Friday, August 29, 2008

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

And we see a welcome return to form here for the series, which had taken an unfortunate slide with the previous film. Here we are freed from the taint of Renny Harlin, and get to learn a bit more about Freddy’s origin, something the series has largely only seen fit to elaborate on in the odd numbered films.

Once again the survivors of the previous film have returned (you’d think they’d have taken the hint from the two previous times this happened in the series), and are once again menaced by Freddy, though with a rather original twist. Apparently Alice and Dan, fresh off of their defeat of Freddy in Dream Master, have started knocking boots, and now Alice has a bun in the oven whose dreams in the womb have opened up a new way for him to return.

This film is all about the mythology of the series, even bringing back Freddy’s long-deceased mother to explain some of his history that she didn’t get around to in part 3. This is generally a good thing, though it’s focused on to the point that the kills have largely dried up. It’s a pretty uncommon thing for the fifth film in a series of slasher movies to only have a body count of 3, yet here we are. Fortunately, the film at least partially attempts to compensate for this by dragging out the first kill for so long that it may as well have been several, something that is always appreciated.

This is a quality entry in the series, though it’s probably one of the least talked about, presumably because of the low body count and the overall lateness in the series. Frankly, though, more people should be checking this thing out. If nothing else, it’s got a guy that decides to fight Freddy by transforming into a superhero he created (though little tip for any of you that have to fight Freddy at some point in the future: transform into Superman or something, don’t just turn into a masked man with two handguns, all right?), and that’s awesome.

Rating: ***

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