Through various circumstances, Freddy discovers yet again how to return from the dead. Once running amuck within the dream world he uses Kristen, who returns from the previous film, as his personal tool. Kristen’s ability to bring others into her dreams is used against her will in a method of creating a gateway for more souls to be added to Freddy’s collection. Now that she and her comrades Kincaid and Joey are released from the psych ward they are thrown back into high school; thus introducing us to a whole slew of victims… I mean characters.
The new ensemble does its job well enough to move the plot, or in this case, carry from one dream sequence to another. Don’t expect any real emotional connection to the characters. Just about every typecast teenager personality is present within the film, making it feel very similar to others within the genre. I watched the film last night and I’m already struggling to remember their names; not a good sign for a screenplay point of view. Obviously, it’s terrible what the characters endure, but like the other films in the series, they are used merely as opportunities for entertainment value when the dreams come into play. No one should be wishing death upon someone, however, these films revolve around Freddy and his maniacal yet creative ways of killing innocent teens.
These sequences continue to be the forefront of the series that breaks the boundaries of what is possible in traditional slashers. A well-dressed set can only carry the scenes so far, but the writers’ ideas are just as mad as Freddy himself, selling the product as a demented piece of art. There are some genuinely horrific scenes; specifically one that revolves around roaches- it’s disgusting and eerily creative, especially with its usage of practical makeup. “Dream Master” is definitely the most visually disturbing entry to the series thus far. This isn’t to say that all kills are home runs. A few standouts for the wrong reasons. Freddy is known to use one’s fears and create a devilish fantasy that amuses him. It comes off as odd when he chooses to just stab someone with his bladed glove rather than put on a show.
The one-liners are present once more, though, with the extremely unique situations taken place, there was an opportunity to flesh out Robert Englund’s comedic charm. It still feels like a film that fits within the universe, though “Dream Master” had an opportunity to push it’s the best aspect, Freddy Kreuger, even further.
The entirety of “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master” are waves of highly original kill sequences and forgettable dialogue scenes. The characters develop throughout, but I don’t really care for their well being due to what seems rushed- a common issue with slashers. That being said, “Dream Master” has a decent amount of entertainment value for those who like creativity that pushes the envelope of what is sane. It’s not the best of the series, but definitely one that keeps the overall story going.