Sunday, 26 July 2009

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

The titular Dream Master in this fourth Freddie Kruger flick isn't Fred, its not any of our heroes (primary one being Alice) and in fact, other then being mentioned endlessly, he/she never turns up at all. I found this rather odd.

You see A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 is an attempt to resurrect Elm Street from the corner that the resolution of 3 painted it into. Only three Elm Street kids remain and Freddie is well and truly dead and buried. A nice simple bit of flaming dog piss helps to restore Freddy (huh!) but he kills Joey and Kincaid so quickly that his only target now is Kirstin who still has the bitch Queen from hell as a mother helpfully drugging her so that we don’ have to wait for her to finally succumb to tiredness. This is handy as Kirstin has the power to drag people into her dreams, she can bring new meat into the play. This is where the film goes tits-up. You see Kirsten drags her friend Alice into the dream then refuses to drag anyone else in. Rather then kill Alice and use Kirsten again and again Freddy decides to kill her and waste that essential power. Luckily Kirsten in her dying moments decides that Alice should have her power. Go figure, then she can drag her friends in too.Fishtank Principle

The film is so heavily centred around Alice that her friends truly do seem like meat for the grinder and rather then the dream world and real world blurring together as shown so effectively in the previous outings this time everything feels the same. Maybe Alice is the Dream Master that we have heard about. I mean we have seen her vivid daydreams, that must mean something. I’m guessing that Alice can manipulate Freddie's dream world turning it on his head? Nope. Alice instead takes on the very, very clichéd traits of her friends as the die (normally following their own cliché) for example the bug hating friend is turned into a bug and squished. This is the first time that Elm Street has felt like a parody of itself and it leaves it strangely unsatisfying.

Perhaps the finale can redeem this movie? Well no, all we really needed was for Alice to remember that old cliché about evil hating its reflection (also used in the Doctor Who Episode “Kinda” 6 years beforehand) so despite taking on all this kung fu/techno geekery/strength type stuff all she really needed to do was hold up a mirror.PDVD_033

Freddy is dead again and we have another corner for the next film to paint itself out of. Hopefully it is a better effort then this one. Overall A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 just feels unfinished, rushed and just not quite right. A shame because the intention is obviously there as is the talent, the script sucks big balls though.

Paul Out…

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