Sequels are notorious for diminishing returns. There may be elements you like from the first film but that magic from the original movie is hard to replicate. Even if the movie is good, generally people aren’t going to see it if they haven’t seen the first one. Logically, you generally can only lose fans from the first movie and at best keep the ones you already have. People aren’t going to walk into Transformers 4 without seeing the other 3 unless they lost a bet (the Age of Extinction is a better description of the fan base at this point). This brings us to our subject A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. I was hesitant to watch the 4th incarnation of any movie but Matt told me he would be my sherpa up the mountain of The Dream Master.
The basic story here is Freddy is back, burying him on consecrated ground didn’t do it. He kills some kids and at the end they show him a mirror and that kills him? Death by reflection. This is normally where I make a snarky remark about them not making this movie to begin with and they should reflect on that but it made almost $50 million in the 80’s, so it did something right. This was the highest grossing domestic horror film in the 80’s according to wikipedia.
The most appalling part of this horror movie is the acting. Robert Englund is just as creepy as ever but all of the actors playing the kids are terrible with a capital Suck. Lisa Wilcox (played Alice) went on to ‘star’ in the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure TV series. Her constant vacant expression combined with unnatural outbursts of emotion made her a very difficult character to get a bead on. I was really hoping she would have died first but, unfortunately for me, she was the main protagonist.
Tuesday Knight (that is her name) played Kristen Parker, which is the same role that Patricia Arquette played in the third Freddy installment. I may need to be reminded: Who won the Academy Award for best actress in a supporting role in 2015? Was it Knight for her role as Wednesday in Catch of the Day or Arquette in Boyhood? I’ll look it up later. I would be lying if I said Ken Sagoes (Kinkaid) went on to better things after being in The Dream Warriors but he has been working on TV since, which makes me happy because he’s got personality.
The soundtrack was fine but the main song was a bit special. The song I’m referring to by Knight was “Running from this Nightmare” which had some of the best lyrics since ‘the heat was hot’. Actual line from the song: ‘It’s like a heart attack on a one way street.’ Let’s dive into this lyric for a moment. How is having a heart attack worsened by the flow of traffic? If they were driving it would obviously make it worse but that isn’t indicated in the other lyrics. A heart attack on a thruway would be way worse than in a school zone only due to traffic. On the other hand if it’s a weekend then the situation may reverse. Long story short this line is pretty odd. My line would be ‘Like a heart attack during trick or treat.’ At least trick or treat has some spooky connotations to it.
Now for the makeover. I would like to say that my idea for the remake is mine alone and Matt did not have a say in this. That being said, this remake idea is for him. The original A Nightmare on Elm Street was remade in 2010 with Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy. I’m a big fan of Haley so I was shocked to see how bad it was but I think they could still remake 4 with this continuity and it would be better. I would bring back Haley as his darker and meaner Freddy and I would bring in the kids from the TV show Glee.
Due to copyright reasons they would only have to change the names slightly to not get sued. William ShmKinley High School will be overrun with rumors of Freddy with none of the kids taking it seriously. One by one they realize that Freddy is killing all of the tertiary characters and the kids find out that there is a potential way of killing him through song. They sing the greatest Mashup/Ballad ever conceived to kill Freddy based on the ancient scripture entitled “We Built This Achy Breaky Party All the Time”. It turns out that was a trick by Sue Chillvester and it had no effect on Freddy. By the time the main characters realize this they are all dead or being killed by Freddy. In the end it is revealed that Sue was Freddy the whole time and she didn’t kill them in their dreams at all. She was just wearing a bunch of fruit leather on her face. The police take her to jail and she is sentenced to death. In the electric chair she sees Freddy and he’s laughing at her. He had control of her the whole time and you see him enter the mind of the principal. Roll credits.
As always I am Tim McDonald, your movie watching stunt double. I want to give a special thanks to Kurt Hoffman again and Matt Lewis for watching this and joking around with me. Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook to make suggestions or comments. I have a good sized list of movies to review but I am always open to suggestions or requests.