A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

nightmare on elm street 4 the dream master poster 1988 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Freddy, creative deaths

Poor supporting actors

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:  The Dream Master

Studio:  New Line Cinema

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  August 19, 1988

MPAA Rating:  R


Wanna suck face?!?

Kristen (Tuesday Knight) is suffering from dreams of Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) again. Now, she and the surviving members of the Dream Warriors Joey (Rodney Eastman) and Kincaid (Ken Sageoes) are being hunted. When Kristen passes on her power to Alice (Lisa Wilcox), Freddy has a new group of Elm Street children to hunt. Can Alice master the powers she’s been given to defeat Freddy once and for all before everyone she knows is killed?

Directed by Renny Harlin, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a horror slasher movie.  The film came after the success of 1987’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and felt like a true sequel. The movie was met with relatively positive reviews and has often been listed by Robert Englund as his favorite film as Freddy.


Roaches check in but they don’t check out!

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 is ok, but it isn’t the fun of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3. It is too bad that even for a relatively short appearance that Patricia Arquette couldn’t come back to at least be killed (or even re-write it to kill her quicker). With the death of the Dream Warriors at the beginning it kind of negates the whole point of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3…something I always hate (and was best illustrated by Alien3 that completely destroyed the ending of Aliens).

By now the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise has realized that Freddy needs to be funny and the deaths need to be creative. Dream Warriors is where the movies started to get completely insane. Each movie just seems to want to top each other, and the deaths are quite insane (like the suck face and cockroach death).


Remind me not to eat souls before bed again!

The acting (besides Freddy) kind of is downhill at this point. I don’t claim that any of the acting has ever been stellar in the franchise, but the kids being collected for these films are very generic and very forgettable.  Lisa Wilcox is fine as “the Dream Master”, but she still doesn’t have the energy of Heather Langenkamp.

Freddy obviously is the real star of the films, and Robert Englund just seems to relish his badness and the insane deaths. The fun of the nightmare movies isn’t really the horror, but that the villain has such fun doing the horror. It is able to be pulled off without being overly (or at least realistically) gory or exploitative of women who are Freddy’s frequent victims. They are often made stronger and get the best of him.  I do love his death in this one where he’s grossly pulled apart by his victims.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a worthy entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, but begins to show a decline or leveling off that is continued by other sequels. Dream Warriors was great…Dream Master is good.  Lisa Wilcox’s character returns in the sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.

Related Links:

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:  Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

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

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

Freddy’s Dead:  The Final Nightmare (1991)

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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