Friday Night Frights- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

        Upon graduation the surviving duo Alice and Dan have begun planning their post-grad life as the memory of Freddy Kreuger has faded; or so they think. Now pregnant, Alice’s unborn child becomes a gateway for the believe deceased maniac to continue his ways of tormenting teenagers.With her child in jeopardy, she must discover a way to end Kreuger’s reign once and for all.

        The film wastes no time and jumps right in with yet another deranged look into the origin of Freddy’s through a disturbing scene of his mother being attacked by a group of men in the insane asylum. Nothing graphic is shown, leaving the audience to imagine what occurred that fateful night. The franchise is known for pushing the envelope on a level of gore, but it holds back here- a wise choice given the explicit nature that is inferred. 

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The rest of the film doesn’t hold back in terms of the dream sequences. The Kill scenes are extensive in regards to length and deliver the promise that most sequels aim to produce. The first death is by all means impressive from a visual point of view. The makeup will have any prosthetic fan squeal in enjoyment, making the practical effects and visceral gore the best that the series has offered thus far. It’s inspiring from a creative standpoint to see the craft grow from film to film as each one improves. One sequence is set in the world of a comic book. It’s stylized in a way that mimics the appearance of a comic but through the lens of reality. Instead of adding a black and white filter, just about every object, including Freddy himself, are dressed to the colors of the subdued colors of paper and ink. The victim, however, is still wearing his colorful late 80’s attire, which makes him pop to the naked eye. The sequence continues to go further into innovation with a 2D CGI incorporated moment. It’s a real blast to watch.

        Unfortunately “ The Dream Child” suffers the tiresome issue that most slashers succumb to. Aside from the lead character Alice, the supporting cast of teens is nothing beyond average characters who are numbers to the death tally. Each one has a backstory that serves purposely for the content of their dreams but lacks any real purpose on the narrative side of things. Yes, the film is focusing on Alice’s battle with Freddy, but there were plenty of opportunities to explore the others further. Thankfully Robert Englund counter’s Alice’s strong performance with his career-defining role. Freddy’s dark humor shines through, giving us moments that should be frightening but with a comedic twist. His character has been building up to this point, which I see as the true encompassment of this character we know and love.

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The climax of “Dream Child” is a little odd, but has a visual presentation that is stunning. In regards to the set, it resembles a piece of Escher art. The premise and ending may be a stretch for creativity, but when you are at the 5th installment it can become difficult to create a story that isn’t a little odd. It may not be the best of the series, but like its predecessors, it has some truly iconic moments that will forever be celebrated in the horror world.

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