Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 072: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) and A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989) — Franchise Review Part 3 of 5

Nightmare 4 and 5 Artwork

Happy October! Halloween is approaching fast, so come and celebrate with us on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… Episode 072 is the third installment of our five-part NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET FRANCHISE. In this episode, we bring you in-depth reviews of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Warrior (1988) and A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), and our special guest is the Wild Man Willis Wheeler of the Terror Troop horror podcast. Join us!

If you’re unfamiliar with HMP’s franchise reviews, you can hear our approach to previous franchises, as well, including our reviews of the Halloween films back in October 2014, the Friday the 13th films back in February of 2015, and the Scream films last month.

Horror Movie Podcast is a weekly show that’s released every Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voice mails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


I. Introduction
— Hear Dr. Walking Dead on Radio West
— Dr. Shock’s brief thoughts on A Nightmare on Elm Street Parts 2 and 3
Dr. Shock on Part 2 = 5 ( Rental )
Dr. Shock on Part 3 = 8 ( Buy it!)

[ 00:12:17 ] II. Feature Review: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER (1988) with guest Willis Wheeler
Jay of the Dead = 3 ( Avoid )
Wolfman Josh = 5 ( Rental )
Dr. Shock = 5 ( Low-priority Rental )
Willis Wheeler = 7.5 ( Buy it! )

[ 01:09:27 ] III. Feature Review: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: THE DREAM CHILD (1989) with guest Willis Wheeler
Jay of the Dead = 4.5 ( Avoid )
Wolfman Josh = 3 ( Avoid )
Dr. Shock = 3.5 ( Avoid )
Willis Wheeler = 5.5 ( Watch on cable )

IV. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US NEXT FRIDAY ON HMP: Episode 073: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) with special guests Ron Martin and Willis Wheeler.

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com


Hear Dr. Walking Dead on Radio West

Listen to this EPIC episode of Movie Podcast Weekly: The Martian and Sicario

Willis Wheeler’s links:
Two-Drink Commentaries
NFW Commentaries Podcast
The Wild Man’s YouTube Channel
Willis Wheeler on TV’s Toy Hunter
Willis on the Terror Troop horror podcast
Willis on the Cinema Beef Podcast
Willis on Twitter: @NastyWillDC
Willis on Facebook

Hear Joel Robertson’s Spooky Flix Fest coverage for Halloween!

And don’t miss Ron Martin’s The Resurrection of Zombie 7 podcast’s Halloween coverage!

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

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Thanks for listening, and join us again next Friday for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

68 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 072: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) and A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989) — Franchise Review Part 3 of 5

  1. I’m at the point where Jay is randomly talking about how ANOES 5 was the last one of the Nightmare series to be released on VHS. Just to show that that’s not true, Freddy vs Jason was released on VHS way later in 2003.

    • Looking back it is weird to think how long the VHS format lasted. Nowadays it’s most often associated with 80’s/early 90’s culture but the final nail wasn’t put in it’s coffin until much later. Regrettably I had The Phantom Menace on VHS and the first Lord of the Rings film. Those movies still feel “modern” to me, far more so than the subjective format at least.

      • I’m trying to think of the last VHS tape I bought. I know I received my first DVD player for my birthday back in 2001 (With some cash I received from other family members, I bought The Shinning and Halloween TV Cut for my first purchases). I’m thinking my last VHS had to have been Scream 3. It would have came out a year before I got a DVD player. Chances are, I had bought some other horror VHS tapes after Scream 3, but they would have been older movies.

    • Hey guys as far a part 5 being labeled the last ANOES to be released on VHS. I think it just means that part 5 was the last to use “A Nightmare on Elm Street” in the actual title. While the next ones were under the names “Freddy’s Dead – The Final Nightmare” “Wes Cravens New Nightmare” and “Jason Vs Freddy” so in that aspect it is the last to use the ANOES in the title.

