A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master ★★★½

Freddy returns in this fourth instalment of the popular Elm Street franchise, this time trying to finish off what he started in the last movie before grabbing some new blood. While the surviving Dream Warriors put up an admirable fight it's really down to another group of disposable teens when the focus moves to Alice and company. Alice has been given Kristen's power and, as her friends are picked off by the sharp-gloved one, she ends up gaining a little something from each of them. But will she have enough strength to save herself from Mr Krueger?

Despite being, to date, the only instalment in the series to receive a "15" certificate in the UK this movie does not skimp on the blood and guts. Director Renny Harlin (who almost always makes movies I end up liking) walks a very thin line indeed to get away with what he does, especially considering two scenes in particular; one involving a nasty cockroach moment and the other a pizza with a most unusual topping.

Freddy may have well and truly become the killer jester by now but it's the tongue in cheek sensibility that actually helps this movie along. The pacing is slightly problematic, covering some old ground as it has to and then just seeming to set up people for their death scenes, but it can't really be accused of having many dull moments and, considering the next two outings before Wes Craven's revisionist post-modern return to the material, that's not a bad achievement.