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A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (DVD)

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  • Not All Of The Acting Is Exceptional
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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    7 Reviews
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      09.02.2010 00:50
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      Forgettable entry in the series that doesn't deserve to be watched at all

      Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is an abysmal entry in the series.

      Even hardcore horror fans have a certain disdain for this one.

      Freddy is back and controls Alice's (survivor of the previous movie) child to terrorise and kill teenagers.

      Krueger's makeup effects are terrible, the burn marks on his face come off as looking very rubbery.

      Robert Englund's performance is good but that's the only decent thing about this film.

      The film passes into fantasy with such scenes featuring upside down staircases and Freddy having to chase Alice's son on it. (A possible steal from 'Labyrinth'?)

      As in the previous film, there are no memorable characters and fans like to forget about even Freddy in this one.

      The gore level is average but there are some inventive deaths, namely one in particular involving Freddy killing a guy in a black and white comic book!

      There is a fair bit of humour from Freddy as he goes about killing and the jokes do come off as fairly comedic.

      However, the film sometimes comes off as a little incoherent and there were times when I didn't know what was really going on.

      You are best off forgetting about this one and moving onto 'Freddys Dead' or 'New Nightmare'.

      Miss it!

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      09.12.2009 01:25
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      A dark but unscary entry in the Nightmare series

      A year after the incidents of A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Child, Alice is beginning to have disturbing dreams again. This time she begins to relive the horror of child killer and then dream demon Freddy Krueger's conception and birth. After his birth, Alice witnesses the resurrection of the undead maniac in the venue where she had supposedly destroyed him. Freddy is back again and out to kill Alice's boyfriend and her new friends. He has further plans too. Alice is pregnant and Freddy has plans for her unborn child...

      In many ways, "A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child" should have reprieved the franchise, just as Part 3 did. Although Part 4 was in no way a bad sequel, it had lightened the horror of the series. With Stephen Hopkins at the helm for this instalment and a clear determination to give the film a darker tone, it appeared that at least stylistically the film was going back to its roots. The noticeable blue filter filming technique does make the film appear more sombre. Hopkins would go on to show his brilliant directorial skills in films such as "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers". However, the fifth Nightmare film would not earn him much praise from critics or fans.

      It is not that Nightmare 5 isn't a loyal sequel. Alice and Dan from the previous film continue on in the fashion you would expect and are played by the same actors. Even Alice's father, now a recovered alcoholic, makes an appearance. The origin of Freddy Krueger is looked at again, but the visuals are not as disturbing as the picture painted by Amanda Krueger's ghost in Part 3. In fact, despite the attempt at a gothic style the whole film lacks edge. The trademark humour of Freddy is present, but his death scenes are now completely devoid of anything that resembles horror. The idea might have been to darken Nightmare again, but the material is just not there. Combine this with the fact that so far the weakest entry, Part 2, had already used the idea of Freddy trying to possess someone, and you have a rather ill-conceived project. Sadly, despite some real potential, Nightmare 5 goes wide off the mark. Unfortunately the franchise would stray even wider the next time around...

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      14.08.2008 09:07
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      A good attempt from newish director Stephen Hopkins

      Anybody who thinks its easy to come up with the plot for the fifth film in a series, whilst trying to add a new outlook to it clearly has never tried. Thats not to excuse the many flaws in A Nightmare On Elm Street 5. The film picks up nearly where Part 4 left us, making it the 3rd film in a trilogy of films.

      Alice and Dan, who now have a whole new batch of friends, are graduating and preparing for a summer trek through Europe. Thats quickly put paid to though when Freddy Krueger returns to haunt them and pick off a new batch of teenagers. The thing is though that Alice isn't even asleep when she dreams him up, creating a brand new mystery.

      When Alice discovers that she is pregnant, she is also enlightened to the fact that babies dream for much of the time they are in the womb. Would Freddy use her unborn child to get to her and her friends? Together, she and a couple of her remaining friends must piece together the pieces of a jigsaw that involves an elderly nun who might just be Freddy's mother.

      Whilst The Dream Child is not exactly a good film, it once again attempts to add a different perspective to the dream stalker. The special effects make up for the most stunning visual aspects of the film, but fail to add anything to the narrative. The best then that the film can offer is awesome deaths which is clearly aimed at the MTV crowd. No surprise as director Stephen Hopkins was most notable to this point as a music flick director. That would explain then the massive use of colours and his tendancy to set up a scene before cutting away just as it reaches its climax. This worked brilliantly on the rock video's of the 80s, but certainly not in a feature film.

