Nightmares of Elm Street Part 5: Pro-Nightmare? Anti-Elm?

That old soul whore Freddy is back.  This time under the direction of Stephen Hopkins (Director of the theatrical Lost In Space and the Reaping) and written by Leslie Bohem (Screenwriter on the Alamo and Dantes Peak), Freddy gets back to business.  The Dream Child is the least successful of the franchise, and has its detractors, but it does have some devoted fans.

Alice (Lisa Wilcox, reprising the role) is now much stronger and self confident.  Maybe it is because she kicked Freddy’s ass.  Maybe it’s because she gets to have sex with the hottest guy in school (Dan-again played by Danny Hassel).  Maybe it’s because she does not realize she is in a sequel, and that usually means the people who survived the previous film are killed in the first fifteen minutes (hey!  It happened in the fourth film).  Luckily for Alice, the entire plot hinges on Alice lasting through the film.  Dan, on the other hand…he is expendable.

But I am getting ahead of myself.  The film opens with an artsy sex scene.  You know what I am talking about, close up shots of backs, thighs, hands…all in a deep blue light.  When Alice wakes up, Dan is already gone, and she goes to take a shower.  Showers are, of course, very dangerous places in the horror movie world.  Alice’s shower fills up with water, before the floor gives out and she finds herself in a nun’s uniform, and a nametag that says Amanda Krueger.  She appears to be in a creepy old institution of some sort.  Suddenly she is in a crowded room full of “maniacs”.  She sees a couple guards doing a head count and starts to make her way towards them.  These guys are clearly the best money can buy, since they give up, turn around and lock the nun inside.  The maniacs close in and…Alice wakes up and goes to school.

You would think the Krueger name would worry her, but hey, whatever.  Its graduation day, Alice’s dad is twelve stepping it, her replacement friends have enough credits to graduate with her.  She has totally upgraded her friends…now she hangs out with aspiring Model Greta (Erika Anderson), athletic diver Yvonne (Kelly Joe Minter) and comic geek Mark (Joe Seely) who is in love with Greta.  Alice decides to cut through the park on her way to the diner where she works when she finds herself on a stretcher dressed as a nun being wheeled down the same dingy asylum from earlier.  Then she finds herself in the crowd of doctors, and sees Amanda Krueger on the table giving birth.

As if taking a cue from It’s Alive, little Freddy bursts free of the doctor’s grip and scrambles out of the room.  Alice follows ugly Freddy baby as it scoots through the maze of hallways.  She finds herself following him to the same room from the fourth movie where she fought Freddy (a church rectory).  The baby finds Freddy’s empty clothes, as apparently, in dreamland?  There are no janitors.  Baby Freddy (how did they not cash in on Baby Freddy as a Saturday morning kid show?!) crawls into the musty old Christmas sweater we viewers know so well.  And just like when a little boy puts on mom’s dresses, Freddy becomes a real man.

Alice runs and finds herself four hours late to work.  She calls Dan and tells him Freddy is back and that she entered the dream world while awake.  Dan leaves the party and hops into his truck.  While driving, Dan finds he has a passenger…can you guess who it is?  If you said the first President Bush, you clearly have not been paying attention.  Of course it is Freddy, who for no reason that makes sense proceeds to pour champagne on his shoulder.  Apparently, champagne is horrifically acidic, as Freddy’s arm melts off.  Then he smashes the stump into the back of the trucks cab and creates a makeshift seatbelt…instead of simply using the one in the truck.  Freddy probably failed drivers ed.  The truck crashes and throws Dan out-uh…into the empty pool area of the school that was full of students when he left it a minute ago.  Now, instead of trying to wake of, Dan runs out to his truck to try and drive to Alice.  Because, nothing about the current situation apparently screams “YOU ARE ASLEEP!”  But he no longer has his key, and the truck is locked…

Conveniently, there is a snazzy red motorcycle with the keys in it.  Yeah, that should not have been a warning sign.  As Dan races to Alice, the motorcycle starts to attack him.  It basically attaches itself to Dan, which makes for a pretty gruesome scene, as his flesh is ripped off by wires and engine parts.  Suddenly, a metal Freddy face appears and says, *ahem* (and I quote) “Hey Dan-don’t dream and drive!” and Dan opens his eyes and sees a big truck.  Not to mince words, but his little truck is no match for the semi.  Dan is splattered over the street in front of Alice’s diner.  Alice sees dead Dan, and for a moment he pops up and calls out to her “Hey, Alice, do you wanna make babies?!” in Freddy’s voice.  And she faints.

