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A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

By Patrick Samuel • October 31st, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 4/5

Original release: August 11th, 1989
Blu-ray release: October 24th, 2011
Certificate: 18
Running Time: 89 minutes

Director: Stephen Hopkins
Screenwriter: Leslie Bohem
Producers: Robert Shaye, Rupert Harvey

Cast: Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Danny Hassel, Kelly Jo Minter, Joe Seely, Erika Anderson

Nightmare 5 was released just a year before I well and truly became a fan of the series, but being only 11 years old at the time, I had to wait until it was out on VHS to actually see it. Sneaking home a horror movie and then waiting until everyone was asleep to come back downstairs in the early hours of the morning took a lot of planning, but I finally had my moment in the spring of 1991.

Nervously I popped the tape into the player and heard it wind into action as I pressed play. After a few trailers there was that familiar blue New Line logo again. I took a deep breath and let the nightmare begin.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Set one year after Alice’s (Lisa Wilcox) fight with Freddy in the dream world, The Dream Child takes us back to Springwood. Alice and Dan (Danny Hassel) are still very much together and this is shown in the intro where they’re seen making love which then leads into Alice’s nightmare. It’s the first one she’s had a long time where she didn’t feel in control, and like Kristen in Part 4, Alice begins to worry that she might not have seen the last of Krueger (Robert Englund).

With graduation the next day, she puts those worries aside and this is where we meet her new friends. There’s Yvonne (Kelly Jo Minter), Greta (Erika Anderson) and Mark (Joe Seely). Alice herself has changed a lot. She’s taken charge of her life, despite the blows she’s been dealt, but there’s more in store for her.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Before, Alice needed to be asleep to pull her friends into her dreams, but now something else is happening. After Dan is killed by Krueger, Alice learns she’s pregnant, but soon after Greta succumbs to sleep while at a nightmarish dinner party hosted by her rich, asinine mother and ends up filleted and force fed her own insides.

Krueger’s found another way into her dreams; her unborn child. Not only that, he’s also trying to groom the child to be like him, following in his evil steps. Alice’s only hope of ending his reign of terror lies with a mysterious nun who appears in her dreams.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

Although the body count in The Dream Child was not as high as with The Dream Warriors and The Dream Child, its story was an altogether different one. It was much darker in comparison to the MTV feel of its predecessor and its themes were much more mature; dealing with abortion, teenage pregnancy, single parenthood and even touching on drink awareness.

Alice’s character arc was a satisfying one to watch unfold. Like Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), she has a lot to cope with and she could have given up on her friends who didn’t want to believe her, but she never does. Alice keeps trying to save those she loves and has learned enough about Krueger by now to not fall for his tricks.


  • Womb Raiders (06:28)
  • The Sticky Floor (05:49)
  • Take The Stairs (01:01)
  • Hopkins Directs (00:40)
  • A Slight Misconception (01:31)
  • Are You Ready For Freddy? (05:35)
  • Anyway I Gotta Swing It (03:28)
  • Theatrical Trailer (00:38)

In the topsy-turvy dream world where the chemical plant, 1428 Elm Street, Westin Hills, the church and the Crave Inn diner all merge together in a gravity-defying sequence, Alice faces Krueger once more, for keeps, but this time she not alone.

Hopkins’ vision for the film together with Jay Ferguson’s score took it a few steps further with the gothic feel of The Dream Warriors. The depictions of 1428 Elm Street and the abandoned asylum of Westin Hills add a sense of despair, dread, neglect and hopelessness that parallel what Alice’s unborn might have been feeling as Krueger’s grip tightened on him.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

It’s not without its flaws though, there are a number of them, starting with the comic tones of the death sequences which I felt detracted from the horror and the impact they could have had. The jokes weaken the tragedy that unfolds. Krueger as well began to look a little too comical and by the next film, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1992), he’s no longer a movie villain who could be taken seriously.

Alice’s story is complete with The Dream Child. That lost little girl grows up to become a strong woman who watches out for her friends, takes care of her father and raises her little baby boy.

When I look at it in those terms there’s no more I could have wished for with this sequel, either 20 years ago when I first watched it or today. It’s all there, flaws and all, and I love it because of that story arc that’s brought to life so beautifully by Lisa Wilcox.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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