Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is (at least in my opinion) definitely in the middling category when it comes to Elm Street movies. It’s nowhere near as bad as 2 but definitely doesn’t live up to 3 (even though there are some returning characters from Dream Warriors here).
Kristen (not Arquette here), Joey and Kincaid are outta the asylum and living it up as regular teens at school. The trio’s still tight but Kristen’s made some new friends too in the form of Alice (who becomes vitally important!), Sheila, Debbie and even a boyfriend, Rick (Alice’s brother). Life is swell. That is until Kristen starts having bad dreams and a bad feeling Freddy’s about to show his face again. Her dreams are getting so bad she pulls Kincaid and Joey into one where they try to convince her Freddy’s dead (silly children…) before Kincaid’s dog appears in the dream biting Kristen who awakens to find teeth mark and blood on her arm. Uh-oh, s’gettios, y’all.
Kincaid and Joey kick it pretty soon after (and Joey gets a pretty sweet death scene – just the cinematography of it is kickawesome):
Now Alice is set up as a kinda special, daydreamy kind of gal who may or may not have some sort of cool uber awareness/psychic-y powers of her own and when Kristen finally succumbs to the evil death pain that is Freddy she somehow transfers her “pulling people into dream” powers to Alice. Personally, that is one gift I would NOT want to have so if I was Alice I would be all “Bitch? Wtf?”.
People continue dying as people are wont to do in the Elm Street movies and as each one dies, Alice absorbs whatever sort of power made them unique. Even if it’s just this:
Hehehe, that scene always makes me laugh. Anyway, yada, yada, people dying, big show down with the Kruegster and (I pull this directly from Wikipedia): “But just as he is preparing to kill her, she recalls the final verse of the Dream Master rhyme. For the first and only time, someone defeats Freddy, by using the power of the spell to make him see the evil that is inside. Using her power as guardian of the gate of good dreams, Alice releases the tortured souls that Freddy imprisoned into the gates of good dreams where he can no longer harm them. Krueger’s clothes fall lifelessly to the floor and Alice kicks his glove.” Now this is where it gets questionable for me. One thing that I can’t decide whether I love or hate about this series is the way Freddy changes throughout. One minute he’s killing in dreams, one minute he’s possessing people, the next he’s suddenly all “Omg, what? I’m evil? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”. Inconsistencies of this sort are generally frowned upon. You either be evil and funny or you get the hell outta dodge, Kruegster.
Plus there’s a different gimmick in each one – bodily possession, supernatural powers, absorbing people’s powers, the potential destructiveness of hiding one’s sexuality – those I don’t mind so much. A different deeper meaning behind each one just makes a better film (although the deeper meaning here I’m not sure of….learn from the people around you? Don’t make the same mistake twice..or three times…or four? As people pass on, they’ll always be a part of us?)
Overall, not a bad addition to the series, although not as great as other entries. Definitely some good times here (oh yeah, almost forgot – the cockroach scene!!!).