A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

This movie sucks.

Let me back up for a moment.  A Nightmare on Elm Street is a bit of a bugaboo for me.  The first three films in the series were pretty great.  You have a legitimate, and terrifying, horror movie that took roots from urban legends about a boogey man who could strike at you in your dreams.  The second, after a critical reevaluation, really turned out to be so much more than just a cheap sequel that New Line Cinema tried to crank out to capitalize on the first.  The third brought back our original survivor Nancy and she sacrificed herself to finally kill our boogey man, Freddy Krueger.

Then everything else sucked.  Hard.  Like a taco salad from McDonald’s.  All the ingredients seem perfectly edible because everything else on the menu was fine when you tasted it, but when you put your fork in it, you realize you’re just eating Wade the Fry Cook’s turds mixed in with tomatoes and lettuce.

Wade isn’t even garnishing that turd taco salad with sour cream, you fucking idiots!

Any kid I knew who thought Freddy Krueger was the bee’s knees (when compared to the other slasher giants such as Jason, Michael Myers, or Leatherface) was a fucking moron and probably had a shit eating grin courtesy of Wade the McDonald’s Fry Cook.  None of those other slashers talked.  Freddy made up for that in spades.  Like he couldn’t stop talking.  He called people “Bitch” so fucking often, Rick and Morty made an entire gag out of it with a parody character called Scary Terry.  By the fourth, fifth, and sixth films, Robert Englund was a real sport about playing the character that he made famous and, in turn, made him famous, but the movies were jokes and a pretty big waste of time to watch.

Again, the first few movies were plenty okay, and a couple of them are actually quite fantastic.  However, by the time we got to the fifth movie, they were struggling pretty bad.  This came at the end of the 80s.  The slasher genre was basically dying out.  People wanted something a little different by this time.  Hell, it couldn’t even get an October release as a horror movie.

I guess I better crack this fuck dick of a movie open and talk about before I talk myself out of it.

At least this movie starts with some sweaty teen sex intercut with the credits as we’re shown Alice and Dan (Lisa Wilcox and Danny Hassell, reprising their roles from the previous movie) living their lives a year after defeating Freddy.  After the sex, Alice takes a shower and when she tries to clear a stoppage in the shower drain, she’s nearly drowned.  When she breaks herself free, she finds herself in the asylum where nun Amanda Krueger got raped and conceived that hellspawn of a son, Freddy.  She wakes up as she watches Amanda get attacked.  We’re also treated, almost right out of the gate, with a hallmark of these fucking Nightmare movies, the awaking from a dream only to find out you’re in another dream jump scare, by seeing Freddy’s rapist dad (also played by Robert Englund) in bed with her.

That day is graduation day and Alice and Dan, along with their friends Yvonne (the school’s swim star), Greta (a girl being pushed into modeling by her upper crust mother), and Mark (comic book dork guy) celebrate their futures and plan to party later that night.  Before she can join the party, Alice has to work.  On her way to work, she crosses through a park where she finds the kids in white repeating that eerie Freddy rhyme that typically indicates that he’s haunting dreams again.  Alice follows the kids to try to figure out what’s going on, and she finds herself in a dark, scary night where she, again, sees Amanda Krueger at the asylum she worked at when Freddy’s dad got to her.

Alice follows Amanda inside the asylum and we’re treated to yet another scene of Lisa Wilcox just walking down corridors.  This movie is not even 20 minutes old and we’ve seen 42 minutes of creepy asylum halls and Alice looking cautiously around for a nun she’s followed into this situation.  Alice witnesses Amanda giving birth to Dobby the house-elf who runs out of the delivery room to, I assume, dissuade Harry Potter from returning to Hogwarts.  Alice, seemingly unfazed by this fucking gross creature, follows it into a church where it crawls into that signature sweater and grows to regular sized Freddy Krueger.  He reveals, by feeling up Alice’s belly, that he’s found a way to return to life (indicating that she will give birth to him).  When Amanda comes in and says something about how his birth was a curse or some such shit, he calls her a bitch.

Freddy Krueger has been in this movie for less than 60 seconds and has called his mom a bitch.  Fucking fantastic.  Yeah, guys.  Sure.  He’s better than Michael Myers.  Whatever, bitch.

Alice awakens in the diner she works at four hours after she was supposed to be at work.  Alice calls Dan and tells him Freddy is back.  He leaves the post-graduation party to be with her to figure out what to do about this Freddy shit.  Now, the Nightmare series takes place in Springwood, Ohio.  Even as a fictitious setting, it was always portrayed as this small little town, or perhaps a suburb.  Dan manages to fall asleep driving from the high school to the diner where Alice is.  A diner, I might add, that was, in Alice’s own words, just on the other side of the park from where she graduated earlier in the day…  A graduation that happened at the high school where the post-graduation party was.  Holy fuck this kid can’t even drive a single block without falling asleep.  Get a good night’s rest so you can stay up long enough to save your girlfriend, you ass.