  2. Just finished the podcast, so here’s some thoughts.

    First off, Jay never ceases to amaze me. I’m trying to think of how to put this. With the whole raping, skateboarding, marital arts, being in a band, ect, Jay’s way cooler than he comes across. There’s a total contrast with how he comes across and the “Real” Jay that every once in awhile he reveals.

    I find Alice to be a highly underrated final girl in the 80’s slashers scene. Everyone, including myself, seems to forget her when mentioning the best ones. I can kind of understand why seeing as Nightmare already had two really memorable final girls in Nancy and Kristin. One that that separates Alice from nearly any other final girl is that once you get past the fact that he brother and some friends were killed, her dealings with Freddy bettered her life. When we first meet Alice, she’s this very plain and shy girl that can’t find her own voice. Over the course of the two movies, she comes out of her shell, manages to stand up to her dad, shacks up with the hot guy, has a baby with said hot guy, ect. In fact, looks wise, she looks like a completely different person in Dream Child. She went from being plain and “Ugly” in Dream Master to being a total babe in Dream Child. As a person, she’s oddly better off after her dealings with Freddy. Sure, she lost a lot of people that mattered to her, but she’s no longer some weak girl.

    I fully admit this is a guilty pleasure, but her little training montage as she preps for her battle with Freddy is my favorite training/preparation montage in film history. She’s bringing life back to her dead friends by wearing something that belonged to them, removing the pictures to finally look at herself in the mirror again, and it’s all to the amazing song by Dramarama. I have the song on my iTunes and I was listening to it again right before I played the podcast. Just as Kristin overshadowed Alice, so does Dokken with Dramarama. I’m a total geek when it comes to music in horror movies and both Dream Warriors and Anything, Anything (I’ll give you) are two of my most listened to songs that appeared in horror movies.

    The biggest flaw of Dream Master was the killing off of the Dream Warrior survivors. It feels like a bit of a slap in the face to take these three characters that we grew to love in the previous film and then kill them off so quickly and unremarkably in the next movie. Would it have really hurt to have Alice have a crush on Joey instead of Dan? We could have had far more scenes with Joey since we already had an emotional investment with him instead of the personality devoid Dan. The fact that they found a new Kristin only further increased this annoyance. Just like with Halloween 6, it feels cheap to kill off a beloved character without the right actress.

    Sheila’s death in Dream Master is one of my favorite of the series. It’s the perfect Nightmare death. It’s completely over the top and it plays into a personality trait. Nightmare 4 is one of the earliest horror movies I saw in my life and this death has always stayed with me.

    Since I brought up the theory of Freddy not being real in ANOES 2, it did make me realize that in both Night 4 and 5, Freddy represents the main fears that the characters has. It’s not to say I believe Freddy doesn’t exist in ANOES 4 or 5, but if you’re one of the three survivors of Dream Warriors, what would be your biggest fear? Freddy coming back. In Dream Master, what would be Alice’s greatest fear? He brother leaving and being left alone with her father. In the next movie, her biggest fear is what any woman carrying a child is going to fear – something is deadly wrong with the baby. If you wanted to create a really out there theory, you could say that Freddy doesn’t exist in Nightmare 4 and 5 and these are really just warped delusions of a nut case experiencing their worst nightmares come to life. You see it a good amount with various psychological thrillers where at the end, it’s revealed the entire movie was mostly just in someone’s head. Same concept. Again, I’m not saying this is what really happens in these two films and I don’t even buy into the potential of this theory possibly being true with Freddy’s Revenge. It’s just a wacky theory that I find interesting and makes watching them for the millionth time different. Sometimes it’s fun to look at a movie from a different perspective if you’re so used to watching it normally.

    Visually, I really dig Dream Child. The creators had fun giving the film some different looks such as the comic book scene and the final act in the church. It’s all about the weird angles and how nothing looks “Right”.

