A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:
The Dream Child
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - The Dream Child -US poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Produced by
Screenplay by Leslie Bohem
Story by
Based on Characters
by Wes Craven
Bruce Wagner
William Kotzwinkle
Brian Helgeland
Music by Jay Ferguson
Cinematography Peter Levy
Edited by
  • Brent A. Schoenfeld
  • Chuck Weiss
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date
  • August 11, 1989 (1989-08-11)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million[1]
Box office $22.2 million

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a 1989 American slasher film[2] 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 11, 1989, the film grossed over $22.2 million at domestic box office to a generally unfavourable 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. One day, in the shower, she sees herself at a strange asylum, dressed in a nun's habit with a name-tag saying Amanda Krueger. She is then attacked by patients at the hospital but wakes up. The next day, Alice is graduating from high school alongside her new friends: Greta, an aspiring, albeit reluctant, supermodel; Mark, a comic book geek; and Yvonne, a candy striper and swimmer. She only confides her nightmare to Dan and he tells her she is in control of her dreams.

On her way to work, Alice finds herself back at the asylum, where she witnesses Amanda giving birth to a gruesomely deformed Freddy-looking baby. Amanda tries to collect the baby before it escapes, but it sneaks out of the operating room and Alice follows it into the same church where she had defeated Freddy in the previous film. The baby finds Freddy's remains and quickly grows into an adult, hinting to Alice that he's found the "key" to coming back. Alarmed, she contacts Dan, who falls asleep en route to see her, and is attacked by Freddy. Freddy electrocutes him, turning him into a frightful creature before veering him into oncoming traffic. Alice sees Dan's body come to life and taunt her before she passes out. Waking in a hospital, she has to take the news of Dan's death and that she is pregnant with his child. In the night, she is visited by a young boy named Jacob, but the next day Yvonne tells her there are no children on her floor, nor is there a children's ward.

Alice tells her friends about Freddy and his lineage, but Yvonne refuses to hear it while Mark and Greta are more supportive. That afternoon, at a dinner party at home, Greta falls asleep at the table; she snaps at her mother, going on a rant over her controlling nature before Freddy arrives and literally forces Greta to eat herself alive before choking her in front of a laughing audience. In the real world, she falls down dead to the surprise of her mother and guests. Yvonne and Alice visit Mark, who is grieving Greta's death and a rift forms between them. Mark falls asleep and is nearly killed by Freddy, but Alice saves him at the last minute before seeing Jacob again. Jacob hints that she is his mother. Alice requests that Yvonne gets her an early ultrasound and discovers Freddy is feeding Jacob his victims to make him like himself.

Yvonne still believes that Alice is crazy. Dan's parents also believe that Alice is delusional and insist that she give them the baby when it is born, which Alice refuses. Alice and Mark research Krueger and the Nun Amanda. Realizing that Amanda was trying to stop Freddy, they investigate her whereabouts and Alice goes to sleep, hoping to find Amanda at the asylum. While there, Freddy lures her away by threatening Yvonne, who has fallen asleep in a Jacuzzi. Alice rescues her, and Yvonne finally believes her. Mark falls asleep and is pulled into a comic book world, where Freddy slashes him apart.

Alice goes to bed in order to find Freddy and save her son. She is led into an M. C. Escher-type maze before she finally draws Freddy out from within herself. Yvonne finds Amanda's remains at the asylum and joins the fight in the dream world, encouraging Jacob to use the power that Freddy had been giving him. Jacob manages to destroy Freddy and his infant form is absorbed by his mother while Alice picks up a baby Jacob. Warning Alice away, Amanda manages to seal Freddy away in time.

Several months later, Jacob Daniel Johnson is enjoying a picnic with his mom, grandfather and Yvonne. The familiar song of Freddy's theme can be heard being hummed by children jumping rope.



Box office[edit]

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).[3] 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 grossed $22,168,359 at US box office. It is the second-lowest grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film. The film ranked No.43 of the Top 50 highest-grossing films released in the US in 1989 and is No.37 of all slasher films cataloged by Box Office Mojo.[4]


The films received mostly negative review from both fans and critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 33% approval rating and an average rating of 4.2/10 based on 30 reviews.[5] Variety called it "a poorly constructed special effects showcase" with "highly variable" acting.[6] Caryn James of The New York Times wrote that the film "doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is - a genre film that won't totally insult your intelligence or your eyes".[7] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times described it as "a dynamic, fully visually realized experience", complimenting the acting, set design, and directing. Thomas identifies Krueger as representing the irrational adult world to teenagers.[8] Richard Harrington of The Washington Post ranked it below the first and third films, saying that the plot is too confusing.[9]

Director Stephen Hopkins has expressed disappointment with the final product, stating that "It was a rushed schedule without a reasonable budget and after I finished it, New Line and the MPAA came in and cut the guts out of it completely. What started out as an OK film with a few good bits turned into a total embarrassment. I can't even watch it anymore."[10]


1990 Fantasporto Awards
Critics Award – Stephen Hopkins (Won)
International Fantasy Film Award Best Film – Stephen Hopkins (Nomination)
10th Golden Raspberry Awards
Razzie Award for Worst Original SongBruce 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)

Deleted scenes[edit]

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.

Upon its release, the movie had to be subjected to some cuts in the sequences of Dan's, Mark's and Greta's deaths, in order to avoid being classified X by MPAA due to the extremely violent and graphic nature of those sequences. An unrated version of the film was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc. This version contained longer, more graphic versions of Dan's, Greta's and Mark's death scenes.[citation needed] 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.[11] In Mark's death sequence, Freddy turns him into paper and shreds him to pieces, before beheading him; the decapitation scene was deleted in the original version of the film. Despite this, the Australian Classification board did not rate it "R18+", giving it the lower "M15+". As of 2018, 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.



The soundtrack album featured ten tracks. The first side consisted of heavy metal and hard rock songs, while the second consisted primarily of hip hop songs.

Track listing
1."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"Bruce Dickinson5:03
2."Heaven in the Back Seat"Romeo's Daughter3:58
4."Can't Take the Hurt"Mammoth4:21
5."What Do You Know About Rock 'n' Roll"Slave Raider3:34
6."Any Way I Gotta Swing It"Whodini4:30
7."Now I Lay Me Down"Samantha Fox4:17
8."Let's Go"Kool Moe Dee5:25
9."Word Up Doc!"Doctor Ice3:24
10."Livin' in the Jungle"Schoolly D3:36

Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, wrote and performed the song "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" for the film. A second version of the song, recorded with Iron Maiden, became the band's only Number 1 single in their native UK when released in December 1990.

Film score[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Nightmare-on-Elm-Street-The-Dream-Child-A#tab=summary
  2. ^ Fujishima, Kenji (2016-01-14). "Revisiting all 8 of Freddy's nightmares, the richest of the slasher franchises". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  3. ^ "August 11-13, 1989 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  4. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - The Dream Child (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  6. ^ "Review: 'A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child'". Variety. 1989. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  7. ^ James, Caryn. "Review/Film; Dreams and Nightmares On a Well-Traveled Street". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  8. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 11, 1989). "Movie Review : Dreamy Confrontation in Freddy's Family". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Harrington, Richard (August 12, 1989). "'A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child'". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Shapiro, Marc (December 1990). "Predator 2 Stalks The Concrete Jungle". Fangoria (99).
  11. ^ "Photographic image of DVD cover" (JPG). Nightmareonelemstreetfilms.com. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  12. ^ "Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2015.

External links[edit]