Brian Helgeland

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


Freddy versus a true dream warrior in this okay sequel!

Director: Renny Harlin

Producer: Robert Shaye and Rachel Talalay

Writers: Brian Helgeland and Scott Pierce

Starring: Robert Englund, Rodney Eastman, John Beckman and Tuesday Knight

Studio: Heron Communications and Smart Egg Pictures

Release Date: August 19, 1988

Country: USA

Did ya know: The two gravestones visible behind Kristen Parker's and Roland Kincaid's are for Donald & Nancy Thompson, characters from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).

I love when sequels honor the continuity of the previous film. I don't like when different actors are cast in roles that others had previously. It doesn't help the flow. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 is one of those movies.

While it may be a pretty awful. This sequel at least follows the narrative. The movie follows the events of the previous film A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. We catch up with the remaining Elm Street kids who have been released from the Westin Hills Asylum. They try to live normal lives. However, Freddy isn't dead and is coming back for his revenge on the Dream Warriors.

It's a shame that Patricia Arquette didn't make it back for this one. I enjoyed her character in the third movie. But at least I got Kincaid for a little while. He kicks ass. Robert Englund gets top billing in this installment for the first time and shows it as the top star. Nightmare 4 has a pretty kick ass soundtrack. I especially liked the workout montage to the Dramarama song Anything Anything. I also liked the little details that the director added in. Little things like Kincaid's dog being named Jason or the diner being called the Crave Inn. 

This one isn't perfect by any stretch. Freddy's killings seem to be getting more and more elaborate. By this time Freddy is more of a novelty act. He spews out tons of catch phrases and one liners. He murders people in some really elaborate ways too. Crowds showed up at theaters to see just how Freddy was going to dispatch the youth in this go-around.