So, a-no doi, Freddy attacks Dan.  First, he takes over the truck Dan is driving.  Then, after Dan is tossed through the windshield, he gets on a motorcycle.  Freddy manifests himself through the wires in the bike (because we all know motorcycles are nothing but wires and red lights) and fuses Dan to the handlebars.  When Dan wakes up, he’s heading straight toward a a semi truck which kills him. Freddy’s pun work in this scene is ridiculous.

It’s so bad in all these later movies in the series that it completely takes me out of whatever is going on in the movie.  Like, I get it…  Sometimes horror movies have you so on the edge of your seat or tense from the impending scare or gore that your gut reaction is to laugh.  Laughter and fright are so closely tied together.  Maybe the thought was that Freddy would help soften the blows of the over the top kills or frightening moments by completely undercutting the terror by telling a joke.

Clearly that’s what these movies were going for.

Alice keeps getting visited by a little kid named Jacob.  He seems to know quite a bit about her, but she can never find out anything about him because no one else can see him.  In the meantime, Alice tries to tell her friends about Freddy and about how Amanda Krueger worked at the asylum and she got raped and Freddy was the spawn who killed all these kids on Elm Street and so forth.  They don’t believe her because… Plot convenience?  Make it easier for Freddy to sneak up on these bitches and kill them?  Obviously, they, and their parents, either have no idea about the dozens of deaths or just ignorant toward them.

Oh whatever, it’s Greta’s turn to be called a bitch, and then killed in a horribly grotesque way.  Greta, the “aspiring” “model” who is being pushed to go into this career by her garbage person of a mom is at a dinner party that looks like something out of Beetlejuice.  They are a bunch of snobs who talk about the people they know, how others aren’t special, etc.  Greta, still upset over Dan’s death, is having none of it.  I guess she falls right to sleep at that point, at the dinner table… with about 15 people present… because Freddy pops up, slings a quick-witted “Bon apetite, bitch!” and starts feeding Greta food until she dies.

God, I fucking hate this movie.

Yvonne still doesn’t buy into this Freddy Krueger stuff.  Mark is definitely open to hearing what Alice has to say because he can’t help but see that two friends have died in the last two days from suspicious circumstances.  Mark asks Alice more about Freddy and she tells him she’ll go make some coffee and tell him all about it.  Mark falls asleep while Alice is brewing coffee.  Jesus Christ you shit dorks!  One guy can’t go a block in his truck without passing out.  A girl falls asleep at the dinner table.  Another guy can’t stay awake for five minutes while his friend makes coffee.

Things take a very weird pro-life stance out of the blue.  So, in the scary Nightmare on Elm Street house, Alice runs into Jacob again.  He gets mad at her because she “doesn’t even care about being a mom” and how he wants to stay with her.  Jesus…  This is furthered by Alice asking her baby doc if her fetus can dream to which he says that up to 70% of a fetus’ existence is spent in a dream-like state.

One simple Google search later and I was able to find out that’s kind of bullshit.  Some scientists do believe that unborn fetuses can possibly dream.  That has to do with developmental stages of the growth of the baby and its brain and consciousness, etc.  The prevailing belief, though, is that about 17 weeks would be the earliest that a baby could actually start dreaming based on that development path.  That doesn’t mean that we could ever truly know for sure.  I mean I guess we could try to measure brain responsiveness and compare it to the REM cycle in a person, but babies don’t come out of the womb saying, “Fucking crikey, mom!  I had the strangest dream in there about caves that smell like fish!”

I’m willing to bet that some people would say that they do dream and it would be murder to snuff those out those dreams, but they can’t back that shit up with any published papers disputing the actual scientific theory.

Well, at least Alice now has an idea of how Freddy is using dreams to attack her friends – Jacob is dreaming and acting as a portal for him to come through.  Additionally, Freddy is taking the souls of her friends and feeding Jacob so when he’s born, he will basically be Freddy Krueger reborn.

Yvonne is still suspicious that Alice is not completely nutso.  Mark comes in and the whole pro-life/anti-abortion thing ramps up again.  After Yvonne storms out, Alice tells Mark she knows Freddy is using Jacob’s dreams to attack people.  Mark asks if she’s thought about aborting the baby to stop Freddy coming back.  Frankly, he might be onto something – you know, the whole “needs of the many” saying?  If one life can be traded for everyone else you know and countless others, you might not be so quick to say that you saw his face in a fucking nightmarescape of insanity.  Just sayin’.

Yes, Freddy, I know…  You used to be in so much better movies.

