16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
While things may have become a little predictable by the time of the fourth Freddy film, I think this is a great movie; it is certainly an important one because it serves as a necessary transition between the early films and the later sequels. After all, the supply of Elm Street kids borne of Freddy's killers is limited; there are only three such kids still alive as this movie begins, and if there's one thing Freddy hates it's a survivor. Once these last three are gone, what is Freddy going to do? This film answers that question. It also delivers some deliciously creative deaths and witty repartee a la Krueger. It bolsters and redefines the balance between what has been and what will be, keeping the series fresh while maintaining the overall continuity. The very focus of the action completely changes midway through the film, something you would never see in many a horror film or series.
I think the film starts off very effectively, wisely holding off on the introduction of Freddy until such time as the audience has settled in to the story. This is particularly important because one of the three returning survivors from the previous film, Kristen, is now played by Tuesday Knight rather than Patricia Arquette. Kristen is crucial to this film because she has the power to pull other people into her nightmares, and this serves as the conduit for Freddy's reappearance. The physical manifestation of Freddy's rebirth is quite memorable, informing us of one special liquid that obviously nullifies the power of holy water. I think the film also does a fairly good job of introducing us to the new "fresh meat," and this becomes important because the new dream master who emerges here (Alice played by Lisa Wilcox) incorporates aspects of each of the victims in terms of her own strength for the final fight against Freddy. As for our Freddy, he wastes no time in getting back to work after his return, and this film boasts some very colorful, impressive kills: the Jaws scene is a true classic. The sight of Robert Englund in a nurse's outfit is pretty darn hard to force out of your head, but with one exception (that being the roach motel kill) I found all of Freddy's ingenious handiwork quite a joy to watch.
Is the movie perfect? No. Besides the one unsatisfactory kill, the movie also chooses to use one terribly clichéd scene toward the beginning of the end. These small weaknesses are more than offset by the strength of the transitional storyline, the continuity of this film in the overall series, the colorful and impressive nature of the kills (and there are more kills in this movie than you will find in the first and third installments), and the wickedly funny tongue of the always delightful Mr. Krueger. Things get a little corny in the end, but this film certainly offers a memorable ending. I remember going home from the theater and worrying that this might have been the final Elm Street movie because things really aren't looking too good for our old friend Freddy when the credits start to roll. This film is not as good as the first and third films, nor does it reveal any new secrets surrounding Freddy's origins, but it is a must-see, very entertaining sojourn in Freddy's Dreamland. On a final note, viewers will certainly notice a souped-up soundtrack for this film, as Elm Street 4 injects some energetic rock and roll into the viewing experience. Let the ending credits roll if you want to hear our Freddy doing a little rapping; you don't want to miss that.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2005
This review refers to the edition found in New Line Cinema's "The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection" boxed set.
THE WHO'S WHO: Starring Robert Englund, Rodney Eastman, Danny Hassel, Andras Jones, Tuesday Knight, Ken Sagoes, Lisa Wilcox, Brooke Bundy, Nicholas Mele, Toy Newkirk, Brooke Theiss, Hope Marie Carlton, Linnea Quigley. Freddy Krueger Makeup By Kevin Yagher. Score Composed By Craig Safan. Co-Produced By Robert Shaye. Co-Produced By Rachel Talalay. Directed By Renny Harlin. (R) For Violence, Mild Gore, Profanity, Brief Nudity and Very Mild Sexual Content; 93m.; 1988.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN HERE?: The last of the original Elm Street kids thought they buried the nightmare that was Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). But it's hard to keep pure evil down, and Freddy once again rises from the grave to invade the dreams of Springwood's children. However, with only three kids remaining (Kristen, Joey and Kincaid from "Nightmare 3"), Freddy needs to find a way to reach out and touch the souls of all the untapped children whose parents weren't a part of Krueger's mortal murder. Through Kristen, Freddy gains access to Alice Johnson's (Lisa Wilcox) dreams and opens up a whole new nightmarish world of possibilities. Director Renny Harlin ("Die Hard 2", "Cliffhanger") brings a lot of flair to this third "Nightmare" sequel which securely picks up where "Dream Warriors" left off. The lame, almost miscast