      Lisa Wilcox and Danny Hassel both return, as does Nicholas Mele as Alice's alcoholic father. Wilcox is completely wasted on material that is beneath her obvious ability. Her main storyline is that of teenage pregnancy, which is a noble cause when handled tastefully. However that is watered down by scene's of Freddy feeding the uterus "soul-food". Completely tasteless. Wilcox does get the benefit of character development though. Whilst Alice was a wash out for most of 4 (until that excellent finale), she has grown some balls in this sequel, ready to fight Freddy from the outset. She also shows some gusto in some scenes where she also has to take on the parents of the baby's father who threaten to take the child from her.

      Robert Englund does a great line in humour, but even he looks a bit fed up by now, doing a by-the-numbers turn as a battered looking Freddy Krueger. Whilst Hopkins attempts to return him to a darker more evil monster, as per for the original film, the script turns him into a stand up comic who leers and jeers at his every one liner.

      There are many likeable aspects of the film though. A cartoon cut out of a character pokes fun at the disposability of these teenagers who do horror films, whilst a girl with an eating disorder is fed her own fat in a gruesome but visually arousing sequence early in the film. Another plus point is the gothic element matched by a rather good soundtrack and an appropriately dramatic score. By the time we get to the finale though, its all thrown away by a stupid "bonding mother and child" sequence that makes no sense.

      It did rather look like this would be the end of Freddy, when the box office returns were far less than the hugely successful previous film. However, New Line gave Freddy a swan song 2 years later, a self-referential comeback 5 years later and eventually a match up with his biggest box office enemy Jason Vorhees 14 years later.

      The DVD offers a couple of music video's that are rubbish (there is far better material than that on the soundtrack), a trailer (which is frankly rubbish) and a Jump To A Nightmare segment which has never been more useful given that the best elements of this film are in fact the Nightmare sequences. We'll give it an extra star for the stunning graphics and Wilcox's excellent turn as Alice.

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      13.12.2003 03:49
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      • "Not All Of The Acting Is Exceptional"