    With Nightmare 4, I feel it failed because it was trying to be just another sequel without adding anything to the story while foolishly removing everything we loved about the previous film. Nightmare 5 is a heavily flawed film, but I’ve grown to like the uniqueness of it all. They were willing to try some different things. The creative Freddy kills allowed them to have memorable kills without worrying much about the MPAA cracking down on them. Dream Child is the type of movie that if you force yourself to watch it enough times, you will end up ultimately enjoying it.

    Freddy’s Nightmares never being released on DVD is a big time disappointment for me. It was a fun little Tales from the Crypt-type show that deserves more love than it receives.

    • Ha ha. Well, thanks, Sal! … I think. I’ll just take that as a compliment.

      Though, I must make one clarification so the police don’t show up at my door… I have never done any “raping,” just to be clear. Rapping — yes! Raping, not so much…

      (Unless, of course, you’re referring to “the raping of music as we know it” through my proliferation of rap songs. Because yes, in a way, every rapper is a rapist of music.)


        • Sal, I’m dying over here. When I saw raping I was like…oh. Hahaha. The last two podcast episodes and the comments that followed have cracked me up. I’m liking it.

      • Just make sure to make that distinction when ordering your tombstone, Jay. I can already see it:

        Here lies Jay of the Dead.

          • You guys are short changing Jay’s tombstone- he has many other talents:

            Here Lies Jay of the Dead:

            Black Belt.
            Colon Photographer.

          • I bet with all this talk of both Jay’s colon and his tombstone he’s actually missing the halcyon days when the comments were mainly comprised of discussions about beer and instant noodles (both of which might ironically have a direct effect on one’s colon and one’s tombstone).

          • Beer can staffs!

            Beer cans!


            They were simpler times, for sure, but I like the proliferation of new commenters and opinions on here now. To quote Freddy, “how sweet, fresh meat.”

    • Sal – Some really interesting thoughts, here, but first…

      I disagree with what you’re saying about Alice, and how she’s different from the other final girls because her dealings with Freddy improved her life. I think a good argument could also be made that Nancy and Kristin were both made better for facing and defeating Freddy. It perhaps comes across in a more obvious way with Alice because of her new found powers, but that’s more a result of her unexplained psychic ability to inherit the strengths of her vanquished loved ones. Even still, I think Nancy and Kristin make a tangible transformation in parts 1 and 3, respectively, with notable increases in confidence and ability as each movie progresses.

      I agree with your thoughts on the biggest flaw in THE DREAM MASTER, though. It definitely weakens the film that they killed off the surviving Dream Warriors so quickly, and easily could have been avoided. My wife actually walked into the room about midway through part 4, and asked me who “that girl” was (referring to Alice) and why Freddy is after her. When I gave her the answer, she just looked at me with her “are you serious? That’s stupid” look.

      And, I really like your “out there” theory that Freddy doesn’t exist, and these are just episodes of people realizing their nightmares come to life. I don’t think that reading of the films is really too far out there, actually. Similarly, I like Juan’s suggestion below that the NOES movies are a series of nightmares passed down by word of mouth from school kid to school kid. These are both interesting readings of the series, and I think both are reasonable.

      This really highlights something about the franchise that has caught me by surprise on this latest re-watch: irregardless of the quality of the actual films, the NOES movies are rife with social commentary and sub-text, and lend themselves to multiple interpretations. It pains me to admit this, but I don’t think that’s something that can be said about the Friday the 13th or Halloween franchises. It’s also helped me gain a surprising amount of respect for and fondness of the series.

      • Well, I think Alice has one huge thing going for her that Nancy and Kristen doesn’t…she lived. Besides surviving, she found some independence and her own voice. Meanwhile, Nancy does become a bit of a bad ass, but she wasn’t as much of a pushover and slight social outcast as Alice. For Nancy, when everything started to happen, she made herself a Destiny’s Child mixtape and went to work to figure out the basics about Freddy and to actually stop him. For Alice, she wasn’t able to get to that point until everyone around her was killed off. She was forced to step up or end up dead like all of her friends and brother. That’s some real growth. For Kristen, since we don’t see her in her normal pre-Freddy days, it’s hard to say how much growth she went through in the two movies. The way she acted in Dream Master, particularly in respect to Joey and Kincaid, was a downgrade from how she was like in Dream Warrior.

