A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

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

Disappointing follow-up to Wes Craven's Dream Warriors course correct. Gone are that film's likeable loons finding purpose in banishing Elm Street's unspoken shame. Now its surviviors face impressive effects wizardry and Freddy, reawakened by fiery dog piss (huh?), rapping over the theme with The Fat Boys. Not that this wasn't always present to some degree, but this entry fully exploits the character's marketability, depicted as a child murderer just a few films prior, to those same young viewers.

That's been the valid complaint dogging the Elm Street series. Producer/New Line Cinema founder Robert Shaye only intensified Craven's sedate mainstream tone in subsequent sequels. Both to sell t-shirts and seemingly act as a safeguard against the MPAA's wrath. Friday the 13th's sustained finger to the ratings board resulted in piles of excised violence. Meanwhile as the Nightmares clicked by, Freddy's flare for the outlandish grew into gross set-ups over brutality. Ingenious for revenue while reducing Krueger to a gentler pop icon. At least this set forth the character's redemption in New Nightmare (1994). Watched via New Line's DVD.