A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Year: 1988

Director: Renny Harlin

Written by: Brian Helgeland, Scott Pierce

Threat: Ghost

Weapon of Choice: Finger-Knives

Based upon: Original

IMDb page: IMDb link

      A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Other movies in this series:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
New Nightmare
Freddy vs. Jason

The tyranist's thoughts
Looking back from over ten years in the future, it is difficult to remember or understand the phenomena that was Freddie Krueger in the 80's. That makes watching some of the entries in this series now a sort baffling exploration of fanaticism that has lost all of it's lustre. They made these movies to make fans happy. Fans loved Freddie and in a lot of ways he was the hero of these movies. But you couldn't really make him the hero (just like Jason couldn't be the hero) or a lot of parents would start making a lot of noise. Perhaps the only long horror series villain that managed to stay firmly on the side of evil was Michael Myers. By the fourth entry of the series Freddie's witticisms are tired and even pretty boring.
So the Dream Warriors from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 are back (even though I look more like Patricia Arquette than Tuesday Knight does) and life is good. Until Kincaid's dog pisses Freddie out of the grave that is. So he's alive again and wants vengeance on the last of the original Elm Street kids. In under half and hour he accomplishes what he couldn't in an hour and a half of the last episode. As she's dying, Kristen passes her powers onto the next generation in the form of highly virginal Alice. Unfortunately, the powers end up drawing kids in for Freddie instead of protecting them. After a bunch of death, Alice is ready to take Freddie on and the showdown begins.
Is there any part of that you didn't expect?
I actually thought that the fundamental story wasn't as terrible as the movie ended up. Not that it is truly abominable, just that there were distinct moments when I wanted to fast forward it to get to something interesting. Freddie is pretty cliched by this time and the movie just doesn't really support it's own weight.
This might be fun to watch in a marathon situation, just for reference, but I would say there is no reason you really need to watch anything but the original.

Total Skulls: 14

Sequel skull
Sequel setup skull
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution
MTV Editing
OTS skull
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat
Secluded location
Power is cut
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls skull
Toilet stall scene skull
Shower/bath scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare skull
Laughable scare
Stupid discovery of corpse skull
Dream sequence skullskull
Hallucination/Vision skull
No one believes only witness skull
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes
x years before/later
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead skull
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Blood fountain
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect
Excessive gore
No one dies at all
Virgin survives skull
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell? skull