        • All fair points. I guess I think of final girls in terms of a single movie, though, which is why I specifically mentioned the first and third (for Kristen) movies.

          Plus, my position loses a little steam when you include 4.

  3. 31 Days of Halloween

    I’ve slowed down a bit because of a comic con and the release of the film list for my local film fest. I’ve been watching a lot of trailers. The horror movies that they are playing are When Animals Dream, Goodnight Mommy, The Mask: The Eyes of Hell, Hungry Hearts, and What We Do in the Shadows.

    Day 17 – The Look of Silence. Bit of a stretch on this one. It’s the sequel to the documentary The Act of Killing. Very much the same subject but instead of recreations in American movie styles, one man confronts mass murderers to ask them why they don’t feel responsible. Their answers are chilling. must watch.

    Day 18 – Turbo Kid. “Eyes! Throat! Groin!” Bloody apocalyptic fun and I’m in love with Apple. She also played the daughter from Durham County.

  4. Just a couple of things you guys said that didn’t quite compute (at least in my humble opinion):

    “Freddy never seems like a threat”
    Really? People are dying left and right, bro. If you meant suspense, I’ll give you that one. They don’t build suspense very well. But there is a sense of danger because you know lots of people are going to die.

    “None of the kills up until this point in the franchise (NOEM 4) are scary kills, maybe one or two”
    No way! Let me give you the rundown:

    1. Tina’s death the first NOEM. Brutally wounded and dragged around the room only to fall onto the bed and splash blood all over. Totally scary!

    2. Johnny Depp gets swallowed by the bed resulting in a geyser of blood. Super scary!

    3. Nancy’s mom gets burned alive and her bed (now a super cool looking portal) transports her skeleton gets away. Cool and scary!

    4. Death by puppeteer Freddy. One of the coolest deaths ever. Painful to even watch!

    5. “Welcome to primetime bitch” girl gets face plastered through TV. Fun but scary.

    6. Naked girl in waterbed. Sexy, disturbing, and ultimately really scary considering the mother found the body.

    7. Crushed as a cockroach. Easily one of the best looking, most original deaths ever. It’s rather artsy looking in all honesty. Pretty scary if you ask me.

    I love you guys, but you’re insane. If the NOES franchise has anything going for it, it’s the deaths. And I’m aware that this is all subjective, but come on, you can’t tell me that the deaths aren’t scary.

    • I agree some of the deaths are scary but some of the cartoonish dialogue/execution on others really can take a viewer out of the intensity in the films. I have re-watched all the films in the franchise in anticipation for the review since mid-september and while this is definitely not my favorite franchise, I was BLOWN AWAY by some of the special effects in some of these death scenes!! Freddy’s death in Part 4, the cockroach transformation, the “puppet master” scene in part 3 just to name a few. Just cant beat practical effects…. they are soooo gooey.

      • I mean, not all horror has to be super serious. Even the serious horror franchises have tons of whacky and funny moments, so I don’t get why some of those Halloween and F13 sequels got a pass, but anything Freddy is “barely watchable”. And it’s not like the hosts have been completely unfair. I think they’ve done an excellent job so far. I just think they’re being way too harsh on these lesser sequels, which, yes they are lesser but they’re not nearly as bad as they make them out to be.

  5. Ugh get me off this towboat so I can finally have time to listen!!! I know a lot of Fred Heads down part 5 but I love it waaaay more than part 4. I agree Alice is severely underrated and if you notice at the end of part 5 and within the rest of the series, she truly beat Freddy. He never bothered her again, not to mention….Lisa Wilcox, (whistles).

