THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: 'The Dream Master' is a great film, the best sequel of the entire series. It ranks second to the original, and really raised the bar (which was never again met) for the rest of the series. Lisa Wilcox did a great job taking over the lead heroine role as Alice, and this is one of the more creative films in the franchise. Director Renny Harlin sought out to unleash Freddy on a whole new neighborhood of Elm Street kids, and does so successfully. If nothing else, this film is a transition piece, moving on from the original children of Elm Street and reeling in a whole new cast of youthful teens. I feel this was essential to the series at the time, because after Part 3, the old storylines were beginning to get a little bit stale. This new take on the series really gave it a breath of fresh air, and also gave New Line the platform for at least a few more films.
'The Dream Master' brought forth its own unique style, while still continuing the classic elements of its predecessors, namely, suspense, terror and stylized violence. Craig Safan's score is probably second-best in the franchise as well (aside from Charles Bernstein's classic original score). The guitar-heavy piece he wrote that plays during Alice's final preparation is excellent, and allows the viewer to feel Alice's emotion, and shows that she is making the transition from innocent waitress to ass-kicking hellion. In addition to that, the original soundtrack they put together for this movie was by far the best of the series. Songs like Billy Idol's 'Fatal Charm' and the Divinyls' 'Back To The Wall' added a new dimension to already scary scenes where they were included, and who can forget Dramarama's 'Anything, Anything', when Rick is practicing his karate? To this day, that song is still on my workout list when I hit the gym. As for Robert Englund, what can be said that hasn't been already? Another legendary performance by one of horror's true greats. I just hope he doesn't plan on rapping again anytime soon haha.
The only minor nit-picking I can do about this film is the role of Kristen, which is taken over by Tuesday Knight in this one. I'm sure they made every effort to have Patricia Arquette reprise the role, but in the end, not having that continuity was a minor weakpoint in the movie. Still, every film series has that one sequel that has an inexplicable aura around it that appeals to me more than the rest. For the 'Elm Street' films, this one is definitely it. 9 out of 10.
A.J.: By far the second best in the series. It continues where Part 3 left off, which is exactly what a sequel should do, and I loved the story line. 8.5 out of 10.
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