A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
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|A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:
The Dream Child
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stephen Hopkins|
|Produced by||Robert Shaye
|Screenplay by||Leslie Bohem|
|Story by||John Skipp
|Music by||Jay Ferguson|
|Edited by||Brent A. Schoenfeld
Smart Egg Pictures
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Box office||$22,168,359 (domestic)|
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a 1989 American slasher film and the fifth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins, stars Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox and Danny Hassel. It is the sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master and is followed by Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.
The film's general tone is much darker and the dream sequences are more gothic than the previous films of the series, and a blue filter lighting technique is used in most of the scenes. The film's main titles do not display the "5" that was used in all of the promotional material, TV spots, trailers, and merchandise. The main titles simply say "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child". Released on August 15th, 1989, the film grossed over $22.2 million at domestic box office to a generally mixed critical reception.
Taking place almost a year after The Dream Master, Alice and Dan have now started dating and there is no sign of Freddy Krueger. Afterwards she finds herself in the shower, then being thrown at into a strange asylum. As she walks she finds that she is dressed in a nun's habit with a nametag saying Amanda Krueger. She is then attacked by the lunatics but wakes up before anything happens. The next day Alice is graduating from high school alongside her new friends consisting of Greta, an aspiring supermodel, Mark, a comic book geek, and Yvonne, a candy-striper who is also a swimmer. She only confides her nightmare to Dan, after he tells her about a trip to Europe. He tells her she is all in control of her dreams, and she makes her way to work.
As Alice makes her way to work she finds herself back at the asylum. Alice is wheeled into an operating room on a stretcher, wearing Amanda's uniform, and screaming in pain. As Alice looks around she sees Amanda Krueger on the table, instead of herself, giving birth. As the baby is delivered, Amanda clamors to get to it. The baby breaks free from the doctors and escapes the room. Alice follows it into a church rectory, the same place that Alice defeated Freddy in the previous film. Before she can stop him, the baby finds Freddy's clothes and quickly grows into an adult. Amanda shows up to help Alice, but is disrupted when Freddy slams the church doors closed on her. After these events, Alice finds herself at work, but four hours late.
Alice immediately phones Dan who leaves their friends and rushes over to the diner. Before Dan can make it he falls asleep and Freddy (after transforming Dan into a very literal speed demon) makes him drive into a tanker truck, which explodes and wipes out Dan. Alice, after watching Freddy take possession of Dan, faints in the middle of the street. At the hospital, she is informed that she is pregnant with Dan's child. While recouping, she meets a young boy, Jacob. Yvonne later informs Alice that there were no children on her floor, nor is there a children's ward at the hospital. Freddy begins to kill Alice's friends one by one as they fall asleep. First is Greta, by forcing her to eat herself to death. Freddy then goes after Mark, and only after Alice draws herself into Mark's dream does Mark start to believe Alice. Alice requests an early ultrasound for her baby, and she soon realizes that Freddy is using her child to get into her friend's dreams. Alice also discovers that Jacob is really her unborn son. While Alice is looking for Amanda's body, Yvonne is attacked by Freddy. It's only when Yvonne barely escapes Freddy, thanks to a little help from Amanda's soul, that she accepts what Alice has been telling her. Shortly afterwards, Mark finds a comic depicting the entire events to that point and is drawn into his own nightmare. While there, Mark sees an image of Greta and finds his "dream power", the Phantom Prowler. He attacks Freddy, but is ultimately killed by Krueger and cut to pieces (literally, as he was turned into a paper character in his nightmare).
Alice sends Yvonne to the now-abandoned asylum (former Westin Hills) to release Amanda's soul while she sets out to free Jacob. Freddy pulls her into a M. C. Escher-like labyrinth to try to slow her down. Freddy goes back into hiding inside Alice as she finally catches up to Jacob. Upon the revelation that Krueger has been hiding inside of her the whole time, Alice forces him out, but the strong pain causes her to weaken and unable to fight back. After being released by Yvonne, Amanda arrives and instructs Jacob on how to defeat Freddy. Jacob, releasing the power that Freddy has given him, forces himself and Freddy to revert to an infant. Alice picks up Jacob and absorbs him while the now-infant Freddy tries to escape. Before he can escape, though, Amanda picks him up and absorbs him back inside. Freddy begins to fight from within and the church doors close. A couple of months go by; Alice gives birth to Jacob, and is finally at peace from the nightmares.
In the film's last scene, the children who appear throughout the series and are used as omens of Freddy's presence are shown, humming the familiar song "One, two, Freddy's coming for you..." wearing church outfits. They are next to Alice, her father, Yvonne and baby Jacob.
- Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
- Lisa Wilcox as Alice Johnson
- Beatrice Boepple as Amanda Krueger
- Whit Hertford as Jacob Johnson
- Kelly Jo Minter as Yvonne Miller
- Danny Hassel as Dan Jordan
- Erika Anderson as Greta Gibson
- Nicholas Mele as Dennis Johnson
- Joe Seely as Mark Grey
- Valorie Armstrong as Doris Jordan
- Burr DeBenning as Mr. Jordan
- Clarence Felder as Edmund A. Gray
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child was released on August 11, 1989 on 1,902 theatres in North America. On the first weekend, the film grossed $8,115,176, falling behind Parenthood ($9,672,350) and James Cameron’s The Abyss ($9,319,797). The film ranked No.8 at the second weekend box office with a box office performance of $3,584,320, and it dropped out from the Top 10 list ranked as No.11 and No.14 on the third and the fourth weekend. Overall, the film eventually grossed $22,168,359 at domestic box office. Though this makes it the second lowest grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film, the box office result equals 4 times its estimated budget, making it a financial success. The film ranked No.43 of the Top 50 highest domestic grossing films released in 1989. It is also the highest grossing horror-slasher film of the year.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child received generally mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 31% approval rating with an average rating of 4.2/10 based on 29 reviews. The film was widely criticized for its plot and for taking the series in a more comedic direction.
However, the film was acclaimed for its more gothic and imaginative dream sequences, special effects and Robert Englund's portrayal of Freddy Krueger. Lisa Wilcox is praised for her darker, more emotional and touching performance. Robert Englund has said that it is his least favorite film in the series next to Freddy's Revenge and Freddy's Dead.
In an interview posted on Nightmare on Elm Street Companion, Lisa Wilcox, praised Nightmare 5's gothic tone, but also pointed out that several scenes and parts of the film's plot perhaps are too sensitive for the audiences: “...NOES 5 was much darker, literally and figuratively. The lighting was darker and the subject matters were heavier too... Like abortion, teen motherhood, drinking and driving, bulimia, anorexia... Perhaps it was too much for a NOES film to handle. Thus, the film hit nerves too close to society home and therefore not as entertaining…” and she also gave the film a positive review in the interview, “…5 brought up interesting issues regarding teen pregnancy and rights of a mother."
- 1990 Fantasporto Awards
- Critics Award – Stephen Hopkins (Won)
- International Fantasy Film Award Best Film – Stephen Hopkins (Nomination)
- Razzie Award for Worst Original Song – Bruce Dickinson for "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" (Won)
- Razzie Award for Worst Original Song – Kool Moe Dee for "Let's Go" (Nominated)
- 1990 Young Artist Awards
- Best Young Actor in a Supporting Role – Whit Hertford (Won)
The graduation sequence was considerably cut down, which included Alice's father giving her the camera. As a result there are a number of minor continuity errors such as Alice holding airplane tickets moments before Dan gives them to her as a surprise gift.
An unrated version of the film was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc. This version contained longer, more graphic versions of Dan, Greta, and Mark's death scenes. In Dan's scene, cables can be seen sliding under the skin of Dan's arm, a large piece of the bike pierces his leg, and the skin on Dan's head is much more graphically torn off while he screams in pain. In Greta's scene, Freddy slices open a doll that begins to bleed and Greta is shown to have a gaping wound in her stomach, from which Freddy starts to feed to her. In Australia, the scenes were cut in cinemas, but restored to the VHS release. As of 2010, New Line Cinema has yet to officially release the uncut version of the film on DVD; however, snippets of these scenes are found in the Nightmare 5 section of the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.
- Bruce Dickinson – "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"
- Romeo's Daughter – "Heaven in the Back Seat"
- W.A.S.P. – "Savage"
- Mammoth – "Can't Take the Hurt"
- Slave Raider – "What Do You Know About Rock 'n' Roll"
- Whodini – "Any Way I Gotta Swing It"
- Samantha Fox – "Now I Lay Me Down"
- Kool Moe Dee – "Let's Go"
- Doctor Ice – "Word Up Doc!"
- Schoolly D – "Livin' in the Jungle"
Bruce Dickinson, famed singer of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, wrote and performed the song "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" for this movie's soundtrack. The song, later re-recorded by the band Iron Maiden itself, went on to be a #1 single in the UK.
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- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child at the Internet Movie Database
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child at AllMovie
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child at Rotten Tomatoes
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child at Box Office Mojo
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child at Nightmare on Elm Street Companion