Imaginative special effects highlight the fourth entry in the series. As before, Freddy’s out for revenge on the kids of Elm Street for their parents’ having murdered him after he killed several children in the first place. Freddy’s conjured up in the kids’ nightmares and a clever plot [by William Kotzwinkle and Brian Helgeland] has him rapidly (and unexpectedly) dispensing with the surviving kids, only to extend his mayhem to their friends, starting with Alice (Lisa Wilcox).
Wilcox in the lead role gives a solid performance ranging from vulnerable to resourceful, as she gains strength from her departed friends to do battle with Freddy.
Robert Englund, receiving star billing for the first time, is delightful in his frequent incarnations as Freddy, delivering his gag lines with relish and making the grisly proceedings funny.