Daily Archives: October 29, 2013

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

Nightmare on elm street 5

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 5 out of 10

4-Word Review: Freddy’s in the womb.

Alice (Lisa Wilcox) who survived Freddy’s attack from the last film and supposedly killed him is now suffering from those dreaded reoccurring nightmares again. This time she sees herself inside the mental institution where Freddy’s mother Amanda was raped and even witnesses his rebirth. She also finds out that she is pregnant and Freddy is trying to drive his spirit into the fetus so he can be reborn into the real world.

I came into this thing with extremely low expectations, but found myself delightfully surprised and consider this a definite improvement over the previous installment. Director Stephen Hopkins inserts a more artistic visual flair here. Some of the segments even have a certain Salvador Dali look especially near the end when the dimensions in the rooms inside the dreams begin to have all sorts of odd configurations. The use of a moonlit-like lighting accentuates the film’s dark imagery. I saw here the makings of the modern day horror movie that we are used to seeing today with more emphasis on the dark psychological undercurrent and less on the mechanical slasher formula.

The special effects are imaginative. Watching Freddy coming out of his mother’s womb as a baby is excellent as well as having him as a deformed baby run around an abandoned sanctuary as a sort of freak child. The scene showing Alice’s unborn baby inside her womb and attached to an umbilical cord I found to be quite impressive. I also was impressed with the segment where Alice’s skinny model friend Greta (Erika Anderson) gets her mouth stuffed with food by Freddy and her cheeks balloon out excessively, which may sound funny, but the way it is shown gets disturbing and even unsettling as they go back to it several times later on in the film. A segment cut from the theatrical release where Freddy force feeds her the insides of her own stomach can be seen on the unrated version.

The characters seem more like real people and the dialogue is an improvement as well. Wilcox now sports blonde hair and no longer has that reddish hair look that reminded me too much of Carrie. She also seems more confident in her role and gives a solid performance. Anderson, who was a former Elite model, makes for a pleasant addition to the eyes.

Freddy doesn’t have quite as much screen time as he did before, but that works for the best. The pace is slowed down with more emphasis on mood and atmosphere, which gives it a slightly more sophisticated feel.

My only real complaint is the blaring rap song that gets played over the closing credits, which is jarring and out-of-place.  Some fans of the series consider this to be one of the weaker installments, but I don’t agree. However, if you didn’t like it feel free to leave a comment as I would be interested to hear why.

My Rating: 5 out of 10

Released: August 11, 1989

Runtime: 1Hour 30Minutes

Rated R

Director: Stephan Hopkins

Studio: New Line Cinema

Available: VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Instant Video