I’m pretty sure at some point in my life I enjoyed the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. But after a run through of the entire original set, from 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street to Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare, I can say that I still sort of like the original, the third one has its moments, six is fun and the seventh is a nice end for the series. And while the remake of the original is decent enough, I think we can all agree that Freddy vs Jason has no real point but fan service. Missing from my list are two, four and five – which I remembered not liking all along. So I was moderately unhappy that it was A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master which was picked for SHOCKtober.
First off, I hate when a series can’t get an actor or actress back. So when Kristen shows up portrayed by Tuesday Knight instead of Patricia Arquette I’m already annoyed. And then the movie quickly kills off everyone who managed to survive part 3, Dream Warriors.
Next, you know, I forgot how completely campy and ridiculous these movies are. I now know with absolute certainty that I prefer my movie monsters to be either more serious or more silent, or both. The constant jokes, puns and quips from Freddy are just so terrible. They aren’t even funny. I cringed my way through the movie, not from blood and gore but from the sense of humor.
And to top it off, the decision to make Freddy the supernatural guardian of the gate of bad dreams while Alice is the supernatural (yet mortal) guardian of the gate of good dreams… ugh. And that rhyme about the Dream Master? It’s the 4th movie… why haven’t we heard that before? Oh, right, because it didn’t exist until this film. Double ugh.
However, as much as I don’t want to recommend anyone bother watching this movie, unfortunately the entirety of the arc of the movies, through A New Nightmare is actually quite good, and in order to really appreciate that final film, you need to have suffered through the rest of them.
For my money though, Wes Craven did a much better job using dreams in 1989’s Shocker. In fact, snag this collection and get three Wes Craven movies that are each better than the entire Nightmare series.