Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Yes, I’m doing this review before I do the review for part 3, so that I don’t get further behind, if that makes sense. Anyway, Dream Master is (in my opinion) the second weakest film in the entire series, ahead of only Freddy’s Dead due to a combination of an exceptionally weak story, uninteresting characters, poor pacing, and largely pretty weak kills. Actually, now that I think about it, this might be the worst one, I haven’t seen Freddy’s Dead in a few years.

The film was directed by Renny Harlin, which should be enough explanation in itself for film buffs. For those lucky readers not already familiar with him, he is the highly esteemed director that has made such films as Die Hard 2, an action movie notable for its action sequences being the weakest parts of the entire film, Cuttthroat Island, the film which bankrupted Carolco Studios, and Driven, that Stallone racing movie that I didn’t see but I’m sure sucked. This was one of his first films, and he seems to have peaked early.

So onto the story. The film opens with the three surviving teens from the last film, which never bodes well for their continued health, as they accidentally bring Freddy back to life and he kills them all. Before he can completely finish them off, however, the last girl manages to transfer her power to bring other people into her dreams to a new girl (Hrmm, I should probably mention something about that when I write up the review for part 3), who now gets to put all of her friends in danger of Freddy. We then pretty much jump from segment to segment where he kills off another of her friends in an ironic manner (sucking all the air out of an asthmatic, turning a girl terrified of insects into a roach thing, etc.) before our new heroine decides to combat him once and for all. She is…the Dream Master.

The movie’s admittedly not outright terrible (though thanks to doing this blog my concept of how low the bar can be set has greatly expanded), but it comes from a higher pedigree than the average horror film, and so should be held to a somewhat higher standard. It’s perfectly watchable if you’re just trying to see all of them like I am, but it’s hard not to view this as a bit of a speed bump in a series that’s mostly a pretty smooth ride.

You know, so far as series’ where people get gruesomely killed a lot go.

Rating: * ½

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