A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master ★★★½

As the fourth Nightmare on Elm Street, The Dream Master feels slow to start and less inspired, serving as a flimsy sequel to Dream Warriors since that movie was hugely successful as the first widely released entry in the franchise.

But once it cuts ties with its predecessor, The Dream Master becomes just as fun and wickedly creative as the other sequels. Renny Harlin and Screaming Mad George take the gruesome deaths and gory horror way farther than before; my favorites being a disgusting insect transformation and a discomforting meatball-soul pizza.

Lisa Wilcox is pretty much great from the start, delivering the same frantic distress as Langenkamp's Nancy, with lots of additional front-flipping martial arts for good measure.

The sequel doesn't offer a unique setting (like 3) or protagonist (like 2). But I'm more than fine with just more of the same demented dreamscapes in the same town when the scares are always top notch.

Even with the Elm Street children dead, The Dream Master musters an adequate excuse for Freddy to get his kiddie fix, and delivers another definitive end to the monster who at this point has become a hellish spirit of legends in his own canon -- although obviously, he won't stay dead for long...

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