Good Lord – talk about beating a dead horse.
Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is little more than someone who is not Wes Craven attempting to reinvent the wheel (or, er, the franchise) and failing miserably.
We pick up with Alice and Dan again, and they seem to be normal and well-adjusted and graduating high school with a new group of friends we’ve never met before. Dan and Alice seem reasonably happy, too; they have an extended vacation planned to Europe for the summer and all seems well.
Say it with me now: uh-oh.
Alice tells Dan about this freaky dream she had and her sneaking suspicion that Freddy is returning. Dan tells Alice to chillax, and just take it easy – one bad dream doesn’t mean Freddy’s returning.
Man, I’m getting tired of typing that.
Alice is on her way to work when she has a totally schizoid dream that involves her seeing exactly how Amanda Krueger conceived and gave birth to Freddy (which – two scoops of ick, thanks), and sees a new, disgusting looking Freddy-baby crawl into the old church where Alice beat him down in Part IV. The baby-thing crawls into Freddy’s clothes and becomes…grown-up Freddy!
Say what you will about the man, but he does know how to make an entrance.
Alice wakes up and discovers she’s way late to work, and calls Dan in a panic.
Anyways, so it’s not long after that when Dan meets his maker. Now, almost every death in the Nightmare series is based on a character’s fears or a character’s weakness. Rarely does anyone die just in general, but Dan is that bland that Freddy just basically kills him by making him part man, part machine through melding him with a motorcycle. So, fare thee well, Dan, it was nice knowing your cardboard self.
Alice sees Dan’s death and passes out, where she wakes up at the hospital and is informed that she’s pregnant. Oops. Teenage pregnancy, oh my. Alice decides to keep the baby, but mourns Dan, but meanwhile creeps the hell out of her friends Yvonne, Greta and Mark. Greta is a pretty girl whose mother pushes her to be a model/beauty queen and Mark is a comic book nerd who is in love with Greta, but his feelings aren’t reciprocated. For all of you watching at home, who wants to guess HOW THEY DIE?!
So, yeah, Freddy stuffs Greta the Barbie Doll full of food. Just like in IV, it’s hard to care simply because you don’t know anyone that well or anything, they’re just there – and they die.
Mark, understandably is upset and begins to give a little more credence to this whole Freddy Krueger thing, especially after he nearly gets killed by him in a dream. Yvonne thinks the light is on but no one’s home for Alice. Mark and Alice do a little turn as Nancy Drew, investigating Krueger, but then Mark screws up big time: He falls asleep and gets mauled by Krueger by turning into a comic book page where Freddy jumps on a skateboard and slices him to ribbons.
Ladies and gentlemen, thus, we have jumped the shark.
Alice figures out that Freddy is using her unborn son’s dreams to attack people, who she has been unknowingly seeing in her dreams as a little kid named Jacob. Amanda Krueger warns her that she can only beat Freddy by setting Amanda’s mortal soul free.
Remember in Part III how we were told Amanda died? Not so – she just disappeared – Freddy locked her up in some tower for years and years. Uh-huh.
Also, Alice’s future kid is really, really scary looking. Just saying.
Finally, Yvonne gets a pleasant visit from Monsieur Krueger, who scares the everloving hell out of her, and finally she believes in Freddy. Alice sends her off to free Amanda Krueger from her tower and she sets out to take on Freddy – who’s been living inside her all this time.
Say it with me now – what. the. hell.
So, Freddy rips his way out of Alice, Jacob uses some power that Freddy’s magically given him to destroy Krueger, and Amanda finds herself out of her tower to “reabsorb” Freddy and disappear.
And in the end we get this:
Yvonne and Jacob and Alice all survive and live happily ever after!
It’s cheap, though. Out of all the Nightmare heroines you want to survive, Alice isn’t at the top of the short list. And not just that, but the whole film just feels like a rehash of Part IV with a baby thrown in the mix – which is actually, just what it is.
Oddly enough, Alice is at this point the only female lead to survive through the “end” of the franchise – Alice has never been killed off or brought back. The only other character that I can remember surviving that was instrumental in one of the movies was Doctor Neil from Part III, who never makes a return appearance nor is ever hinted at again, leading me to believe Doctor Neil married some nice lady and settled down, never to be tormented again. Or…something.
When you cut it down, though, it’s a poor movie that isn’t a good addition to the series, even if you’re looking for the splatter and not the other stuff.