Freddy Krueger returns once again to terrorize the dreams of the remaining Dream Warriors, as well as those of a young woman who may know the way to defeat him for good.
Following up the previous Nightmare film we see Freddy once again return to finish what he started, kill the last of the Elm Street kids. Kristen, Joey, and Kincaid have been released from the Westin Hills Asylum and are now trying to live normal lives and attending high school, they’ve even made new friends.
In this film we see a more angry Freddy, sick of being beaten he is determined to get his way, but at the same time we are given a full onslaught of humour, which takes the films edginess away but gives us the Freddy we love, it’s a catch 22. Due to the amount of humour we now have a more cheesy film, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but you get the sense of the studio trying to hard, not for the film series but to keep the Freddy merchandise machine rolling.
One thing you can’t fault with this film is the special effects, which are amazingly done. Also the cast are brilliant to watch, no the script and plot might not be great but the cast make it work well. Credit to director Renny Harlin for pulling it all off.
Just because we have more humour this time doesn’t mean the scares aren’t there and the over the top death scenes, which are fantastic and still spoke about today but you also feel that it became too much of “How do we outdo the last films death scenes?” which is sadly what happens to most Horror franchises. Instead of focusing on the deaths I’d like more focus on characters, by now you find it hard to sympathise for them which is what made the first 3 work so well.
Truth is that for a fourth installment in a franchise it holds up quite well, by now ideas are usually starting to dry up and films lose their way but Freddy had become a cult hero and I think the studio knew that they had to try keep it as fresh as possible. Yes it’s entertaining to watch and it’s no doubt a barrel of laughs but I wanted more scares than more humor.
I personally feel that this should have been the final film, that way the series could have ended on somewhat of a high and for those that don’t agree with me on the cheesiness of the film, especially the character of Freddy and his now cult status, I just have one question for you: Do you remember the music video for this films closing credits where Freddy raps?!
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
- When Alice goes into the theater, there is a poster for Reefer Madness II: The True Story, New Line Cinema’s first success, as well as a poster for Hairspray. Also on the background wall of the theatre entrance, there is a poster of Renny Harlin’s previous movie Prison.
- The two gravestones visible behind Kristen Parker’s and Roland Kincaid’s are for Donald & Nancy Thompson, characters from A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
- The sandcastle form of the Elm Street House is visible on freeze-frame before it explodes.
- The name of the diner where Alice works is called the “Crave Inn”, a reference to series creator Wes Craven.
- Not only did actor Tuesday Knight co-star in the film, she performed the theme song.
- This was the highest-grossing entry in the Elm Street series (not counting Freddy vs. Jason). It earned $49 million in the US.
- In a brief classroom scene, Alice and fellow students are lectured on the philosophy on dreams. The teacher giving the lecture is played by series producer and New Line Cinema CEO Robert Shaye.
- When Dan and Alice go to the hospital, there is an announcement on the PA requesting a Dr. Shaye, a reference to Robert Shaye, producer of the series and CEO of New Line Cinema.
- Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner came upon with a concept for this film that involved time travel through dreams. However, producers Robert Shaye and Sara Risher felt that this was too high a concept for a Nightmare On Elm Street sequel and didn’t think it fit the formula that Craven created with the first film.
- Ellie Cornell auditioned for the role of Alice.
- Tibor Takács was offered to direct, but didn’t take the job because the shooting would have started in couple of weeks.
- A magazine can be seen in Kristen’s room that has a picture of Johnny Depp, who starred in the original ‘Nightmare on Elm Street, A (1984)’ film and had a brief cameo in the sixth film of the series, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
- According to Annette Benson, the Casting Director, over 600 actresses auditioned for the role of Alice.
- Patricia Arquette, who played Kristen in the third part of the series, could not reprise her role here in the fourth movie because she was pregnant during filming.
- In the scene where Kristen is in the hospital after hitting her head; when the nurse changes into Freddy and he had the vials of blood in his right hand, one of the vials (the one closest to the camera) says “Englund” – the last name of the actor who plays Freddy.
- First film in the series where Robert Englund receives top billing in the opening credits.
- The first film “Nightmare on Elm Street” series in which the end credits rolled instead of appearing in a slide show.
- The scene where Alice and Rick are watching home videos was a last minute addition. In an interview with Andras Jones he stated that because of the writers strike and because of Renny Harlin’s poor English, he and Lisa Wilcox wrote their own dialogue for it.
- The highest grossing horror film of its year and the highest grossing film for New Line.
- The last film in the series whose title includes the serial number.