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

The installment in the series was oddly the most nostalgic for me. I didn’t see that coming. I assumed it would have been Part 3 since that is the one I remember enjoying most when I was a kid.

Part 4 is the only one in the series that I saw in the movie theater. I remember going to visit my aunt in Long Beach, California and she took me to see this (this, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). Let’s hear it for cool aunts!

Watching it again for the first time in who knows how long, there was so much I liked in the film. It does have continuing characters from Part 3 (although no Patricia Arquette and they may not be around after the first act). For me, it has some of the best kill scenes in the entire series: the water bed (iconic), the roach motel (iconic), and the asthma attack (best lines maybe: “You wanna suck face?” “No”). And then there were just other super cool scenes, like getting sucked into the movie at the theater and the scene where Dan and Alice get stuck in a continual loop. I’m going to forgive the invisible Freddy/dojo scene for its cheesiness because it is so dumb/memorable. 

Oh, and resurrecting Freddy by digging up his bones and urinating fire on him is totally something one of my dogs would do.

Kudos to Renny Harlin for bringing such a vision to this film. He really embraced the aesthetic of dreams and I think brought the series forward. And there are some super practical effects as well. 

I’m a little bummed to see this film with a Letterboxd rating under 3.0. It may not be as scary as some of the other installments, but I didn’t find it too corny and it has everything I like in a horror film: likable characters, inventive set pieces, and a fantastic villain.

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