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The F*ckin Black Sheep: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

08.18.2016by: Ryan Doom

THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We’re hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
Directed by Stephen Hopkins

“The movie thankfully goes a different path than the other Krueger films.”

Freddy Krueger has been away from our collective dreams since the 2010 bomb of a remake starring the great Jackie Earle Haley (one of my favorite actors in PREACHER). Recently, however, rumors have been circulating that the man with loose feet himself Kevin Bacon might be eyeing the role. Honestly, I love the idea. He’s a quality actor and always delivers…even if the movie is shit. His villain role in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS was fantastic; I think he could pull off the role.

Besides, let’s face it. We all need a Freddy movie that will be scary, gory, and give us some horrifically cheesy one-liners. And Bacon can deliver, bringing him full circle after appearing in FRIDAY THE 13th. So…in honor of that rumor, it seems a good time to revisit an underrated adventure on Elm Street: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD.

For the fifth go around, the story revolves around very recently pregnant high schooler Alice (Lisa Wilcox, returning from ELM STREET 4), who starts to have bad dreams involving the one and only Freddy Krueger. This time, he’s attacking through her unborn kid. His mission (beyond just killing the teens of Springwood): to be reborn into the real world once again. The only thing standing in his way are teenagers and the power of motherhood, something no one should f*ck with.

Director Stephen Hopkins (who went on to helm genre flicks like PREDATOR 2, JUDGMENT NIGHT and LOST IN SPACE), shot and edited ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD with only an eight week time table, an impressive task by any standards. At times the short turnaround seems a bit obvious, but overall Hopkins delivers what he was supposed to: another Freddy movie where he spits out bad puns and looks scary. Does it always work? Uh…no. Sometimes ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD is painful, especially the very dated scene with Freddy on a skateboard and his battle with the comic book nerd (who turns into a cheap Robocop). This is where Freddy utters dialogue like “Faster than a bastard manic. More powerful than a local madman. It’s…Super Freddy!” That’s just before he slices the guy into paper shreds. It’s a low point for sure.

But no reason to get overly negative as the film has a lot of good, too. I really dig the pregnancy angle as the movie thankfully goes a different path than the other Krueger films. The unborn child adds a sense of urgency; something other than annoying teens is at stake. There are also some cool effects and sequences. I dig the whole dinner scene and the diving board, as well as the nun stuff and Freddy wanting to be reborn. There are some real creepy moments in there, which always happens when an asylum is involved (which leads to a pretty, pretty great conclusion).

ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD might not be the best of the franchise, but it’s still a Freddy film starring the man, Robert Englund. And unlike Jason or Michael, Freddy will forever be his role... even if Bacon decides to slip on the sweater and snazzy hat.




Extra Tidbit: Are you a fan of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5?



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