gives chase to infant Krueger only to be lead to the same church where she defeated Freddy in the last film. Unfortunately for Alice it’s too late as Freddy Krueger manages to gain back his body and has been resurrected from the grave yet again.
Alice wakes up from the nightmare and contacts Dan warning him that Freddy is back. Dan worried for Alice’s well being rushes off to see her. Unfortunately Dan soon finds himself falling asleep at the wheel and is killed off by Freddy. As the film progresses Alice learns that she’s carrying Dan’s child, while Freddy sets his sights on a new set of victims that just happen to be Alice’s new set of friends. The rest of the film basically features Freddy slaughtering her friends one by one, while Alice tries to convince those around her that Freddy has returned. In typical fashion no one believes Alice and soon a subplot is introduced in which her doctor & Dan’s parents attempt to force her to give her unborn child up for adoption. Another subplot is also introduced later into the film regarding the Nun who gave birth to Freddy and how he’s able to invade other’s dreams without the use of Alice this time around.
As the film reaches its climax we learn that Freddy has actually been using her unborn child’s dreams to get to his victims. In similar fashion to the way he used Alice in the previous film to seek out new victims for him. This eventually leads to a final confrontation between Freddy, Alice, Alice’s son Jacob (in Dream Form), and Amanda Krueger (The Nun who gave birth to Freddy at the beginning of the film). Like with previous installments, eventually Freddy is subdued and peace is restored while at the same time setting up for the possibility of another sequel.
If I could describe this film in only one sentence I probably would use the phrase, “Worst Nightmare on Elm Street film ever”! Seriously people this is one of the worst films in this franchise it’s so bad that even Robert Englund has admitted to it being his least favorite Nightmare film. Where did they go wrong with this one you ask? The script is the major issue with this film. The concept behind having Freddy invading Alice’s unborn child’s dreams is beyond silly and even dare I say stupid. Although there is a lot of evidence to suggest a fetus has the ability to dream and even feel emotions none of that has been proven scientifically beyond a shadow of a doubt. On top of that I never understood how or why Freddy needed someone else like Alice or her unborn son Jacob to invade others dreams?
In A Nightmare on Elm Street 1-3 he had no problem entering the dreams of any person who wasn’t even connected to the parents that killed him. Why is it now all of the sudden Freddy needs to come up with elaborate hair brain schemes to terrorize the children of Elm Street? Is he doing this just to get back at Alice? His plan to get revenge on Alice seems like something a 13 year old internet troll would come up with! It just seems like such a waste of effort for him to target Alice via this method when he could have just killed her off in similar fashion to Kristen by waiting for the right moment.
Anyway outside of this terrible dare I say nonsensical plot, the film takes a major blow in the acting department. Lisa Wilcox does a decent job as Alice again despite not having much to work with in terms of the script. But the supporting cast this time around really ruins this film, as for the most part they give very one dimensional performances especially the actor who plays the comic book drawing fanboy Mark. The biggest shocker in this film would be Robert Englund’s performance in this film but sadly again the terribly written script is to blame. Freddy is just not scary in this film and spends more time giving cheesy one liners then really instilling fear into the heart of the audience or his victims. When a horror film stops being scary and starts being funny you have a serious problem on your hands. We watch horror films to be scared not to laugh at how ridiculously stupid they are.
In terms of special effects sadly I must say although visually stunning at times, it’s really not that big of a difference from the last film. The Dream Child went into production almost immediately after The Dream Master. There was literally no age gap between films to really up the ante in terms of visual effects. So although visually stunning they aren’t really that groundbreaking for its time, also I can’t help but feel like the nightmare sequences/murder scenes weren’t really that creative. The last film had a girl being transformed into a roach and killed in a roach motel. This film has Freddy force feeding a girl until the point that she chokes to death. It’s like the director/writer didn’t put much thought into the actual murders/nightmares this time around, they’re rather lame.
Another issue I have with the film is the makeup job on Freddy, you can tell its plastic/latex with a bit of prosthetics. It really doesn’t help portray the concept that Freddy was burned to death or has charred skin. So in closing A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a terrible film. It has a silly script, lame acting from the supporting cast, too much humor for a horror film, and rather uninspiring nightmare sequences. Everything you loved about the previous Nightmare films has been completely thrown out the window for this installment. Even the most dedicated fans of this franchise will have a hard time not loathing this film. If you’re not a fan of this franchise you should stay very far away from this film as it will not appeal to you and if you’re a diehard Nightmare on Elm Street fan, be prepared to be seriously disappointed with this installment.
For the purpose of this review I watched the original release of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child on DVD. The film is presented in both Full Screen and Widescreen (16x9 1:85.1). Like with previous Nightmare on Elm Street DVDs the film has been digitally remastered. As for the video transfer its flawless there’s no scratches, dirt, smudges, or artifacting present in the transfer. On the audio side of things the film is presented in Dolby Surround 5.1 Stereo and also 2.0. The film also offers English subtitles for the hearing impaired. The audio has no noise or drop out present and with the proper home theater setup you’ll get the true theater experience for the film.
As for Extras it’s pretty much the same goodies found on the previous films DVD releases. Extras include the theatrical trailer of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, cast bios, and the Jump to a Nightmare feature. If you’re not familiar with the Jump to a Nightmare feature it basically allows you to view the nightmare/murders in the film without watching the entire movie. Sadly in terms of extras it’s pretty lacking, it would have been nice if this film included audio commentary like the first A Nightmare on Elm Street DVD.
Now the original DVD release of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is currently out of print however it’s still available via online retailers for the estimated retail price of $9.99. If you’re not a fan of buying DVDs online you’re in luck as you can get this film as part of the “4 Film Favorites: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5-8” set. The DVD set includes the same exact release as the original for the same retail price. The only difference is all four films are presented on two double sided DVDs you get A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child & Freddy’s Dead on Disc 1 (Disc 1 Side A/Disc 2 Side B), while on Disc 2 you get Wes Craven’s New Nightmare & Freddy vs. Jason (Disc 2 Side A/Disc 2 Side B). You can also get this film as part of the “A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection” it’s basically a box set that includes all 7 Nightmare films & Freddy vs. Jason in their original releases, it retails for about $25 and Is easier to find online then at your local retailers. Unfortunately no matter what release you get of this film it will always have the same extras, here’s hoping in the future we’ll get a special edition release of these films on Blu-Ray.