Sunday, May 1, 2011

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

"How sweet, fresh meat!"

As stated earlier, New Line Cinema was so eager to cash in on Freddy Krueger that they seemed to not care about the quality of the script or the film to even care. They knew Freddy was big money and they were ready to make some big bucks off of him. Dream Warriors grossed over $44 million, more than the first and second film alone. It was the highest grossing Nightmare movie, so another sequel was inevitable. But with little preparation, they began work on The Dream Master.

The Dream Master is a direct continuation from part 3. With the three survivors of the film, Kristen (Knight), Kincaid (Sagoes) and Joey (Eastman). They are now back home and finally rid of Freddy....or so they think. Kristen is still paranoid about Freddy, and because of her paranoia she brings Freddy back. He quickly kills off the three, but not before Kristen can pass on her power of pulling people into her dreams onto her best friend Alice (Wilcox). Thus begins a continuing, and surprisingly interesting storyline in the Nightmare world. It’s up to Alice and her group of cliche friends to stop Freddy.

The Dream Master was an interesting yet somewhat stupid movie. I very much enjoyed the whole story idea of passing on this odd power to another person. I did not like how they recast Patricia Arquette with Tuesday Knight, who I personally think is a very bad actress. But, I would assume that Arquette did not want to return and with good reason. How exactly did Freddy go from dragging people up the wall and killing them on the ceiling to turning people into giant roaches? A lot of the deaths in this movie are stupid and just seemed like a way to use special effects in a time when special effects were coming into new light. There was an interesting death scene in which the character of Rick (Jones) has to fight an invisible Freddy. I don’t know if that was the way it was meant to be, or if something happened to prevent Robert Englund from being there that day, it doesn’t matter, it was still a very interesting scene.

By this time Freddy had become a gigantic star, spawning his own TV series Freddy’s Nightmares, which was basically a lower budget Twilight Zone series that Robert Englund hosted, as Freddy of course! But, because he had become a star and because New Line Cinema wanted more and more money, the once good series of films was beginning to suffer. Even though this is not particularly one of my favorite horror films, this movie is actually the highest grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film (not counting Freddy vs. Jason), grossing $49 million domestically. So of course, this was even more of an excuse to get another sequel out as quickly as possible, which turned out to be not such a great idea after all.