Friday, October 4, 2013

31 Days of Halloween 2013 - Day 4

Nightmare on Elm Street  4: The Dream Master
Renny Harlin

Kristen (Tuesday Knight) is convinced that Freddy (Robert Englund) is coming back despite the fact he was seemingly destroyed a year ago. The other survivors of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, are not so convinced. Well… at least until a dog pees resurrecting fire on Kruger’s grave and then they get convinced for about 10 seconds and then murdered. Before getting offed by Kruger, Kristen manages to give her ability to draw people into her dreams to her shy friend Alice (Lisa Wilcox). With all the Elm Street kids finally dead, Freddy starts using Alice’s power to draw new people in to kill. Little does he know that when he murders someone, he gets their soul but she gets their power.

In full disclosure this was the first Nightmare film I owned on VHS and I probably watched 20-30 times. It’s not a popular entry in the series, but it’s probably my favorite of the sequels.  The Dream Master is more or less a rehash of Dream Warriors but with enough of a twist to keep it from feeling stale. With Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2 (1990), Long Kiss Goodnight(1996)) in the director’s chair, Freddy's scenes take on a darkly comic tone and the action sequences are genuinely exciting. What the film lacks in horror, it tries to make up for in gross-out moments, most notably an extended roach motel related dream sequence. The finally showdown in a massive church is impressive but feels miles away from the more intimate horrors of earlier entries. There is still some life in the series but you can see it is definitely wearing thin at this point.

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