Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You Can't Keep a Good Slasher Villain Down, After All

Although not as good as the first or third films, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a rather solid entry into the series. Picking up where the last one left off, it turns out Freddy is not dead (no big surprise there). Really Freddy vs. Jason did a great job of covering how to stop Freddy: take a drug that enables you to stop dreaming, although the town where Elm Street lies went a bit too far in that approach. So its really not shocking that Freddy re-emerges and destroys those that previously opposed him in the last movie. Yet, there arises someone who only slowly realizes her power, which is that she is able to absorb the powers of the Dream kids that came before her.

Despite some way too obvious psychobabble about a "Dream Master" (no need to state the obvious), this entry has some pretty disturbing kills. Freddy was always great because he is able to kill his victims in their dreams, thus he can be truly inventive, but according to this version he also devours the souls of his victims. Which reminds me of the bad guy in the Mortal Kombat movie. The lame additions to his mythology in Part II having been discarded by this time.

Thus, Freddy even though he was more creepy in parts 1-3 is way more cruel in this installment. He turns a girl into a bug in her dream, crushing her to death (followed of course by one of his snappy one-liners.) Another kid is defeated with his own kung fu style, which only goes to show that regular human talents are no match for him. Freddy even prevents Alice, the main character, and her boyfriend from rescuing a friend using deja vu to rather sinister effect. My favorite scene, which is also hilarious, is when Freddy uses his glove to act like the shark from Jaws, emerging from the water onto land and destroying a castle shaped just like his Elm Street house.

Sure this film lacks the third one's higher stakes, and is a bit cheesy at times, but its still rather well made. Really so far (I've only seen 1-4, FVJ, and the remake) the series part II aside is really quite good through the first four films. Despite hearing mixed opinions about the next two installments, I'm rather curious to find out how the overall series shapes up. They can't be any worse than Halloweens 5 and 6, or Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X in the other two famous slasher series.

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