If that’s not enough, Dan’s parents come over and ask Alice what her plans are for the baby.  At first, you think they are asking her to get rid of the pregnancy too, but, in actuality, they want to take the baby from her and adopt him.  Alice says no to that idea, but Dan’s father whips out the knowledge that Alice’s doctor told them she was hysterical when she was at her appointment because she violently woke up from her dream…



I 100% promise you that doctor could NEVER tell Dan’s parents (Dan yes, parents no) what kind of state Alice was in without a massive breach of patient-doctor confidentiality.  Fuck this movie.  Seriously, fuck this movie right in Alice’s womb.  If it was possible to fuck this movie with the hopes that it could then give birth to a better movie, I’d do it.  However, like the science (and plot) of this movie, that’s impossible.

A series of hilarious things happen after Alice tells Dan’s parents she is not going to give up her baby to anyone.  She storms out and the camera pans over to Mark who is standing there like, “What?  Um…  I guess I should go too…” and he follows Alice out.  Now, both of them are gone and Dan’s parents are still in the room with Alice’s dad.  Now they look at each other as if to say, “So… Uh…  Can I get you a drink or something?  I’m really not sure what we should be doing here now…”  Next, and this is the best, Mark says that Amanda Krueger was never buried.  She has a grave, but it is an empty plot.  She killed herself so they never buried her.  He knows all this because of this book he has laying around…

Isn’t that just “The Bible”?

Guys…  I hate this fucking movie.

So Alice goes into a dream to try to find Amanda.  Instead, she finds Freddy.  She also finds out that Freddy has Yvonne.  In response, Alice tosses a rod through Freddy’s mouth.  That’s really upping the ante there, lady.  Also, that’s an amazing toss to hit him so perfectly in the mouth like that.  As well as to know that a random rod would be floating by in the knee deep water you’re standing in.

The good news is that Yvonne now totally believes Alice about the whole Freddy thing.  So I guess that’s a win…  I suppose.  Whatever.

Next up, Mark falls asleep while looking through his comic books.  Dude!  That should be when you are most awake, man!  One thing about Mark is that he is constantly drawing this character he created.  I don’t fucking remember what the name of the character is, and if I gave a shit I could rewind the movie to see, but I don’t.  Just know he lives vicariously through this gun toting, gritty comic book Punisher.  Er…  Not the Punisher.  Oh no, Marvel, New Line isn’t ripping off your character at all.  He’s only like the Punisher.  That’s all.  Well, after some goading, Mark turns into his character and starts blowing Freddy away.  But then…

Sigh…  This movie sucks.

Alright…  Final showdown time.  Alice goes into the dream world while Yvonne seeks out Amanda’s entombed remains.  She eventually leads Freddy into the main room in the asylum with all the crazies where they tear him apart piece by piece.  When his body parts land on the floor, they turn into spiders.  When she turns around, she finds Freddy and Jacob.  Alice is eventually able to convince Jacob to get away from Freddy.

Jesus fucking Christ – it’s like a Michael Keaton Garbage Pail Kid.

Elsewhere, Yvonne frees Amanda’s spirit so she can join the battle against Freddy.  Amanda tells Jacob that only he can defeat Freddy by unleashing the power Freddy gave him in Alice’s womb.  Jacob tricks Freddy into no longer trying to kill Alice, and unleashes the power… which does… something?  Eventually it turns Freddy back into Dobby and Amanda merges the little monster baby back into her womb.  She takes her demon child with her into the great beyond and everything ends happily as, at a park, Alice, her dad, and Yvonne have a picnic with baby Jacob while the creepy kids reciting Freddy’s rhyme jump rope nearby.

Ugh.  Thank fucking god this movie is finally over.

There’s so much here to go through to explain why this movie is a total ass disaster.  Oddly enough, the general plot isn’t one of those reasons.  There’s a relative sense of logic that follows with the idea of this demon monster being reborn through the person who defeated him last.  Yeah, I kinda like that premise.

However, the pile on of me already not liking chatty Freddy, the weird pro-life turn it took, and some truly bad lines and poor logical execution really took its toll on a relatively well-intentioned idea for a movie.  There were several times in which I laughed at something I saw in the movie, but probably not even close to what I’m guessing the makers of the movie meant for me to laugh at.

I know I often watch a really shitty movie and find at least one thing I can say the movie is worth watching for.  That is not the case here.  This movie is bad.  Real bad.  If you want to watch a good Freddy movie, watch one of the first three films or New Nightmare.   Those are legitimately interesting movies with a solid plot and some very memorable characters and moments.  Don’t waste your time with this elephant fuck of a movie.

Next week, we go back to camp for an early 80s cult classic with an incredible twist ending.  Pack your bags for Sleepaway Camp!

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