Patricia Arquette is gone from the role of Kristen Parker. Replacing her is the highly commendable (not to mention extraordinarily cute) Tuesday Knight who also performs the opening song to this movie. Returning cast members Ken Sagoes and (particularly) Rodney Eastman have matured comfortably in their roles as Kincaid and Joey respectively. Newcomer Andras Jones (as Rick Johnson) is a nice addition to the new teenage cast, bringing with him a light-hearted cockiness that's appealing, but Lisa Wilcox steals the show. She owns this movie with her startling transformation from mousy introvert to confident demon stalker. Robert Englund, having played Freddy in all three previous entries, doesn't even have to exert himself to pull off a wonderful performance. Portraying the character of Freddy has become second nature to Englund and he delivers the goods in style. Viewers even have the chance to see him out of the Freddy make-up again in this film. Instead of showing up as a bus driver, however, he shows up as a school nurse...a female school nurse. There's a little more humor in this film than there was in the others, but it's a welcome addition to the formula. One touch that can be distracting is the lighting for this film. Often times, it makes the movie resemble a comic book instead of a dark world of slumber and fear. But the screenplay is engrossing enough to keep Freddy fans happy. Even the score will reel movie fans in. Composer Craig Safan offers up the best musical background since Charles Bernstein's original, always remaining true to his source material. Trivia buffs take note: in the first cemetery sequence, viewers are given the opportunity to see both Nancy Thompson and her father's tombstones. This is a brilliant piece of extra continuity that ties "Nightmare 4" to parts one and three. Also, after Alice falls asleep in the movie theater and gets sucked through the screen, pay particular attention to the applauding audience. The audience is comprised of all the teenagers who died in the film up to that point. Overall, this film has a late eighties feel to it that adds a nostalgic flourish to an already gratifying production. Long time fans of the series will find much to love about this film and the more casual viewer looking for a good time won't be let down either.
THEY SAY THEY'RE SPECIAL BUT...: There is a sparkling 1.85:1 widescreen transfer of the film that is a majestic sight to behold. The presentation is so clear that you can see the match head inside of the flame Kristen uses to light her cigarette. Outdoor locations appear so realistic that it's easy to feel you're looking through a window instead of watching a movie. The accompanying 5.1 surround sound is the best to date on any of the "Nightmare" DVDs. Every clanking chain and piece of shattering glass has its own unique sound and they are all bright, well separated manifestations. This disc also includes the original stereo audio track for the film and easy to read English subtitles which are placed within the frame of the movie. Not surprisingly, this is another paper case from New Line. The front is a miniaturized recreation of the original theatrical poster while the rest of the case is devoid of any artwork. The inside highlights the list of special features and the twenty-seven chapter stops which make up this ninety minute movie. The DVD itself has been painted with a picture of a shadowed Freddy Krueger standing in a smoky backlit area. Special features for this disc include the "Jump to a Nightmare" option. There's also a brief but enlightening cast and crew section taken from the original theatrical press kit for the film. DVD-ROM users can also view the interactive screenplay for the film, they can play the fourth "Dream World" trivia game and they can visit up-to-the-minute weblinks.
THE YOLK'S ON YOU: New Line Cinema has packed their boxed set so well that they don't need to place hidden easter eggs on the separate discs. You're more likely to make your way out of the maze of cars in the junkyard before Freddy slices and dices you than you are of finding easter eggs on this one.
THE LEWD AND NUDE ALERT: During Joey's dream sequence, the pin-up girl (Hope Marie Carlton appearing as herself) hanging on his wall disappears off the poster where she resided and pops up underneath the lining of his waterbed. We're treated to a lovely view of her breasts before she sinks back down into the watery depths. Later in the film, one of the girls (Linnea Quigley) trapped in Freddy's chest of souls bares her breasts, but that's more of a disturbing visual rather than an enticing one.
THE GORE REPORT: There's some mild gore early on in this film when Freddy is resurrected in the car junkyard. His bones reattach themselves and then his blood, tendons and muscles start to reform over those bones. Another segment of interest for the gore hounds comes later in the movie when Freddy turns one of the teenagers into a giant cockroach. Markedly grand is when her face is ripped off to reveal the roach head while she's trapped in Freddy's roach motel.
