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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 10/6/99

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:
The Dream Master

review by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:
The Dream Master

New Line Platinum Series - 1988 (1999) - New Line

Film Rating: C+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/B/B+

Specs and Features:

99 mins, R, widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, cast and crew info circa 1988, DVD-ROM features (Script-To-Screen screenplay access, Dream World trivia game #4, up-to-the-minute cast and crew information, Freddy's Portal website access), film-themed menu screens with animation and music, scene access (27 chapters), language: English (DD 5.1) and (DD mono), subtitles: English, Close Captioned

"Now I lay me down to sleep... the master of dreams, my soul I keep... and in the mirror of my mind's eye... evil shall see itself and it will die..."


Story, dialogue and character-wise, this film is a joke. But visually, it's got something that no other Nightmare film had before or since. It's a huge sprawling comic book, with a nice visual flair, some really witty deaths, and a nice action film feel to it. Dream Master becomes a pretty fun film. Thank Renny Harlin for that. He really pulled off some nice entertainment here, regardless of whether or not we care about who dies, who lives, or what wise-ass crack Freddy can pull out from under his dirty fedora.

Dream Master picks up where Dream Warriors leaves off. Kristen (now played by Tuesday Knight instead of Patricia Arquette) finds herself back at the Elm Street house experiencing the usually Nightmare stuff. She pulls fellow Dream Warrior survivors Kincaid and Joey into her dream, but they gruffly explain to her that Freddy's dead - that's what I said. Hey, hey, ah-hum. Sorry, got carried away a little there. So, they're wrong, obviously, because there wouldn't be much of a movie if they were right - and slowly the Dream Warriors are snuffed out, and a new band of Elm Street kids are brought into the mix. The reason Freddy is able to start anew, is because Kristen gives her friend Alice her dream power, when she introduces Alice into one of her dreams, just as she's being killed in her dream. It's confusing on paper, but it makes sense in the film. Now Alice, her friends, and her brother, are being hunted down in their dreams, and only Alice has the power to dive into the looking glass and drink me. Wait. That's not right. Eat me. Okay, that's better.

The special effects in this flick are the bomb. Freddy has this really cool scene where he attacks Kristen on a beach, and it just looks very cool. There's also these two funky scenes where a chick has the life sucked outta her and another girl turns into a cockroach. The best special effect in this film is Freddy's makeup, which looks better here than it does in any other film. The look of Dream Master has a heavy MTV influence and, you know, it works that way. It's really the most accessible film in the entire series, which doesn't really hurt it. You don't really need to know the other films as long as you know a bit about Freddy. It's not my favorite film in the series, but it's still watchable.

The DVD is of the same high quality as the other films in the box set. It has a great picture and great sound. The original track was stereo, which is available on this disc, but there's also the new Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and it kicks the speakers out. I really like the speaker work on this one. When I saw it in theaters, I remembered the sound quality... and the 5.1 is obviously better, but makes the experience that much more new, and therefore enjoyable. Extras are the same as on the others in the set. You get the DVD-ROM stuff (like script, trivia game and web access), as well as the old production note cast bios. The menu screens are well done as expected. It's a really fun disc, and coupled with the Nightmare Encyclopedia it becomes really packed (the trailer for the film is on the Encyclopedia, for example). Dream Master may not be as finely a crafted film as Dr. Zhivago, but as mindless entertainment, it works.

Todd Doogan
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The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

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