After a small break from this series (I don't like watching these movies too close together, because they all become a mush that way) I have come back with the 4th entry; yet another in the series that I actually enjoy really well. Possibly slightly better in my eyes than the previous film, but overall less creepy and cool-looking. Still, I've enjoyed every movie in the franchise up to this point, so here's the poster and a brief look at the plot of Elm Street 4.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER
Set a little while after the events of Elm Street 3, the three remaining survivors (Kristen, Joey, and Kincaid) from the last film have started to notice something wrong with their dreams, and come to the conclusion that Freddy is back. We're then introduced to Kristen's boyfriend and his sister, who become main characters themselves. Anything further will basically be a spoiler, but there's a certain power transference that happens that keeps the story moving forward without totally mimicking the events of the previous film.
This isn't an amazing movie, but if you are a fan of the first and third films in the franchise, this shouldn't be a disappointment. Alright, now let's get this show on the road.
5. The karate kid scenes
One of the things I love most about these movies is the cheesiness involved. And while this movie has that in other parts, two of the most laughable come from one of the lead characters' Japan fetish. In the first scene, we see him with a giant Japanese flag in the background and a Japanese flag headband, he bounces around the room punch-dancing to poppy '80s tunes. The second scene involves him taking on an invisible Freddy Krueger in a fist fight, and the result is hilarious. Picture Star Wars kid, but with a kid who wishes he was Japanese and punching and kicking sound effects. Priceless.
4. Freddy's one-liners are amazing
This one kind of speaks for itself. Freddy is known for his one-liners, and more than in any of the previous films, this one has him dropping them nonstop. And they're mostly pretty great, or at least funny enough to warrant their existence. Not much else can be said about this one, but this is the movie with the "how's this for a wet dream?" line and "wanna suck face?". Oh Freddie, youre such a card.
3. Replacing Patricia Arquette
When it comes to things I hate about the Elm Street movies (at least through the first few), Patricia Arquette has got to be on the top of the list. Her performance is so unconvincing and obnoxious, it almost ruined Dream Warriors for me. Well, in this movie that role was recast, supposedly due to Arquette's pregnancy. As it turns out, that baby is one of the best things to happen to this movie, because I don't know how much more of her terrible acting I could've handled. Not that the replacement girl was any good - believe me, she was pretty weak - but at least she didn't make me actively mad.
2. More creative dream kills
This applies somewhat to most of the films, because a good deal of the appeal with them is watching Freddy slice and dice, quipping his way into our hearts. And in this one, the kills are amped up and often made a lot more interesting than just hacking and slashing. The waterbed and roach motel scenes were some of the most creative in the franchise up to that point, and those are just a couple of the good ones. My favorite of them all, though, would have to be...
1. Freddy's first kill
Oh god, what can I say about this amazing scene? I guess I'll just describe it. It kind of speaks for itself. Near the beginning, Joey (AKA the black kid) from the third film is sent into a dream where he's locked in the trunk of a car in an abandoned junkyard. He gets out of the trunk, and finds his dog there. The dog then pees like a flamethrower, lighting the ground on fire, which then cracks open and we see the flesh and bones of Freddy Krueger, which starts to melt back together. The kid tries to run away, but uh ohhhh Freddy gets him. I don't feel like describing the actual killing because that's almost irrelevant. The point is that a dog pees fire, Freddy's reanimation looks awesome, and his reveal is one of the best in the series. This is just a really fun, cool scene.
All in all, I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. It's nowhere near as inventive as any of the previous films were, but the effects are a slight improvement, some of the humor is back, and Freddy is given much more to do here. I would say it doesn't stand out too much among the others, but is just another in a good string of fun, harmless horror flicks.