A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
Movie review coming on 10/31/2023
Film and Plot Synopsis
Set a year after the events in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Kristen, Roland, and Joey have been released from the mental hospital and are leading relatively normal lives. Unfortunately, Kristen is still haunted by Freddy and fears that he will return from his purgatory. Eventually, Kristen’s worse fears come to fruition as Freddy returns from the dead again and seeks not only to kill Kristen, Roland, and Joey, but a new generation of Elm Street kids. Barely escaping the last time, how will the next generation of Dream Warriors stop the reborn Freddy?
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‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master’ Movie Summary
The next day at school, Kristen meets up with a group of her friends that includes her boyfriend and martial artist Rick Johnson (Andras Jones), Rick’s shy and quiet sister Alice Johnson (Lisa Wilcox), asthmatic genius Sheila Kopecky (Toy Newkirk), and workout enthusiast Debbie Stevens (Brooke Theiss). Kincaid and Joey show up to school and warn Kristen that if she continues to use her powers and revisit Freddy’s boiler room that she might accidentally bring Freddy back from the dead.
Later that night, Kristen attempts to keep herself awake for fear of dreaming. In his home, Kincaid falls asleep and awakens in the junkyard where Freddy’s bones were buried by Dr. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson) in the last film. A mysterious dog appears and pisses flames onto the burial site for the killer which resurrects Freddy. A reborn Freddy begins pursuing Kincaid who attempts to use his dream powers but ultimately fails. Freddy kills Kincaid. In his home, Joey also falls asleep in his room. He awakens to find a model from one of his girlie posters swimming naked in his waterbed. Freddy pulls Joey into the waterbed and kills Joey.
At school the next day, Kristen learns of Kincaid and Joey’s deaths. Kristen reveals to Rick, Alice, and Alice’s secret crush Dan Jordan (Danny Hassel) the existence of Freddy and her past battles with him. Kristen swears to seek revenge for the deaths of her fellow dream warriors. Later that night, Kristen once again fights sleep, but Elaine Parker, Kristen’s mother, puts sleeping pills into Kristen’s food causing the younger Parker to fall asleep.
Kristen starts to dream and encounters Freddy again. She attempts to fight the child murderer but ultimately ends up back in the dream version of Freddy’s home on Elm Street. Kristen is now the last surviving Elm Street kid, so Freddy goads her into using her dream powers to summon one of her friends into Freddy’s realm. This will allow Freddy to continue on with his murderous quest. Kristen pulls Alice into the dream. Once Alice is there, Freddy throws Kristen into his boiler where she begins to burn alive, both in the dream and real worlds. Before she dies, Kristen gives Alice her dream power. Alice instantly awakens, and then runs to Kristen’s house with Rick. However, Kristen has already burned to death before they get there.
The next day, an exhausted Alice falls asleep in class and inadvertently pulls Sheila into her dream. Freddy kills her in the dream and makes it look like an asthma attack in the real world. After Sheila’s untimely death, Rick begins to believe Alice’s claims about Freddy. Unfortunately, the next day Alice pulls Rick into a dream where Freddy attacks Rick in a martial arts dojo. A skilled Rick puts up a fight against Freddy and knocks the bladed glove off the killer. However, Freddy uses his powers to levitate the glove and stabs Rick, killing him.
With each death, Alice changes and gains the abilities and personalities of her friends and her brother. Alice concocts a plan to stop Freddy and incorporates Debbie and Dan into the plan. Unfortunately, Alice’s father (Nicholas Mele) stops Alice from leaving the house that night, fearful of losing another one of his children. Alice ultimately falls asleep and pulls Debbie and Dan into the dream world. Freddy stalks Debbie in his realm while she dreams of exercising. Freddy breaks her arms and begins transforming Debbie into a cockroach. Bug-like Debbie becomes trapped in a roach motel which is crushed by Freddy, killing Debbie.
At the same time, Alice and Dan are trapped in a time loop. They break out of the loop when Alice adopts Debbie’s temper and attempts to ram Freddy with Dan’s truck. In reality, Alice collides with a tree which severely injures Dan. Dan is taken to a hospital and rushed into surgery. Dan is placed under sedation and once again enters the dream world. Alice returns home and readies herself to confront Freddy in the dream realm. She uses many of the personal items of her friends and brother to adorn herself for her fight. Once dressed, Alice plunges herself into Freddy’s world for a final time.
Once in the dream realm, Alice rescues Dan from Freddy. The couple find themselves in an old church where Freddy attacks them again. Dan is injured in the dream which prompts the surgeons in the real world to wake him up. Now alone, Alice faces down the killer of her brother and best friends. Alice uses the abilities of all her friends to fight Freddy, but the killer continues to have the upper hand. Before Freddy can defeat Alice, she suddenly remembers a nursery rhyme called “The Dream Master”. As she recites it, Freddy is forced to face his own reflection which causes the numerous souls within him to revolt. The renegade souls tear Freddy apart and escape his control, which leaves a defeated Freddy as a hollow husk.
A few months later, Alice and Dan are now a couple out on a date. Dan tosses a coin into a fountain, and for a brief moment, Alice sees Freddy’s reflection in the water. However, she pushes aside her fear and does not mention it to Dan. When he asks Alice what she wished for, Alice refuses to tell him as they walk away from the fountain together.
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New Line Cinema released A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master on August 19, 1988. Renny Harlin directed the film starring Robert Englund, Rodney Eastman, and John Beckman.