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

One of my cheats for Hooptober as I wanted to re-watch this for the 30th anniversary. Guess I like it more than most? Overall, it's kind of an underrated entry in the series. Probably best viewed as a stand-alone so the casting change for the "Kristen" character is less jarring.

But I was into it from the first strains of Tuesday Knight's "Running" (which I'm listening to right now as I write this review).

The practical effects were outstanding (the trapped souls in Freddy's chest and on his pizza are truly disturbing). The soundtrack was cool. And the dream imagery was innovative- the water bed kill looked amazing and that "roach motel" death was downright Kafka-esque.

What more can you ask out of a "Nightmare on Elm Street" movie?

Ok, Freddy's return was kind of weak. A dog urinating fire? Really? And then he's a little too easily dispatched at the end.

But I really liked the new "final girl" Alice (played by Lisa Wilcox) and the other kids weren't too bad either. Nice to see one of my 80's crushes Brooke Theiss in this pre-"Just the Ten of Us."

Also I always love how these slashers are like a time capsule now and a snapshot of 80's youth culture.

Recommended for "Freddy" fans especially if you've always been lukewarm on it after watching "Dream Warriors" first. Give it a chance on its own merits, and forget about Patricia Arquette.

P.S. Looking through my old movie journals, the last time I watched this was during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when I marathoned the first four "Nightmare" flicks and miraculously our power didn't even go out.

HoopTober 2018

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