A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Nightmare 4 picks up where Nightmare 3 left off…literally.  After “Dream Warriors” made us forget about the disappointment of part 2, part 4 – “The Dream Master” takes what made part 3 interesting it and decides to ride those coat tails.

There are some good kills in this one and some cheap ones.  Freddy’s sardonic wit is a bit more noticeable in this installment but it still hasn’t gotten as bad as it will down the road.  He’s still scary and his one liners are still generally cold and cruel, as opposed to simply stupid.  The ultimate showdown, though, is mind-numbingly bad.

I’d seen these all when they originally came out, but now I’m watching them again with a more critical eye.  The original remains a horror masterpiece.  The second is a pale impression of it, but still not bad.  The third movie breathes new life into it with an interesting new approach and part four is a hollow riff on that.  So far, you’re safe watching the first and third and ignoring the rest.

Stars: 3/5



2 thoughts on “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

  1. Part 4 suffers a bit in the scariness department by giving Freddy a little too much screen time and comedic dialogue, but you can’t deny it’s entertaining and stylish as hell. Lisa Wilcox also makes a great heroine, going from shy wallflower to butt-kicking heroine babe throughout the course of the film.

    • Part 4 had its moments – the franchise still isn’t completely ruined at this point. I agree with you about Lisa Wilcox, I questioned the way they worked the character, but it worked out in the end.

      That final battle was awful, though. I’ve always hated those “silver bullet” finales where the bad guy gets defeated by something lame.

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