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

Directed by: Renny Harlin (other credits include Die Hard 2 and Deep Blue Sea)

Budget: $13million

US Box Office: $49.3million

  • The last film started with an Edgar Allen Poe quote, this one; the Bible “When deep sleep falleth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake”. I prefer the Poe.
  • Odd song for opening credits.
  • Last film started with arts and crafts and paper mache, this one starts with chalk drawings. The Nightmare On Elm Street Films obviously have a “take your daughter to work” day on set every film.
  • Agin this film opens on daylight. Cannot say how much I love that.
  • Patricia Arquette’s character has magically transformed into Tuesday Knight. Notable as they look absolutely nothing a like besides being white and having blonde hair.
  • This series hates tricycles
  • And here comes the black guy from the third movie, obviously here to rectify not dying in the third one, as is horror tradition.
  • Oh, and the the guy Freddy kissed into a coma is here too. This is the most sequel sequel of the sequels so far.
  • “you’re going out dressed like that?” dude, she’s in a jacket and a full length dress, it would be difficult for her to be covering any more skin. Unless you want her to be more nude, in which case, dude, she’s your daughter.
  • Discount Christian Slater.
  • Discount Christian Slater is reading “Soviet Psychiatry”,  I’m not sure “killing your poor by implementing a poorly thought out five year plan which starves millions” is an effective psychiatric tool.
  • “Asthma is an inherited condition”. I learned something today.
  • “hey, you’re sucking on the wrong nozzle”. Hah, it’s funny because she’s got asthma and your response is to be a dickhole
  • “lighten up, no-one died”. Erm, yes they did.
  • 80’s karate montage!
  • The black guys dog pisses fire onto Freddy’s corpse which awakens him. No, seriously, that happened. I’m not pleased I had to type that sentence either.
  • The guy uses his super strength to push a car onto freddy. I guess this movie’s over now then, right?
  • Time of first death: 19 minutes. Freddy remembers he’s in a horror film, and as per tradition, has to kill the black guy first.
  • So, coma guy from last film is dreaming of a naked woman seducing him. Considering the last time this happened he got put in a coma you’d think he’d be somewhat cautious.
  • Time of second death: 21 minutes. Freddy pulls coma guy into a water bed and drowns him. But not before saying “how’s this for a wet dream?” Which, if I could kill people in their dreams, that’s exactly what I would say too. Oh, more boobs by the way. I’ve seen this guy dream of boobs twice, and both times he’s been harmed, there’s a moral behind this, but I can’t figure out what it is.
  • “how do you know about dreams?” “well when it’s all you have you kind of become an expert”. Don’t be silly you also have lovely long hair and a nice cardigan.
  • Not-Patricia Arquette freaks out when Roland and Joey aren’t in class. For all she knows they could just be late, or in prison, but nope, she assumes dead. She’d have felt mighty foolish if she was wrong.
  • Robert Englund in drag as a nurse. Yup, that happens.
  • So her mother has been slipping her sleeping pills. That’s all kinds of disturbing.
  • Also, what the hell kind of sleeping pills is she on that she is forced asleep within 5 minutes? One’s I’ve had has taken at least half hour and even then you had to put effort in.
  • “just dream of somewhere nice” is useless advice, pretty much the equivalent of “if you’re depressed, just cheer up” (if you’ve ever said that to someone, go impale yourself on a stick, not even joking).
  • As if to prove my point, Freddy “Jaws” his way onto a beach and pushes her under the sand. Instead of this killing her through suffocation etc, she goes to a boiler room.
  • “why don’t you reach out and touch someone?” I dunno, I got in trouble for doing that on the train one time.
  • Time of third death: 37 minutes. (couldn’t find a decent video for it, is pretty much the second fatality in that video). And in only two minutes more than it took to get to the first death in the second film, we’ve killed off the remaining cast from the previous film.
  • It’s so nice of the families that all the victims got buried next to each other. Is that how cemeteries in the US are organised, not by family or anything, but by cause of death?
  • Okay, so now all the previous cast are dead, this is like a new start. Which of the cast is next to die, Alice, the girl who can lucid dream? Discount Christian Slater? Debbie who hates bugs? Or Sheila, the black girl? I’ll give you a clue, it’s not the first three.
  • Time of fourth death: 44 minutes. Freddy kisses a school girl to death. I think he was originally written as a child molester but for some reason the studio wouldn’t allow it so he was just made a child killer (which is totally fine for some reason) but they still slipped in a few implications of molestation in there. Such as this scene. Anyway, as Freddie kisses her all the air goes from her lungs and she dies. Basic kissing mistake number one there: try not to kill the other person.
  • “i saw it, it was my dream”. Dude, phrasing, that makes it sound like you wanted it to happen.
  • Side note: the girl who plays Sheila, her real name is Toy Newkirk.
  • “how you going to fight me without your weapon Freddy?” Yeah, all he’s got now are his dream powers. You’re an idiot, discount Christian Slater.
  • Time of fifth death: 56 minutes. Rick tries to beat a serial killer who has magic powers with karate. This goes about as well as you’d expect.
  • “for Rick was in his prime, beloved by all” I dunno, I thought he was kind of a tool.
  • “Every day she changes”, yeah, for some reason she’s effected by her close friends and family dying, what a weirdo.
  • Karate montage! (set to the same song as earlier)
  • Okay, she seems to get her friends traits and abilities when they die. Luckily she only gets useful ones, she doesn’t like develop asthma or broken bones, that would suck.
  • Oddly brilliant scene here. Alice is at cinema and falls asleep. She gets dragged into the screen into a black and white movie. She looks through the screen to the audience and it’s her dead friends applauding the screen, and the body building-bug hating girl asleep.
  • They could have done more with the movie-allusion. They barely did anything with it, no references to old films or tropes. Colour me disappointed.
  • Alice dreams she works at the diner for the rest of her life. And oddly adult fear.
  • Freddy’s victims heads are now meatballs on pizza, he goes to eat the black guys head “I love soul food”. That’s racist!
  • Time of sixth death: 68 minutes. How crap this death, this death, holy crap. It’s almost Cronenberg-esque in execution and content. Pure body horror as she’s turned into a cockroach killed.
  • Alice and Dan get caught in a time loop so are unable to stop the cockroach death. When they finally get out of the loop they drive into a tree. Lesson one of driving: don’t drive into trees. Dan gets put in a coma, Alice goes home.
  • Alice tools up. Alice is badass. I like Alice.
  • “get away from him you son of a bitch” soooo close to an Alien reference.
  • Dan gets woken up and leaves Alice alone in the dream world. Oh no, however will a lucid dreamer who knows martial arts be able to survive without a football player helping her?
  • “welcome to wonderland, Alice” Did the writers call her Alice just for that? If so, well played.
  • “I am eternal”, yeah but only when dogs piss fire on you. And that surely only happens like once a week or so. What happens when we bury you at sea or behind a vacuum cleaner.
  • Alice stops Freddy with a mirror and a nursery rhyme. Richard III died the same way.
  • “I have more reasons to stay awake now” Oh, I’m sorry, was “not dying” enough of a reason?
  • We end with something truly terrifying: Sinead O Connor.
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