  6. Great show: My thoughts.

    Freddy did not come back through the dog doing its business- that was fanfare and effect. The return came about because Kristen could not stop dreaming about him- thinking about him, stirring his memory, and repeatedly drawing the other Elm Street kids into her dream with her. Because the thought was there and haunting them, he was able to get back in- the dog was basically a set decoration for Freddy’s return. The Dog… Jason. Heh.

    Ferris Beuller? Really? I saw him more as copying the kid from “Heathers”- don’t remember Beuller really wearing a trench coat very often. But in regards to the 80’s nostalgia and the “Scary Movie” reference- maybe it was just me, but that’s how teenagers were dressing and behavior when I was looking around in the 80’s… but I did come up in New York and hair product helmets, so that may have been part of the issue.

    I loved Jay’s reference to Nightmare on Elm Street as a “funhouse”, though I will go a little further and say it’s more like a Haunted House-style “funhouse”- unless that’s what he meant. But I’ve been in Funhouses that were never meant to be scary in any way (IE, House of Mirrors and the like). I agree with it to a point, though probably not with the same dismissive thought behind such a statement- I think those can be pretty scary. And I think it’s the very basis for a scary movie in general- I’m a big fan of the Hammer films, for instance. Those are very similar to the carnival formula in horror. But here’s the thing- it feels like most of the quibbles about this film were things the hosts were looking for when it came time to review this series. One-liners, puns, the occasional reference to the period, et al, these are things that have constantly been criticized about the films but doesn’t really come into play until the third and fourth films. And, again- Freddy is supposed to be a bully and these are supposed to be teenagers. And one of the biggest things that a teenager is supposed to be afraid of is humiliation and being laughed at- and here’s this monster just laughing at them as they die or face their biggest fear. I really think this aspect of Freddy is being underlooked in the retrospective examination so far.

    After a slight disappointment in watching The Dream Warriors, I felt a little bit of dread in revisiting the Dream Master after nearly two decades and almost didn’t press the “play” button on my streaming device. But I have to say, in this case I am glad I did. I remember loving this movie as a teenager and the adult in me had a really good time with this venture to the dreamscape. In truth, I consider this the second part in what seems like a solid trilogy in the mythology of the series. And where the pacing and a little of the direction felt a little skewed in the third film, this movie continues to clean up on a lot of the issues I had. The pacing seems more natural, the direction was good, and the only thing that really seems to be a hindrance is the performance of the actress replacing Kristen.

    And yes, I’m serious.

    I think this film also marks Englund’s best performance of the Freddy character- not the most horrifying, mind you; but a solid performance with a blend of dark humor and menace. Alice is a great foil to the character and Rick’s performance is pretty dang likeable for a character who is essentially fodder for the slashing machine.

    But with all that in mind, I wouldn’t really classify this film as “strictly” horror with the mixing of so many genres we have in this day and age. It’s clearly a dark fantasy film- with many allusions to Alice in Wonderland, lots of fantasy fulfillment and an intricate Mythology surrounding the nature of dreams, the film is much closer to “Pan’s Labrynth” and “Horns” than it is to “My Bloody Valentine” or the like. But this is also where I start to wonder if maybe horror fans are becoming too fanatical in the classifications for certain films (looking at YOU, Jay of the Dead!). The 80’s saw a lot of films that saw their categories so very clearly defined that these questions weren’t really asked back then- and I kind of have to wonder if they really need to be asked now. There are plenty of sub-genre’s that fit beneath the horror category and plenty of room for fans of each- in a serious discussion of horror, should we view “Dark fantasy” as any different from the “Zombie” sub or the “slasher” sub or even the “Possession” sub?

    With that said, I threw “The Dream Child” on the next night- and this is not a film I really was a big fan of when it came out. And I remember being very disappointed back then and I wasn’t that impressed now. Which is odd, considering they brought back many of the elements of the 4th film in the series that worked. The mythology was there and consistent, Alice was there and they even went into some serious territory with the story between her and her father. And, unlike the third film, I don’t think the pacing was off in this film- the direction wasn’t bad, the acting was fairly wooden (to be expected) and then it hit me like a ton of bricks; I hated the production design itself! Every kill, every dream, every set piece looked like cardboard backdrops from the set of “The Fresh Prince” in shadows.