SAY AGAIN: "Welcome to Wonderland, Alice." - Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund)
THE FINAL SAY: Yes, I recommend buying this DVD. This is a prime example of late eighties horror and Freddy fanatics won't be able to get enough of Krueger's wry witticisms and uniquely inventive death scenes. As part of the "Nightmare on Elm Street Collection" boxed set, it is indispensable. Separately, this film represents a culmination of the terror, sarcasm and characterization "Nightmare" followers demand.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM: "Love Kills" Performed By Vinnie Vincent Invasion. "Angel" Performed By Love/Hate. "Don't Be Afraid of Your Dreams" Performed By Go West. "Back to the Wall" Performed By Divinyls. "Fatal Charm" Performed By Billy Idol. "In the Flesh" Performed By Blondie. "Anything, Anything" Performed By Dramarama. "Nightmare" Performed By Tuesday Knight. "Are You Ready For Freddy?" Performed By the Fat Boys. "Baila Baila (Dance With Me)" Performed By Girl Talk. "Pride and Joy" Performed By Joe Lamont. "Rebuilding the Big House" Performed By Nick Gilder. "Therapist" Performed By Vigil. "Under the Night Stars" Performed By Sea Hags. "Standing Over You" Performed By the Angels From Angel City. "I Want Your (Hands on Me)" Performed By Sinead O'Connor With MC Lyte. Soundtrack Available on Chrysalis Compact Discs, Cassettes and Records. Score Available on Varese Sarabande Compact Discs, Cassettes and Records.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2002
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master continues off of the relativly popular Elm Street 3. The survivors of part 3 make brief, but notible appearence in this movie. Sadly, Patricia Arquette did not return to reprise her role as Kristen. However, Tuesday Knight plays the role respectfully. Adding the appearence of the former Dream Warriors adds a much enjoyable sense of continuity to the storyline. As all the Nightmare movies tend to do, we are introduced to a new group of kids who have the unfortunate luck of living in Springwood. However, since Kristen soon becomes the last surviving Elm Street kid, Freddy is out of a job unless he can somehow reach more kids. He forces young Kristen to bring shy new character, Alice, into her dream. Soon, Alice is bestowed with Kristen's ability to bring people into her dreams. Freddy jumps from kid to kid and begins the hell he usually causes. Like part 3, this movie's death scenes are elaborate and more fancy than part 1 & 2's simple slashings. The movie manages to take a select few new characters and build them up just long enough for them to run into Freddy. Sadly, the under-developed co-stars are the ones who survive the battle.
Overall, the story line is about a good as you can expect from a horror sequel. A movie made at the peek of Freddy-fever, this movie manages to entertain with a more lighthearted Freddy. The actors do a decent job and the 80's music adds a sense of nostalgia for anyone over the age of 15.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2000
I am a huge Freddy fan, and after I saw "A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" I was totally blown away!!! Freddy Krueger who is played by the one and only Robert Englund is just funny, besides his evil ego. This is a must see for all Freddy Fans world wide. I guarantee you that "Nightmare 4" will deliver the Freddy action that you've seen in "Nightmare 1" and "Nightmare 3", as well as laughs along the way. So don't miss out on one of the greatest Nightmares film yet! Also as a little treat, you could go to [...] and have an interactive Freddy haunt your pc. All you have to do is download it and then you will recieve episodes every week through your e-mail. Not to mention that its all FREE!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2005
Okay, seriously people. Get over the fact that this movie decided to do something different stylistically. I'm glad Renny Harlin took a different approach particularly since I'm really not that big a fan of the third. (Although to say that is something of herecy in the nigtmare community.)
Yes, Tuesday is an awful actress, and watching her is painful. But hey, Patricia Arquette was busy and it makes it all the more pleasureable to watch her get burned alive. That's really the only downside to this movie. This is my favorite Nightmare film. Before you get all defensive Nightmare fans, let me explain!-
First of all, the whole scary thing just isn't going to work anymore. We know what Freddy looks like. It's not a shock to see him anymore. Harlin's use of making Freddy the hero and delivering comedy was perfect to add entertainment to the movie without going too far over the camp line.
Yeah, so a lot of people think this movie makes no sense. Ugh...are you serious people? As horror movie fans, are we really that limited in our ability to appreciate the abstract? I am so sick of people saying "I don't get it! Why does she get her friends powers? Why is it so weird?" Okay, I will admit the end with the mirror thing is pretty random, but Alice is the Dream Master. (Uh, thats why its titled that, people.) She's Freddy's opposite and its her job to protect the dreaming from Freddy, so she has this natural power to control her dreams and use the powers of her friends against him. Personally, I thought the change Alice undergoes was pretty cool.
Harlin also does a great job of giving us a dark trippy universe that is perfect for Freddy's Nightmares, and the transition of story line from the Elm Street kids to Alice is smoother than you would expect.
