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A Nightmare from Friday to Halloween: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

The three most prominent American horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street) have influenced American cinema even beyond the horror genre. As of 2021, there are exactly 31 movies across all three franchises, and I am going to attempt to watch all of them, for this Halloween, one per day.

I think I will always enjoy the Nightmare on Elm Street, even if it’s a weaker entry like Dream Child. The directors and other collaborators are always pressured to up the ante, and Dream Child certainly does not disappoint in that respect. My favorite scenes have to be the mental hospital that seems straight out of a Bosch painting in its overcrowdedness and intense sense of danger and when Dan becomes melded to the car, Tetsuo style. The weaknesses concern the storytelling, which isn’t the sharpest, and gives way more to the horror set pieces rather than fleshing out implications of, oh I don’t know, just how sick it is that Freddy, a pedophile, wants to be reborn as a child. I also see more pandering to youth culture, such as when Freddy skateboards and also the very cheesily 80’s soundtrack. Yet Freddy is still entertaining to watch, and I can see him become more of the funny Freddy, beloved by all. The scene where he turns one of the kids into a comic strip and they have a superhero battle is sheer geekiness at its best. At his core, Freddy is kind of the bullied kid who retreats to his fantasies and gets his revenge on the people that tortured and killed him, at least indirectly.


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