    Freddy, as well, became an absolute cliché of the character he’d portrayed in the previous films- gone was the malicious intent behind every kill as it became more about making those one-liners and little jokes. With a whopping body count of three, many of the dreams felt padded for time rather than torture or horror or even something interesting- the only scene that really seemed to work was the “comic book” death sequence. Although having “super Freddy” seemed cartoonish, I could see doing this as a way to mock and punish someone before the end- the other two deaths seemed pointless and stretched out. Dan’s death, especially, made no sense- the motorcycle ride to dream hell just seemed to go on and on forever without any purpose.

    Now- as a note, Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child was absolutely the last in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series to come out on video tape- and was the very last Nightmare on Elm Street films to be released in theaters until the remake came out. Because Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Jason vs. Freddy, and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare all lack a little something in their titles- namely, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”- Numerical sequencing is at an end with the fifth film and it all becomes new titling. So, in the words of Obi Wan Kenobi- “What they said was true- from a certain point of view.”

    • Redcapjack, I liked your comment about the classification of horror and how some sub-genres within the horror umbrella are thought of as “less scary” than others. I think you’re right. We’re all afraid of different things, so we’re all going to have a different reaction to the horror on display. I, for instance, am petrified of spiders. Movies like ARACHNOPHOBIA are extremely effective to me just for its subject matter alone. It’s the same thing with horror techniques and tropes. I don’t care for jump scares and the amount of dead bodies in a movie is inconsequential to me. In a recent review of The Visit, the hosts kept describing it as mild horror, which really bothered me because I thought it was an extremely scary film. Comedic elements or not, that movie contains some serious tension and suspense — elements that any scary movie must have in order to be scary in my opinion. I sometimes feel like the general definition of horror is a bit narrow. Horror has come so far from the Universal monster era. It shouldn’t just be about the monster or the kills or the amount of violence and gore. It should be about an emotional and psychological impact that’s as provocative as it is haunting. Horror nowadays is much more complex and layered, or at least it tries to be. Why must we put boundaries around it? I say let it roam free and evolve. Anyway, these are just the thoughts of a regular horror fan. Not hardcore… or softcore… just core, I guess.

      It just hit me that this all stemmed from a Nightmare on Elm Street conversation haha. But hey, horror then was different and I appreciate it just the same. I grew up with Freddy and I have soft spot for the guy. That’s right, I’m a Freddhead. Let it be official!

      • Many of the old universal films have societal themes and more to them than just monsters… Just saying.

        I love Freddy and the franchise but like you said Jaun, we all have different fears or phobias and I’m not really scared by dreams. Once when I was a kid I dreamed that I was at boyscout camp and we were walking along a trail. Then, I had to pee so I veered off the trail to find a tree but all of the trees were taken. After an exhaustive search for an open tree, I woke up peeing in my bed.

  7. Doc bringing up Freddy watching TV & Josh breaking down the safe sex talk are the two funniest things I’ve heard on the show!

    Great entertainment, Gents.

  8. Great review, guys! As much as I love Freddy and this franchise, I have to say you were pretty fair judging these two movies, because they weren’t my favorites either. However, I do believe both 4 and 5 could’ve been better movies had they had more time to fully realize the scripts and film them in a decent amount of time.

    I also want to point out that you will never be as entertained with the Friday the 13th and Halloween franchises as you will be with NOES. One thing you have to give Freddy props for…he’s creative and entertaining. And at least he has one liners! Michael and Vorhees have zilch.

    Willis, you’re the man! Really enjoyed your commentary. It helps to have someone who loves Freddy helping to review these.

    Why didn’t anybody talk about the pizza of souls in part 4? Soul food! That was a very creative and interesting scene there. Cheesy, yes. But you’ll never see that in another movie again, I bet.