I love the death sequences in this film particularly the asthma girl, and Joey's death scene which is sweetly reminiscent of Depp's scene in the first Nightmare film. Give this movie a break people! (Please)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2001
While "Dream Warriors" was the superior sequal (and the best entry in the entire series!), this installment was nice nevertheless. There ARE problems with the script (well to be specific, there WAS no REAL script just pages of various scenes no joke!) Yes, Freddy is TOO goofy,the new characters aren't as interesting as the "Dream Warriors" cast and the his resurrection was just silly,but the film does succeed in making an entertaining entry and gives an early look at what Renny Harlin will give audiences in the upcoming years! I DO recommend this film to any fan of the "Nightmare" series wanting to simply sit down for 90 minutes and enjoy a good b-movie!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2001
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 : The Dream Master is the first of the Nightmare movies to use a lot of special effects. The first 3 stuck with prosthetics and animatronics, and Nightmare 4 went with special effects. Some of it was corny (The meatball heads), and some of it was outstanding (The roach girl).
The story begins with Kristen (Who is now played by Tuesday Knight) and the two other surviving "Dream Warriors" Joey and Kincaid. She explains how she thinks Freddy is coming back. Joey and Kincaid tell her to forget it, he's dead. Welp, he's later risen by Kincaid's dog urinating fire on his grave in a dream, and Freddy succeeds in killing Kincaid. Freddy then offs Joey, and subsequently Kristin. This is what I didn't like about Nightmare 4. They are easily killed by Freddy in this one when they were strong enough to survive in earlier. It confused me, but I guess it was crucial to the storyline. In between their demises, we're introduced to a whole new group of kids. None of them are Elm Street kids, but Freddy decides he wants more souls so he used Kristin to pull one of her friends into the Freddy's dream world so he can continue his soul getting. The fried Kristin pulls in is Alice. Alice has a special talent that she doesn't know about. She's able to accept her friend's real talents and instincts when they are killed by Freddie. The final battle between Alice and Freddy is one of the best final confrontations out of all of the Nightmare movies. (Excluding New Nightmare.)
The acting by Tuesday Knight was, in the least, horrible. I wish Patricia could've come back. The others faired well,and you cared for some of them. Lisa Wilcox, the gal who played Alice, really shined. She made Alice my favorite Nightmare heroine. Robert Englud returns as Freddy, but Freddy returns as a wise-cracking bumbling idiot. There's no more mystery or darkness to the character anymore. That was a downfall.
In conclusion, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 : The Dream Master took a couple of steps down from NOES3, but the ending made up for the whole movie.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
After the surprisingly good Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, New Line once again resurrected Freddy Kruger to wreak bloody havoc. The Dream Master finds our three survivors from Dream Warriors all getting picked off by a newly revived Freddy; and introduces us to Alice who now has Kristen's powers and poses a threat to Freddy. Director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) upped Part 3's ante with even more elaborate, gorey, and macabre set pieces and deaths; some of which are the best in the series. However, this is where Freddy stopped being scary and became the one liner spewing fiend that he is known (and loved) for; but either way Robert Englund is still a joy to watch as everyone's favorite razor clawed killer. Dream Master also lacks the character development and coherent (well, more or less) storytelling that most of the other installments contained, but on it's own this is a pretty solid horror flick.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2005
This movie wasn't as good as Nightmare 1 and 3, but it was a very fun movie to watch and it will make you want to learn more about Freddy and the evilness he's made of. This is one thing in the series that is really good- it doesn't get boring. I was entertained in seeing the new things that were brought into this new addition to the NOES series. I love the fact that I will always see something new and i won't be yawning in it.
It is about a girl who can bring people into her dreams, sometimes putting them in danger, sometimes wanting them to get her out of danger. It was fun to see her do this. She is scared of Freddy, and that brings him back into the dreams to kill once again. It's very entertaining to see her and her friends try to kick some a** and try to defeat Fred once again!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2002
While Dream Warriors and New Nightmare were probably the best sequels in the Nightmare On Elm Street series, Dream Master was a colorful, imaginative installment. As Freddy slices and dices the remaining dream warriors from the last film, Alice and her friends become the new victims. Alice is given Kirsten's power to control the dream gate and she must battle the sadistic killer herself. The acting is as bad as ever, but the original dream sequences are well worth watching this one. This film seems to have more color and the body count is way more than any of the other sequels. The kids are plunged into a dizzying array of nightmarish situations, and while some are cheesy to a certain extent..(the roach motel, the asthmatic brainiac, the soul pizza) theyre all equally entertaing.