A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

It had been awhile since I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, which is why I picked it over, say, Freddy's Revenge or New Nightmare.  I now regret that decision.  No, it's not because I abhor this flick; it's because I don't have a strong opinion in either direction.  These are the hardest reviews to write.  I want to leave it at "meh," but damn it, I have a reputation to uphold.  I scribe the best horror reviews in cyberspace (lol), and I can't afford to let my fans down.  Lamentably, director Stephen Hopkins has set all of his knobs and cranks to medium.  It's almost as if he was given stern, adamantine orders to make his Freddy feature good enough.

"What's all this talk about knobs and cranks?  Dom, are you sucking cock again?"  Yes.  That doesn't change the fact The Dream Child is an intermediate affair.  It doesn't do one thing exceptionally well.  Likewise, it doesn't falter wildly in any one category.  There was a conscience effort here to modulate the tacky wisecracks, but the script seems hesitant to adopt unflinching horror as its method of operation.  The premise had potential to be appallingly grody.  For twat's sake, we see a nun being raped by a thousand mental patients!  That's heavy stuff, but Hopkins only dips his toes into the hypoxia-ridden detritus.

Bear in mind, this lurid sewage is commingled with Freddy wearing a fluted chef's hat and bellowing, "Bon appetit!"  The levity doesn't click.  Still, the sight gags aren't as outlandish as they were in The Dream Master.  If I'm being honest, Freddy's resurrection sequence spooked me a bit (it's the way he stands up...brrr).  The art direction is astonishing.  Hopkins has a knack for concocting sleek imagery and keeping the pace afloat.  Those are common threads that run through each of his outings, I find.  Predator 2 for the win!  I wonder how many youngsters know that "ftw" came from Hollywood Squares.  Yeah, your chat acronyms aren't as tubular as you thought, are they?

Lisa Wilcox returns as the final girl, and that's fine with me.  She's certainly likeable, and it could be argued that Alice is the strongest heroine to square off against The Crispy One.  The supporting players are forgettable, but man, they die in spectacular fashion.  How could any sane, rational motherfucker sneer at Super Freddy?  Mark's comic book demise is a crowning coup for the Elm Street series.  On the barren wing of the ovarian follicle (give me a break, my brain is powering down), the kills are few and far between.  I don't want to use the term "half-assed," but...no, that's accurate.  A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is half-assed.

While it would be a fair assessment to claim that I'm on the fence, my general impression of this spiritless sequel is positive.  It's fun somehow.


  1. Don’t quote me on this but I believe for the majority of the shoot the script wasn’t even finished and was constantly being changed which is probably explain the inconsistencies. Still, I really like this one. It finds a nice balance between the “lighter” Freddy of part 4 and the darker earlier entries in the series plus Alice was always my favorite heroine of the series. The dream and death sequences are some of most imaginative of the series, I especially liked the diving board scene and of course the Freddy bike. I also loved the use of blue especially during the asylum scenes. Amazing looking. Fun fact, Whit Hertford who played Jacob was in William Friedkin’s criminally underseen Rampage (1987). VHSPS that shit man!

    I actually have the official movie magazine for this one that I believe Fangoria put out to help promote the film. Its in pretty rough shape and I’ve been meaning to scan it as a precautionary preservation measure for some time now. Perhaps this was the reminder I needed. I’ve also got a shirt with Freddy and the demon baby in even rougher shape.

    I’d also like to point out that when it comes to the Elm Street films, (the original 7 that is, that OTHER thing doesn’t exist to me, at least I try and convince myself it doesn’t) I don’t find any of them to be bad and that includes Freddy’s Dead. Hell the original tapes are not even 3 feet away from me as a type this!

  2. I agree. I don't dislike any of the Elm Street films. I still need to see Rampage. I remember your glowing review.