A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (Stephen Hopkins, 1989, USA)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
 marked a significant decline in box office return for the Freddy franchise, to the point that the creators decided that the next installment would be the final in the franchise. Generally considered a weaker entry in the series (though not without its defenders), The Dream Child finds Lisa Wilson returning in the role of Alice Johnson. Actor Danny Hassel also returns as her lover (and father of her unborn child in this film) Dan Jordan, though he is promptly killed in this film. Conceptually, Dream Child has one of the more interesting premises in the Nightmare canon - Freddy is attempting to be reborn through Alice's unborn child. 

While its premise is interesting, the fifth installment treads a lot of the same ground as earlier installments in the franchise - notably, the conflict between teenagers and their disbelieving parents. Dream Child takes on the quality of a movie of the week throughout, raising issues that it maybe doesn't have the dramatic heft to address properly (namely, abortion). Freddy by this point in the franchise was already the star of the show, although strangely he doesn't appear that much in the film. When he does appear, all his sentences are one-liners (punctuated by his favorite B-word). The routine was probably feeling a bit tired at this point.

While there are some interesting visual effects, too often it feels like censorship got in the way. Particularly with the pool sequence, it feels certain moments were underdeveloped. As the film continues, it begins to use more Ray Harryhausen-style claymation, which gives it a low-budget feeling. It would have seemed there should have been more room in the budget for effects at this stage, but it seems that the film was skimping in this area. Not one to prioritize. 



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