Alice wakes up in the hospital with Yvonne (who works there) a doctor and her dad.  Turns out, and if you haven’t figured it out from the poster, the less than misleading ads and Freddy’s question a couple moments ago?  Alice is pregnant.  No, Freddy is not the father.  That would be Dan.  See, the film is clearly anti-fathers.  All Dan is good for is to provide the sperm…then they kill him.  That night, Alice is visited by a little boy named Jacob (Whitby Hertford-you would also recognize him as the chubby little boy Sam Neil freaks out towards the beginning of Jurassic Park).  Jacob is your standard mystery kid, a little creepy and totally cryptic.  But not cryptic enough for me to figure out that Jacob is the soul of Alice’s unborn baby.  He pleads with Alice to love him, because his friend with the “funny hand” says she does not like him.  Alice is not as quick as me… it is only when Yvonne notes there is no Jacob in the children’s ward-in fact, there is no children’s ward(!!!) in this big hospital in Springwood.  And that is when Alice figures out what Freddy is doing.  She learns that he is feeding her baby the souls of her friends.  Um…yeah.  Gross.

As the friends drop off-all of them disbelieving in Freddy until practically the last second- Alice is determined to save her baby from the man with the knives for fingers (wholly crap-in the wrong hands, instead of just a crappy horror film, this could have been a crappy pro-life screed!!!!  Dodged that bullet) and starts trying to figure out how to stop him.  Along with Yvonne, who Freddy fails to kill (in quite a stunning Hollywood reversal, the non-white kid makes it through the film alive) Alice realizes she must locate the body of Amanda Krueger.  That should be easy, as the third film showed she was buried in a cemetery.  But that is less dramatic…it turns out for no reason that makes any real sense, Amanda Krueger was sealed in a tower all Cask of Amontillado-style*.  Why did someone seal her body in a tower in the asylum you ask?  Did I not just explain that there is no real reason that makes sense?  I mean, I am sure that the film makers thought it would be cool and scary.  So, anyways, Yvonne gets the thankless task of corpse hunting.  Alice gets to use her super powers to fight Freddy and try and save her baby.  In a stylish sequence Alice finds herself in an M.C. Escher drawing(Freddy is totally hip to art).  Freddy has almost fully corrupted little Jacob and is nearly able to turn him against Alice.  Alice finds out Freddy has been hiding inside of her throughout the film.  Ewwww.  She expels Freddy (again with the “ewwww”) and is left weakened, near death.  But Yvonne, scrappy teen she is has just freed Amanda’s soul!  Amanda shows up just as Freddy appears to be victorious and tells Jacob how to fight back against Freddy.  Freddy gets age reversed back to an infant and Amanda picks him up and stuffs him into her tummy.  Freddy keeps trying to get out, but is not successful. Then the movie jumps ahead to Alice with her baby Jacob and everyone is happy.  Until, you know…the next sequel.

I will say, while I am not all that fond of this film, it has one really cool dream sequence…Mark the comic geek is sucked into a comic book all like the Ah-Ha video.  The use of colors is really nicely handled in the sequence.  It’s all in black and white-except Mark who is in total vibrant colors.  If the rest of the movie had this much creative care put into it?  It would have been a great movie.
In fact, here…go to the 5:30 point and you can see it (no worries, it’s not gory-though, still probably not work appropriate)

*This may explain a lot about me…but as a kid, not a teen ager, we are talking ten… I loved this story.

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