Stephen Hopkins’s A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

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The Nightmare On Elm Street franchise went to some pretty weird and wild places as it went on, like the snowball effect except the snowball is a grotesque sphere of faux burn victim latex. By the fifth entry, titled The Dream Child, New Line studios had basically not only let the floodgates open in terms of Robert England’s Freddy Krueger and the increasingly warped special effects, but left the keys to them in the hands of any filmmaker who came along to make their stamp on the legacy. This one is silly, excessively ooey gooey and super demented. As such, it’s naturally one of my favourite Freddy flicks. Helmed by extreme stylist Stephen Hopkins (Predator 2, The Ghost & The Darkness), it has an especially disturbing opening sequence involving the origins and backstory of Freddy, one that balances schlock with outright atrocity nicely and is imaginative when you consider the tropes of these movies. Lisa Wilcox’s Alice is still alive and kicking, pregnant and finding ever present pizza faced Freddy trying to attack her through the dreams of her unborn child, as well as those of her friends. There’s not much to it except increasingly elaborate set pieces where he finds new ways to kill these teens, including literally force feeding a girl with an eating disorder until she explodes and causing the mother of all motorbike accidents, a well staged scene that’s actually up there with my favourite Freddy kills. The original theme music is back, but there’s also a super creepy new synth composition by Jay Ferguson playing over the opening credits that spices things up and makes this feel like it’s own beast. The later additions in the legacy get a bad rap for being silly and over the top, but hey these are horror flicks about dreams, which by definition are over the top and unbound by genre, and plus I like the one liners. Best quip to be found here? “Bon appetit, bitch!”, growled by Freddy as he proudly wears a ridiculous chefs hat. Savage af. I like this one a lot for its impressive practical effects, genuinely frightening prologue and fresh new score. Good times. Oh, and check out that gorgeous poster art, they really don’t make those like they used to anymore, unless you’re Panos Cosmatos. 


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