      It would seem that I?m on a bit of a sequel kick. After having just submitted my review of ?A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy?s Revenge,? I decided to do a review on the series? most disliked sequel. You can probably guess from my positive comments of the series? first sequel that I won?t rate this one quite as poorly as many of the reviewers have. I got something out of this film with repeated views that I didn?t catch the first time around. With these elements gained, the film as a whole is much more likeable and has turned into one of the sequels that I don?t mind watching. Unlike ?Freddy?s Dead: The Final Nightmare,? the supposedly ?last? film in the series, the film take itself a little more seriously. The dark, gloomy look of ?The Dream Child? gives the audience a precedence of atmosphere that the ?Nightmare On Elm Street? sequels lacked. Although Freddy is still a jokester and you?ll laugh at him more than scream, director Stephen Hopkins sets up the film nicely. Although Freddy hardly uses his trademark glove anymore, I can overlook what this film has in terms of absence for what it does right. While it may not be the best of the sequels, it?s certainly not the worst and it actually provides a good time for yours truly whenever I decide to watch it. The plot is much more original; it?s unarguably the most original throughout any of the sequels. Instead of relying on the plot thread of Freddy using a victim?s dreams to claim souls, we get a more complex idea. For this entry, Alice (Lisa Wilcox) and a new group of friends have just graduated high school. Starting with this, it?s a nice detail that means that Freddy won?t be dealing with random teenagers who perform ludicrous acts of stupidity. Instead, these characters are young adults and this somehow manages to pull the film out of its proverbial abyss of stupidity and immaturity. But the real focus on the film is the way in which Freddy gets to his victims. No longer must he infiltrate
      their dreams, but rather he utilizes the dreams of Alice?s unborn child. This idea is one of high originality and I found it to set up the story rather unpredictably. It?s too bad the execution is sadly predictable and the open-endedness of the plot is forgotten. The idea of Freddy using the dreams of Alice?s unborn child could have gone to greater lengths to express just how cruel Krueger is. But instead, he sticks to the few Elm Street kids that are left instead of doing more with this ability. However, it?s still a lot better than watching him dispatch of hapless victims in dream after dream. The acting is what you would expect from the fifth film in a Horror movie series. Although it?s noticeably better than one would first give it credit for, it?s not entirely acceptable. It should go without saying that the lead actors do well with what they?re given, nothing more, nothing less. The co-stars and the ones that end up in the background are just a routine day at the morgue for Freddy. Don?t expect anything excellent to spawn from the script either, as it?s just there to pad the film in-between death scenes. But even with that said the acting isn?t what I would consider less than sub-par, thankfully enough. As the star of the film, Lisa Wilcox does an admirable job. When it comes time to show emotion, she does a decent job and her lines don?t usually end up falling victim into corny territory. What I really noticed was her ability to develop throughout the film. She goes from quiet and unsure to the strong female heroin who ends up not fearing Freddy whatsoever. It was good to see her range of emotion and character development once again. Eerily enough, it mirrors that of the fourth film in the series, ?The Dream Master.? Her ability to provide a lead character that we can root for and also care about is detrimental to this particular film. It helps the movie out quite a bit in the character department, as does her acting. She seems to get bet
      ter with each progressing film and the really does get into the role. As far as her co-stars go, the few stand-outs include Nicholas Mele, who portrays Alice?s father, Joe Seely, who portrays her friend Mark, and Danny Hassle who, strangely enough, portrays her boyfriend Dan. As far as acting is considered, they do a good job conveying emotion when need be and also benefiting from decent lines. It goes to their credit that they aren?t given a poor script selection, and it goes all the much more to their credit that they actually get good lines. All three of these characters, though somewhat minuet, do a considerably good job and are actually very likeable. They don?t act like stupid teenagers, much like the earlier sequel, ?The Dream Master? is concerned, but rather perform like adults, and ones who can think for themselves. It?s refreshing to see a cast that acts more they?re age rather than the age of the character they?re given. They aren?t what we would consider stupid and act well under the given circumstances. Actually being likeable benefits to each character well, and they?re performances are better than decent as well. The remaining actors and actresses simply fill the role. They do nothing more than what they?re told, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Thankfully enough, they aren?t bad actors to begin with, but they?re given poorly written sections of the script. They DO die well, however, and I guess that?s all these remaining characters are there to do. However, in this film, I would consider Freddy to also be somewhat of a background character. He isn?t given a lot of screen time and only chews the scenery when he is. The character is given a lot of darker, more atmospheric set pieces to work with and only cracks jokes and makes a mockery out of everything. The unrelenting fear is there in the atmosphere, but Freddy only makes the film a pun-filled mess. His stand-up antics degrade the m
      ovie?s usage of lighting and atmosphere and make something that could have been an eerie trip down Elm Street a complete mockery of itself. It hurts this writer to say that Krueger is his own worst enemy in this film. What this film actually does serve all the way around is Stephen Hopkins exceptionally good directing. Instead of giving us half-baked shots of Freddy in broad daylight or strikingly un-scary dream sequences, Hopkins piles on the atmosphere and sticks with the dark, shadowy set pieces that made the original ?Nightmare On Elm Street? such a scary film. That?s not to say that he actually makes the film scary, however, as that would be a considerably hard task to perform while under the watchful eye of the clown jester Freddy Krueger. But when Krueger isn?t chewing the scenery, spitting out awful one-liners, or riding a skateboard through a comic book dream world. When Freddy isn?t involved, the film benefits from it. The shadowy, starkly lit locations are a testament to Wes Craven?s directing genius from the original ?Nightmare?? which Hopkins no doubt tries to emulate. It works exceedingly well and provides the film with a great sense of atmosphere and a build up for Freddy which never pays off. To be completely honest, it?s the directing that saves the film. With Hopkins talented eye, the film would have been one star material. But his ability to recognize a creepy shot when he sees it is what largely saves this film. It?s just a shame that Freddy comes in and ruins what Hopkins accomplishes. Even with that said, we still have a large variety of visually striking, often unsettling shots of brilliant lighting and creepy set pieces. Without Hopkins visual style, this film would be nothing. As far as gore is concerned, if you?re the unlucky many who have seen the rated version (rated R here in the United States), then you?re missing out on quite a bit. The unrated version features a more lengthy death scene in which a charact
      er becomes one with a motorcycle and also a death scene in which a character is fed they?re own intestines. The rated version cuts down on the gore quite a bit. For example, the character that is fed they?re own intestines is implied to be fed by Freddy until they choke to death. The character who is merged with a motorcycle also has they?re death cut short which doesn?t show a lot in terms of gore and the details that depict objects penetrating skin. The rated version is more ?gooey? than gory and does disappoint in terms of carnage. If you can still find it, the unrated version is the one to seek out. Without the excellent directing and the unrated version?s gore, this film would be one star material. The decent acting only carries it so far, but what really hurts the film is Freddy himself. His antics lessen the impact of the film and hurt it overall. If Freddy made a return to his darker persona and stop cracking jokes, this film would be at least worthy of four stars. But as it stands, this one is probably only worthy for it?s direction and it?s usage of gore. As one can tell, it delivers in what a Horror film should. And with that said, its few downfalls often weigh out the positives and vice versa.