  9. There was a campfire theory that was brought up during the Friday the 13th franchise review that I think also applies to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. I like to think of the movies as a series of nightmares that were passed down from high school kid to high school kid by word of mouth. Each movie is that particular student’s version of “the nightmare”. That’s why they’re all so different but at the same time similar. That is also why the mythology and rules change so constantly — sometimes even within the same movie — because the movies don’t take place in one big dream, it’s a concoction of different types of dreams. I may be pushing it, but some of the films even play like an anthology where the dreams are the individual stories and the main character’s story is the wrap-around story. Anyway, even though I haven’t participated much lately apart from the random “that’s what she said”, I just want to let you guys know that I’m a huge fan of this franchise and I like ALL of the movies (some less than others of course). Having said that, I think the franchise is overdue a proper remake. As much as I love the fun vibe from these films, I’ve always craved for that something at the other side of the spectrum. I’d love a super serious take on the science of nightmares and the dream world. Josh mentioned Michel Gondry as the perfect director for an alternative cool take on Freddy. I’d like to second that and throw another name in the hat: Guillermo del Toro. He has a real knack for cool visuals and strong characters. Plus he’s a real horror fan. I think he’d be a really good fit.

    • You’re pushing it, for sure, but I like it. Makes a lot of sense.

      And one thing that’s become apparent to me on re-watch is that this property definitely is overdue for a proper remake. I like where your head’s at.

      • And to elaborate on that theory… the reason why every other kid at school is safe is because they haven’t heard of Freddy yet. As soon as someone is aware that he “exists”, that’s his opening to enter their dreams. If ignoring him makes him lose power over you, then true ignorance is the only way to be safe from him. In conclusion, boys and girls, we’re all doomed because we know. And he’s coming for us sooner or later.

        Also, “you’re pushing it, for sure, but I like it”. That’s what she said.

  10. You know a show is good when even its ‘worst’ episode is really, really polished, entertaining, informative and fun to listen to.

  11. Great show, like always. Because it’s streaming and your commentary was so entertaining, I just watched nightmare 2 for the first time…and I didn’t hate it. I was never a huge Freddy fan, but this franchise review has sparked my interest for sure.

  12. Hi guys, for those of you who want to see some cool horror art, check out the site below. This artist does a houses of horror series each October. This is her second year doing it. The houses look amazing and they’re available for purchase though they’re all original gauche paintings so they aren’t cheap. Anyway, this made think of a possible themed episode about houses in horror movies. it would be really interesting to see what Jay, Josh, and Doc come up with to talk about.


    • These are awesome. Very understated, which is perfect for the subject material. My favorites (in no particular order):

      The Evil Dead cabin
      House of the Devil
      Pet Sematary
      Nancy’s house
      The DeFeo house
      The Overlook Hotel (kind of cheating)
      The Innocents
      The Wicker Man (really cheating)
      The Bates house
      Hole-in-the-wall, Derry

    • Bro, I just saw her series for this year. They’re amazing. I love the simple, understatedness of her works from last year, but the level of detail in this year’s crop is gorgeous. Just look at the ivy on the Brooklyn brownstone from The Sentinel, the statue on top of the apartment building from Rec, or the shingles on the Marsten house. I also really dig some of the little flourishes she works in from time to time, like the ghostly arms wrapping around the Poltergeist house, the roots extending from the bottom of the Hansel and Gretel house, or the naked man standing on the roof of Jay’s house. I want these… wish she was selling.

      Thanks for posting the link.

  13. Part 4 is awesome! 2nd favorite horror movie. Love the soundtrack, freddy, alice, the humor especially the dr suess line, the final battle between alice & freddy is awesome, his death, greatest resurrection scene ever * no the dogs pee doesn’t bring back freddy it just opens up the ground* great effects, its just all around awesome!!

  14. Finally listened to the show… I think you guys did a good job with these films, but I’m shocked you all came in so low on 4. I’m hoping to get some thoughts up on both 4 and 5 later today, but ***spoiler alert*** I quite liked part 4. Much more than I expected to, actually.

