top of page
  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child 1989 Reviewed

Featured Image For A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child 1989 Reviewed.   Movie poster for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child featuring Freddy Krueger with a sinister expression.
In 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child,' Freddy Krueger's dark legacy continues as he seeks to corrupt the unborn dreams of a new generation.

In the kaleidoscopic world of 1980s horror cinema, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" stands as a testament to the relentless imagination and twisted ingenuity of the genre. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, this fifth installment in the storied "Nightmare on Elm Street" franchise invites viewers into a surreal dreamscape where the lines between reality and nightmare blur, and the infamous Freddy Krueger finds new ways to terrorize his victims. With its release in 1989, this film not only continued the legacy of Freddy but also explored deeper psychological themes, making it a unique entry in the slasher genre.

Key Takeaways From This Film

  • Freddy Krueger's Return: Freddy Krueger finds a new way to return by exploiting the dreams of an unborn child, making him an ever-present threat throughout the film.

  • Alice Johnson's Struggle: Alice Johnson, played by Lisa Wilcox, is pregnant and must protect her unborn child from Freddy's influence, adding a new layer of psychological horror to her character's arc.

  • Innovative Dream Sequences: The film is known for its visually inventive and surreal dream sequences, including a standout scene where a character transforms into "Super Freddy" within a comic book world.

  • Exploration of Freddy's Origins: The screenplay delves into Freddy's backstory, including his relationship with his mother, Amanda Krueger, which adds depth to his character.

  • Strong Performances: Robert Englund delivers a memorable performance as Freddy Krueger, blending malevolence with dark humor. Lisa Wilcox's portrayal of Alice balances strength and vulnerability.

Woman afraid while watching A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989).
The Dream Child's horrors leave her frozen in fear, each frame a descent into darkness.

The allure of "The Dream Child" begins with its bold premise: Freddy Krueger, the dream master of horror, exploits the dreams of an unborn child to invade the waking world. This concept alone sets the stage for a film that is as imaginative as it is unsettling. The movie follows Alice Johnson, portrayed by Lisa Wilcox, who, after surviving the previous installment, is now pregnant. Alice's battles are far from over, as she discovers that Freddy is using her unborn child's dreams to orchestrate his return. This chilling twist adds a layer of psychological terror that differentiates it from other slasher films of the era.

Hopkins, according to IMDb, crafted a visual feast that blends gothic horror with a nightmarish surrealism. The director's innovative use of dream sequences creates a tapestry of haunting imagery that is both beautiful and grotesque. One of the standout scenes is a macabre dinner party where Greta Gibson, played by Erika Anderson, meets her gruesome end. This scene, dripping with dark satire, showcases Freddy's sadistic creativity and Hopkins' flair for the visually arresting.

The film's cast delivers performances that anchor the fantastical elements in a semblance of reality. Lisa Wilcox's portrayal of Alice is both strong and vulnerable, embodying a character who must navigate the terrors of both motherhood and Freddy's relentless pursuit. Robert Englund, reprising his role as Freddy Krueger, infuses the character with a blend of malevolence and dark humor that has become his signature. Englund's performance is particularly notable for its energy and wit, delivering one-liners that are as memorable as they are chilling.

As the narrative unfolds, we are reintroduced to familiar faces from the franchise, such as Danny Hassel as Dan Jordan and Kelly Jo Minter as Yvonne. Their interactions with Alice provide continuity with the previous films while also highlighting the personal stakes involved in their fight against Freddy. The new additions to the cast, including Joe Seely as Mark Gray and Whit Hertford as Jacob, Alice's son, bring fresh dynamics to the story, emphasizing themes of friendship and resilience in the face of terror.

The film's screenplay, penned by Leslie Bohem, John Skipp, and Craig Spector, weaves a complex narrative that delves into Freddy's origins and his connection to his mother, Amanda Krueger, portrayed by Beatrice Boepple. These elements add depth to Freddy's character, painting him as a twisted product of a nightmarish past. The screenplay's exploration of these themes elevates "The Dream Child" beyond mere slasher fare, making it a psychological horror film that resonates on multiple levels.

Man afraid while watching A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989).
Freddy's sinister plans for the Dream Child grip him in terror, every moment more horrifying than the last.

A Sequel That Is Either Loved Or Hated

One of the film's most inventive sequences involves Mark Gray's transformation into "Super Freddy" within a comic book world. This scene is a testament to the film's creative ambition, blending live-action with comic book aesthetics to create a visually striking and narratively engaging moment. It also underscores Freddy's ability to manipulate his victims' fears and fantasies, making him an ever-present threat.

Despite its many strengths, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" is not without its flaws. Some critics argue that the film's ambitious ideas are occasionally hampered by uneven execution, resulting in a narrative that feels disjointed at times. Additionally, while the film's visual style is undeniably impressive, it sometimes overshadows the story, leading to moments where style triumphs over substance.

The film's reception was mixed upon release, with box office receipts reflecting both the enduring appeal of the franchise and the fatigue of audiences towards its familiar tropes. Nevertheless, "The Dream Child" has garnered a cult following over the years, appreciated for its bold artistic choices and its willingness to push the boundaries of the slasher genre. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film's unique take on Freddy's mythology and its imaginative dream sequences make it worth a look for horror aficionados.

