A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
|A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:
The Dream Master
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Renny Harlin|
by Wes Craven
|Music by||John Easdale
|Editing by||Michael N. Knue
Smart Egg Pictures
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||93 minutes|
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a 1988 American slasher fantasy film and the fourth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, stars Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox and Danny Hassel. Despite mixed to positive reviews from critics, the film performed well at the box office, grossing over $49.3 million domestically, making it the highest grossing horror film of year 1988, and also the most successful Nightmare on Elm Street film until Freddy vs. Jason. It is the sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and is followed by A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.
Kristen (Tuesday Knight), Joey (Rodney Eastman), and Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) have been released from the Westin Hills Asylum and are now living normal lives and attending high school. Kristen has managed to make some new friends: Alice Johnson (Lisa Wilcox), a young, bright girl and a frequent daydreamer; Sheila Kopecky (Toy Newkirk), a brainy, quiet girl with asthma; and Debbie Stevens (Brooke Theiss), a tough girl who hates bugs. She has also found herself a boyfriend, Rick (Andras Jones), a martial arts enthusiast who is also Alice's brother.
Kristen begins to sense that Freddy might not be dead, and angers Kincaid and Joey when she pulls them into a dream of Freddy's old house, but they explain the boiler is cold and empty and Freddy is not going to come back. Kincaid's dog Jason suddenly bites Kristen and they all wake up with evidence of the bite reflecting in the real world, but still the boys don't believe he's coming back. The next night, Kincaid wakes up in the salvage yard where Freddy's bones were buried in the previous film and witnesses as Jason innocently causes Freddy's resurrection. Freddy stalks Kincaid through the yard who fights back by sending cars down on top of him. But Freddy rebounds and traps Kincaid before brutally stabbing him in the stomach, killing him. Meanwhile, Joey falls asleep on his waterbed and is tricked into thinking a supermodel is swimming in it before Freddy emerges and stabs him, drowning him to be discovered by his mother the next day. Kristen is accidentally knocked unconscious when she panics, seeing Joey and Kincaid didn't show up at school and has an encounter with Freddy before being woken by the school nurse at the last minute. She tells Rick, Alice and Dan Jordan; a friend of Ricks whom Alice has a crush on, about Freddy's legend and Alice remembers an old nursery rhyme which is a key in controlling one's dreams.
Elaine Parker secretly gives Kristen sleeping pills and she escapes to her bedroom where she falls asleep. She tries to assert control of her dream, but Freddy destroys the illusion. He forces Kristen to call Alice into her dream, opening up the ability for him to claim other children not from Elm Street. He then throws Kristen into his broiler and she dies in front of Alice's eyes. After waking she and Rick go to Kristen's house and find her burning in her room, which devastates them both. The next day, Alice falls asleep in class and accidentally pulls Sheila into her dream as a victim for Freddy but evidence points to an asthma attack after he sucks the oxygen out of her lungs in the nightmare. Rick begins to believe her, but the next day he falls asleep and is drawn into a martial arts-inspired dream. He fights off Freddy, but Freddy cheats and kills him. Alice learns with each death, she gains aspects of her friends' personalities and abilities as well as their dream powers while Freddy collects their souls. She, Dan and Debbie plan an attack on Freddy, but Mr. Johnson keeps Alice in and she falls asleep, inadvertently giving Debbie to him. As Freddy stalks her, Alice and Dan, both caught in a dream, loop the same events again and again before they catch on. Giving Freddy time to turn Debbie into a cockroach and crushing her in a roach motel. Alice tries to run Freddy down in Dan's truck, but she hits a tree in reality and Dan is sent to the emergency room.
As Dan is attacked by Krueger after being put under, Alice joins him and they try to escape, but Freddy's injuries to Dan reflect in the real world and the doctors pull him out of his dream. Now alone, Alice faces Freddy, but is outmatched by his experience and use of the dream powers. She finally remembers the Dream Master rhyme and turns Freddy's own reflection back at him, allowing his collected souls to revolt and literally tear him apart. Now a husk, Freddy's clothes fall lifelessly to the floor as Alice stands victorious.
Some time later, Dan and Alice are dating and both are getting their lives back to normal. As they approach a wishing fountain, Alice thinks she sees Freddy's reflection in the water, which fades as Dan's coin strikes it. They then walk off together.
- Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
- Lisa Wilcox as Alice Johnson
- Danny Hassel as Dan Jordan
- Brooke Theiss as Debbie Stevens
- Andras Jones as Rick Johnson
- Tuesday Knight as Kristen Parker
- Toy Newkirk as Sheila Kopecky
- Rodney Eastman as Joey Peterson
- Ken Sagoes as Roland Kincaid
- Nicholas Mele as Mr. Dennis Johnson
- Brooke Bundy as Elaine Parker
Released on August 19th, 1988 on 1,765 theatres in North America, on the first weekend, the film grossed $12,883,403 as the 1st highest grossing film of that week, and also the highest opening of a whole franchise until Freddy vs. Jason. On the second weekend, the film still ranked No.1 with a performance of $6,989,358, but also sat the first place on the third weekend, then sets No.2, No.4 and No.6 in the next three weeks, until it finally dropped out from the Top 10 list as No.11 on the seventh weekend. Finally, the film took a strong box office success with a domestic total of $49,369,899, making it the highest grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film at that time, until Freddy vs. Jason's release in 2003. Up to now, it still stands the 3rd highest grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film in the whole series. The film ranked No.19 of the Top 50 highest domestic grossing films, and also the highest grossing horror-slasher film of the year 1988.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master received generally mixed reviews from the critics. However, reception from the audiences was generally positive. Many fans considered the film as one of their favorite films of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. In the book Hollywood Monster, Robert Englund mentioned the film is his personal favorite Nightmare on Elm Street film of the whole franchise, and he also confirmed this point in the interview on official Nightmare on Elm Street Films website.
In an interview, Lisa Wilcox, the actress who portrayed Alice Johnson in the film, gave the film a positive review: "...It had a great story, funny Freddy lines, not too gruesome and a cast that worked really well together."Wes Craven, the creator of the franchise also give the film a positive comment in the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, he says: "...I think Renny Harlin is a gifted director, he did so much that the other directors cannot do..." Also, Robert "Bob" Shaye, the pre-CEO of New Line Cinema, believed the film is the prime time of the Nightmare series and the most enjoyable sequel of all. The Dream Master’s success also improved New Line’s financial, which exactly made it a world-famous film company. The film holds an overall mixed rating of 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 27 critical reviews.
- 1990 Saturn Awards
- Best Director – Renny Harlin (Nomination)
- Best Horror Film (Nomination)
- Best Supporting Actor – Robert Englund (Nomination)
- Fantasporto Awards 1989
- International Fantasy Film Award for Best Film – Renny Harlin (Nomination)
- Best Special Effects (Won)
- Best Film (Nomination)
- Teenage Choice for Best Horror Motion Picture (Won)
- Best Young Actor in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture – Rodney Eastman (Nomination)
- Best Young Actor in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture – Andras Jones (Nomination)
- Best Young Actress in a Horror or Mystery Motion Picture – Brooke Theiss (Nomination)
|A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master|
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Genre||Rock, New Wave, synthpop|
- "Nightmare" – Tuesday Knight (Played at the opening credits)
- "Love Kills" – Vinnie Vincent Invasion (Played in the jukebox, after hearing about Joey and Kincaid's death)
- "Angel" – Love/Hate
- "Don't Be Afraid of Your Dreams" – Go West (Played over the end credits. A sped up, more rock-like instrumental version is heard playing when Alice prepares for her final battle with Freddy)
- "Back to the Wall" – Divinyls (Played while Kristen is driving to Rick and Alice's house)
- "Anything, Anything (I'll Give You)" – Dramarama (Played during Rick and later Alice's martial arts training montages)
- "Are You Ready for Freddy" – The Fat Boys (Played over the end credits)
- "Fatal Charm" – Billy Idol (Played during Joey's final nightmare)
- "Pride and Joy" – Joe Lamont (Played on the jukebox while Debbie serves Dan)
- "Rebuilding the Big House" – Nick Gilder
- "Therapist" – Vigil
- "Under the Night Stars" – Sea Hags
- "Standing Over You" – The Angels
- "I Want Your (Hands on Me)" – Sinéad O'Connor (Played during Debbie's death & end credits)
- "In the Flesh" – Blondie (Played on the jukebox when Dan comes to the diner to talk to Alice about Freddy)
- Music score by Craig Safan
- "Kirsten's Haunted Dream"
- "Freddy's Back"
- "Kincaid Killed in Junkyard"
- "Joey's Wet Dream"
- "Drugged to Death"
- "Alice Lured Into Dream"
- "Rick's Kung-Fu Death"
- "Freddy's Pizza Restaurant"
- "Debbie Checks In/Time Circles"
- "Sheila Sucks Face"
- "Theater Madness"
- "Freddy's Calliope"
- "Alice Battles Freddy"
- "Corpus Krueger"
- The Fat Boys featuring Robert Englund performing "Are You Ready for Freddy" showing one of the Fat Boys inheriting the Elm Street house and staying the night in order to complete the inheritance, even including Freddy rapping and audio of Heather Langenkamp's famous line "don't fall asleep" from the original film. This video can be found on bonus disc, The Nightmare Series Encyclopedia, from the The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection, released by New Line Platinum Series, on September 21st, 1999.
- Vinnie Vincent Invasion performing "Love Kills", a music video featuring scenes from The Dream Master. It is not featured on any DVD release, possibly due to rights issues, and the music clip played in the film almost seems to be turned down, as it is extremely quiet.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master|
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master at the Internet Movie Database
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master at allmovie
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master at Box Office Mojo
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master at Rotten Tomatoes
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master at Nightmare on Elm Street Companion