    Part 5 is a different story.

  15. Jay,
    In your honor I’ve renamed part five to “A Nightmare on Elm Street :(Jay’s colon) Dream Child”. I’ll be sure to correct the title in the opening credits too. 😉

    Sorry I thought we needed one more joke about your colon :)

  16. I just watched a film I think everyone should see. It was a pleasant treat from the usual haunted house flic. It is “We Are Still Here”. I am not good at describing or putting my opinions in writing, like Sal and some of the others. However, I would love to hear what you guys and gals think.
    Also, The Editor is worth a watch.

    • Ryan – I saw WE ARE STILL HERE a few months ago, early in August. I can’t remember if I mentioned it on this site or if I just tweeted about it, but I felt similarly to how you seem to feel. That is to say, I thought it was an interesting take on the haunted house tale. The appearance of the “ghosts,” in particular, was pretty interesting. The movie did a good job of building suspense, but I thought the acting was pretty bad and the story never really connected in a way that made sense to me (especially toward the end). I’m also still not quite sure why they made it seem like the movie took place in the ’70s… to me, it was a stylistic decision that didn’t add anything to the movie and, if anything, was more of a distraction.

      All that said, I gave it a 7.5/10 and think it’s a solid rental.

      I wish I could say more about it, but I watched it back in the beginning of August and the film is already a little fuzzy in my memory. (which is sort of telling in itself)

      • This movie felt like it was a homage to 70’s Italian horror.
        I felt the acting kinda fit the bill. Also, I can see how it came off a campy and or poor. I really liked the four main characters, even miss crazy botox lips. :)
        One of the things that really stood out to me is that the ghosts were physical. Also, the film had a cool and creepy vibe, and not relying on jump scares was a big plus.

  17. I’d give The Dream Master a 4.5 low priority rental. Like they said on Never Sleep Again, this was the MTV Freddy. Waaaaaay low on horror, more on just being “cool”. I want to like Tuesday Knight but I just can’t. Anyone else notice when she lit up the cigarette at the beginning it was nowhere near lit and yet she acts like she’s puffin smoke anyway? Ugh that bugs me.

    As far as Alice, honestly without her this movie would be hard to swallow. Entertaining still, but would definitely be a harder watch for me. I do like how she starts out shy and very reserved, and visibly changes throughout the movie.

    As for Freddy, sometimes it’s terrifying knowing that he’s enjoying your pain so much. Part 3 is a great example, and Brendan Fletcher’s death in FvJ. The one liners in Dream Master though are just that…one liners, jokes, meant to make you chuckle. I’d rather see Freddy say something that gives me chills instead of, “if the food don’t kill ya…the service will.” I’d much rather hear “let’s get high”, “what’s wrong Lori? Miss your wake up call?” And especially “hey Dylan…ever played skin the cat?!”

    Entertaining, I always rewatch it, but it ranks with Freddy’s Dead, and Part 2 as my least favorites.

    As for The Dream Child
    I give it a 6.5 and say rent it.

    I really do enjoy this one. Freddy’s pretty angry and I LOVE it!!! The darker atmosphere, the sets. Something about the way Freddy says to his mother “we’ll see bit(h….we’ll just see…..” Actually makes me fear Freddy. “Welcome to prime time…” was funny, and pretty cool, but the way Freddy says it in this one, I don’t know I can’t explain it. It’s just soooo much more serious.

    I actually felt kind of bad when Dan dies. I hated to see Mark go, would’ve rather seen Yvonne. I’ve dealt with eating disorders in the past and Gretas death was just so disturbing on a much deeper level. Jacob was played very well I thought, and I can really get behind Alice on this one. I really enjoy this movie. I know most Nightmare fans rank this one towards the bottom, and I can understand why, but for me this movie is when Freddy said “enough is enough I’m killing this girl and taking as many as I can with her”. He cranked it up to 11 (spynal tap anyone? No?) and really seemed more serious.

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