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        29.05.2001 20:55

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        Story: Alice, having survived the previous installment of the Nightmare series, finds the deadly dreams of Freddy Krueger starting once again. This time, the taunting murderer is striking through the sleeping mind of Alice's unborn child. His intention is to be "born again" into the real world. The only one who can stop Freddy is his dead mother, but can Alice free her spirit in time to save her own son? Verdict: Yet another sequel to the Nightmare series. Why do we watch them all?!?! The acting in this film is average, and as for some of the horror moments?! They just make me laugh! At one point a kid turns into a superhero and starts shooting at Freddy! Its pathetic, but it will make you laugh. I'd also like to know how the characters have this innate knowledge about how to move around in their dreams. You want to go somewhere? Find a picture of it and draw a stick figure of yourself there. Yes, one of the characters does this, and does it so casually and confidently, it's like she does this all the time. Give me a break. So how does Freddy return? In the previous series entry, of course, he dies. Again. In this one, he returns to life in a sequence so random and nonsensical it's quite obvious the filmmakers could think up no better alternative. "Make it confusing, and everybody will think they just missed something," I can hear one of the writers saying. From what I gather, Freddy gets reborn, though who gives birth to him a second time and how he grows up again so fast, I have no idea. His opening line, "It's a BOYYY!!!" is too cheesy for words. It's a lot like the movie as a whole in that regard. Overall, a bog standard movie that raises many unintentional laughs!

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        23.03.2001 16:27

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        I feel that of all the 'Nightmare on Elm St.' films, this is the most uninspired, and the one which most deserves all the criticisms often levelled at the series. Its directed by Stephen Hopkins, who later went onto bigger Hollywood flicks, like 'Judgement Night', 'Predator 2' and 'Lost in Space'. Do you really need me to give you the plot? For what its worth: Freddy Kruger is back, and since he apparently has nothing better do, he's decided to slaughter some teens. The justification for this (becoming more and more tenuous as the series progresses) is that he is able to strike at them through the dreams of the unborn child of the survivor of his previous set of shennanigans. Poor Freddy, you really have to feel for the guy. Anyways, this sets the scene for a series of FX-saturated slaughter sequences, each of which resemble music videos, and which are punctuated with Freddy's trademark lame wisecracks. Honestly, this guy could give Arnie a run for his money in the comedy stakes. To be honest, if you watch this film, you know what you're getting from the moment you press play, and if this type of flick appeals to you, then its not a complete disaster. While its probably the weakest of the 'Nightmare; films, the high budget gives it a glossy feel, the direction is flashy, and some of the homicides are quite spectacular. Compared to other horror films of the 'dream kill' genre, its slightly above average. Its just that the scenes in between the murders which are bland and pointless. I guess you could whip out the remote control and fastforward. Special mention should go to the comic book death sequence, where Freddy transforms into 'Super Freddy'. Ludicrous doesn't even begin to cover it.

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        28.07.2000 02:08

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        Freddy returns yet again and its getting very boring by now. This time Kristen returns and his pregnant, and when her friends start dying again she thinks it must be freddy but shes not dreaming of him. We then find out that Freddy is using the babdy in her womb to get to her friend and his turning the baby against her and into his son. We meet Freddy mam alot in this installment and there are some good effect, like the comic book death and the motor bike. We see alot of back story about Freddy and we learn about his birth and what he was like at school. The acting is as bad as usual and once again they laiden the one-liners on Freddy. I think they just decided to make a gory comedy back at part 4 and just seem to carry it on into this one. The storyline is amazing weak and you know that Freddy will murder all the characters until about two are left and then they will destroy him in some stupid way. You can usual guess when and which character will die because they are so sign posted. Watch it if youve seen the rest and want some more of the same.

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