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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 10/31/00

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:
The Dream Child

review by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:
The Dream Child

New Line Platinum Series - 1989 (1999) - New Line

Film Rating: C

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

Specs and Features:

90 mins, R, widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, cast and crew info circa 1989, DVD-ROM features (Script-To-Screen screenplay access, Dream World trivia game #5, up-to-the-minute cast and crew information, Freddy's Portal website access), film-themed menu screens with animation and music, scene access (23 chapters), language: English (DD 5.1) and (DD 2.0), subtitles: English, Close Captioned

So now we're up to part 5, The Dream Child. I used to collect movie posters pretty hardcore, and I remember seeing an ad for this film that featured this wicked fetus in a bubble balanced on Freddy's claws. When the poster came out, a stupid looking baby carriage had replaced the evil baby art. I guess the MPAA didn't like the idea of a horror film advertising what looked like an abortion. It was a cool poster, and I really wanted it - but alas, it doesn't exist. Damn. Anyway, this film is even more of a comic book that Dream Master was. Hell, there's even a comic book dream in this one. Visually, it's an MTV-ized throwback to the original Nightmare film, but with some homages to the other films before it.

Directed by Stephen Hopkins, Dream Child jumps right in where Dream Master ended. Alice, having survived the evil from the last film, is in her last year of high school... happily dating Danny. Freddy, on the other hand, is unhappily dead. But he somehow finds a way back through the dreams of Alice's unborn son. You see... Alice doesn't even know she's pregnant (a pregnant teenager, horror of all horrors!). But when she has a dream of the infamous night Freddy's mother (remember the nun from part 3?) was raped by the 1,000 maniacs, the dream, in effect, allows Freddy to come to the surface. What he needs now is a new host... and you can probably guess which host he chooses.

Now, Alice must protect the life of her unborn child (who has a soul, albeit an evil and corrupt one). But can her love drive Freddy out and save the day? I dunno. I'm jaded - you figure it out. In this flick, Freddy looks like crap. He looks dumb - I hate Freddy in this one. He's all flabby and old, and I don't care how much rationalization you try to give me (he's zapped of his powers and showing his age or whatever) he still looks stupid. The story is okay, with a lot of "society speech" layers (pregnancy, anorexia and abortion - more so than the others), but it kind of works. I wouldn't say this is the worst of the series, but it sure ain't the best.

This DVD is of the same high quality as the other films in the box set. It has great picture and great sound. The original audio was stereo, which is available on this disc, but there's also the new Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and it kicks your speakers into action just as much as the previous discs. Extras are the same as on the discs in the set. You get the DVD-ROM stuff (like the script, the next 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). I'm running out of things to say, so I guess it's time to kill Freddy off. If you're up for it, read the next review for Freddy's Dead.

Todd Doogan
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The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

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