Review: ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child’

Fifth edition of the hit Nightmare series is a poorly constructed special effects showcase. Pic's storyline dovetails closely with Parts 3 and 4: Alice (Lisa Wilcox) learns that the vengeful monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) is now preying on her friends, materializing through the dreams of the fetus she's carrying.

Fifth edition of the hit Nightmare series is a poorly constructed special effects showcase. Pic’s storyline [by John Skipp, Craig Spector and Leslie Bohem] dovetails closely with Parts 3 and 4: Alice (Lisa Wilcox, surviving from last pic) learns that the vengeful monster Freddy Krueger (steady Robert Englund) is now preying on her friends, materializing through the dreams of the fetus she’s carrying.

New title character is Jacob (Whitby Hertford), 10-year-old dream child who reps what Alice’s child will become and is the focus of her war with Freddy. Key to battling the monster is contacting the spirit of Freddy’s mom (Beatrice Boepple), a nun who committed suicide following his birth.

Unfortunately, Aussie helmer Stephen Hopkins adopts a music-video approach, delaying the boring exposition for several reels and usually cutting away from climaxes to destroy much of the film’s impact. Acting is highly variable. Saving grace is the series of spectacular special effects set pieces featuring fanciful makeup, mattes, stopmotion animation and opticals.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child

Production

New Line/Heron/Smart Egg. Director Stephen Hopkins; Producer Robert Shaye, Rupert Harvey; Screenplay Leslie Bohem; Camera Peter Levy; Editor Chuck Weiss, Brent Schoenfeld; Music Jay Ferguson; Art Director C.J. Strawn

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Robert Englund Lisa Wilcox Kelly Jo Winter Danny Hassel Erika Anderson Nick Mele

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