In conclusion, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" remains a fascinating entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Its blend of gothic horror, psychological depth, and inventive visuals create a cinematic experience that is both haunting and thought-provoking. While it may not have achieved the same level of acclaim as some of its predecessors, it stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Freddy Krueger and the creative vision of director Stephen Hopkins. For fans of the franchise and horror enthusiasts alike, this film offers a rich tapestry of nightmares that linger long after the credits roll.

And that is A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child 1989 Reviewed. Another in long line of classic horror movies that make up the Nightmare Franchise. 

Stay tuned for more horror movie reviews

If You Liked A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child You Might Also Like These Films

  • "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" (1987)

  • This third installment in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series is highly regarded for its imaginative dream sequences and strong ensemble cast. The film follows a group of teens in a psychiatric hospital who discover they have special abilities in their dreams, which they use to battle Freddy Krueger. It's a fan favorite for its blend of horror, fantasy, and character development.

  • "Hellbound: Hellraiser II" (1988)

  • The sequel to Clive Barker's "Hellraiser," this film delves deeper into the twisted world of the Cenobites and their leader, Pinhead. Kirsty Cotton returns to explore the labyrinthine hellscape ruled by the enigmatic Dr. Channard and confront the dark forces that threaten to consume her. Known for its graphic horror and surreal imagery, it shares the nightmarish and psychological elements found in "The Dream Child."

  • "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" (1988)

  • In this entry of the iconic "Friday the 13th" series, Jason Voorhees faces off against a young woman with telekinetic powers, making it a unique twist in the franchise. The film combines supernatural elements with the traditional slasher formula, offering inventive kills and a memorable showdown between the two powerful adversaries. Fans of supernatural horror and 80s slasher films will appreciate its unique take on the genre.

  • "Child's Play 2" (1990)

  • The sequel to the original "Child's Play" continues the story of the killer doll Chucky, who returns to terrorize young Andy Barclay. This film ramps up the tension and dark humor as Chucky's relentless pursuit of Andy leads to a climactic showdown in a toy factory. With its blend of supernatural horror and dark comedy, it appeals to those who enjoy inventive and thrilling horror sequels.

  • "Phantasm II" (1988)

  • This sequel to Don Coscarelli's cult classic "Phantasm" follows Mike and Reggie as they continue their battle against the sinister Tall Man and his army of reanimated minions. The film is known for its surreal atmosphere, imaginative visuals, and eerie tone, making it a perfect match for fans who appreciate the dream-like and otherworldly aspects of "The Dream Child." Its unique blend of horror and fantasy elements creates a captivating and unsettling experience.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child 1989 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What is A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child about?

A: "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" follows the story of Alice Johnson and Dan Jordan, who are expecting a child. Freddy Krueger uses Alice's unborn child to enter the dreams of the unborn baby's friends in order to gain new victims. As Alice discovers her pregnancy, she realizes that Freddy is exploiting her unborn son's dreams to continue his reign of terror. The film delves into themes of motherhood and the supernatural, blending horror with psychological elements as Alice fights to protect her child and her friends from Freddy's grasp.

Q: Is A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child a watchable movie?

A: "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" is considered to be one of the less popular entries in the franchise, but it can still be enjoyable for fans of the series or those who appreciate 80s slasher films. The movie's inventive dream sequences and gothic visual style are highlights, offering a unique take on the Freddy Krueger mythology. While some critics have noted its uneven execution, the film's creative kills and exploration of deeper themes can make it an interesting watch for horror enthusiasts.

Q: Who is the director of A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child?

A: "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" was directed by Stephen Hopkins, who brought his own style to the film while staying true to the horror roots of the franchise. Hopkins, who later directed "Predator 2" and episodes of "24," infused the film with a distinctive visual flair, incorporating surreal and gothic elements that set it apart from its predecessors. His direction helped to create a nightmarish atmosphere that complements the series' themes of fear and the supernatural.

Q: How does A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 connect to the previous movies?

A: "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" continues the story of Alice Johnson, the protagonist from the previous film, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master." After defeating Freddy Krueger in the fourth installment, Alice faces Freddy once again as he finds a new way to invade the dream world through her unborn child. The film maintains continuity with the series by bringing back characters like Dan Jordan and introducing new ones, such as Greta Gibson and Yvonne, who become entangled in Freddy's nightmare.

Q: What is the general reception of A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child according to Rotten Tomatoes?

A: "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its creativity and others criticizing its departure from the original film's tone. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a modest rating, reflecting the divided opinions among viewers and critics. While some appreciated the film's imaginative dream sequences and visual style, others felt that it strayed too far from the gritty horror of the original film. Despite this, it has gained a cult following for its unique take on Freddy's mythology.

Q: Does A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child explore Freddy's backstory?

A: In "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child," there are glimpses into Freddy's past, particularly his relationship with his mother, Amanda Krueger, and his origins as a dream demon. The film delves into Amanda's tragic story, including her time in an insane asylum and her tragic death, which adds depth to Freddy's character and explains some of his motivations. These elements enrich the narrative, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the iconic villain.

Q: Are there any notable scenes in A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child?

A: Several notable scenes stand out in "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child." One such scene involves a grotesque dinner party where Greta Gibson meets a horrifying end, showcasing Freddy's sadistic creativity. Another memorable sequence is when Mark Gray, a comic book enthusiast, is transformed into "Super Freddy" in a surreal and visually striking dream world. Additionally, the film's climax features Alice confronting Freddy in the dream world, battling through various challenges to protect her unborn child. These scenes highlight the film's blend of horror and fantasy, making it a unique entry in the series.



bottom of page