A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:
The Dream Master (1988)
Directed by Renny Harlin.
Cast: Lisa Wilcox, Robert Englund, Tuesday Knight, Andras Jones, Danny Hassel, Brooke Theiss, Ken Sagoes, Rodney Eastman, Toy Newkirk, Nicholas Mele, Brooke Bundy.
1988 99 minutes
Rated: (for strong violence, language, sexuality and nudity).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, October 2008.
You ever take a look at our town's history?
It's not exactly a safe place to be a teenager.
Not counting 1994's "Wes Craven's New Nightmare," "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" is superior to all the other later sequels in the series, thanks to director Renny Harlin's style-infused direction and a character arc for wonderful leading lady Lisa Wilcox that surpasses the depth usually typified by the slasher genre. When the final three Elm Street children are killed off in their sleep by Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), last victim Kristen (Tuesday Knight, ably taking over for Patricia Arquette) transfers her power to meek best friend Alice (Lisa Wilcox). Alice, her own sleep state being used as a gateway to get to the rest of her friendsand brother Rick (Andras Jones)now must take with her all of the qualities and strengths that her deceased friends have given her in order to defeat Freddy once and for all. Labeled one of the first motion pictures born of the MTV generation, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" features a killer soundtrack (The Divinyls, Blondie, Sinead O'Connor, Dramarama), a likable cast of characters, loads of imaginative effects work (including one victim who turns into a cockroach) and dream sequences, and a complex protagonist whose transformation from wallflower into a strong formidable opponent for Freddy Krueger is unexpectedly touching.