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

nightmare on elm street 5 the dream child poster 1989 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Freddy is the star, interesting plot choice

Freddy is losing his mojo with weaker scripts

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:  The Dream Child

Studio:  New Line Cinema

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  August 11, 1989

MPAA Rating:  R

nightmare on elm street food death erika anderson robert englund

Don’t play with your food…eat it!

Alice (Lisa Wilcox) thought she stopped Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) forever, but when she and her friends begin suffering new nightmares of Freddy, Alice wonders how she’s being reached. Now Freddy can reach her and her friends while they are awake, and the key to stopping Freddy might be housed in Alice’s unborn child.

Directed by Stephen Hopkins, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (sometimes dropping the 5 and just called A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child) is a horror slasher film.  The film continues the storylines set up in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (1987) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 (1988). The story was met with so-so reviews and a less impressive box office take than other movies in the series. Despite the lower attendance, the movie was still a financial success due to the low production cost.

nightmare on elm street 5 the dream child comic book death freddy krueger robert englund

Paper cuts

I had issues with aspects of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:  The Dream Master, and unlike a lot of horror sequels, A Nightmare on Elm Street goes all in on connecting the plots.  That being said, I am also not a huge fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Much like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, the movie just seems a bit tedious.

The film has a bit more of a gothic approach in style and that is nice. The idea of Freddy getting at the kids through the dreams of an unborn child is pretty cool, but it doesn’t explain how Freddy can reach the waking (since that has never happened).  The plot also plods in typical Nightmare on Elm Street fashion with some believing Alice and others telling Alice she’s crazy…plus the return of Freddy’s mother isn’t always logical (though a nice tie to Alice’s pregnancy and motherhood).

Lisa Wilcox as Alice is a bit better in this movie than in the previous film acting-wise. I still don’t think she’s the best Freddy rival and her whole Dream Master abilities that she adopted in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 don’t even play. She still should have the power to confront Freddy (with even more powers if she’s still absorbing her friends’ abilities), but she pretty much just hangs around being Freddy’s victim.

He’s a precious bundle of death

Freddy continues to entertain. Englund just seems to love the character despite the ridiculous plots. The deaths are all entertaining like the killer motorcycle (which feels very similar to Tetsuo:  The Iron Man which was also released in 1989), the over-eating, and the comic book death. Visually, this is where the later films in the Nightmare series excel and with Englund’s enthusiasm it works.  The movie also faced severe cuts and editing to receive an R-Rating.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is the last of the first movies that really interconnect. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare which followed it in 1991 doesn’t really have ties to this line of movies by jumping the story ahead ten years. Despite not being “The Final Nightmare” this really does feel like the Final Nightmare.

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 4:  The Dream Master (1988)

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/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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