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A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Dream Child Review

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The stalker with the garden-shear hands and Dennis The Menace sweater is back to hunt down and elaborately kill an endless supply of young people who have had the misfortune to upset him.

★★★★★

With the relative critical and commercial stinker that was Nightmare 4: The Dream Master and news of five different writers involved in this latest effort, the omens for Nightmare 5 were less than promising. It's something of a relief then to report that this latest episode in the ongoing Krueger saga is a definite improvement on its predecessor in the same way as Part 3: Dream Warriors bounced back after the insipid Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

It's still a long way off, however, the quality of the original beast. Picking up on Part 4's flimsy storyline, Fred comes back via the restless spirit of his mother to wreak yet more of his increasingly tedious revenge on the school-friends of the children of his original killers. He bumps off the smarmy Alice in the most dragged-out motorcycle accident death since Leader Of The Pack and then moves on to chase after Alice's unborn baby and her pals. And yet again, each of them shuffle off this mortal coil in appropriate manner — the comics fan pegs it in an issue of Krueger Comics, the diet fanatic falls victim to gluttony etc. — with the traditional, if increasingly mirth-free pay-off line. There's plenty of padding and hopelessly confusing plot devices by the shedful but at least the special effects are as state-of-the-art as ever and Robert Englund still makes the most delightfully murderous wimp in the movies.

Despite an impressive bag of special effects tricks, old Fred is starting to resemble one of those dead horses that studio execs insist on flogging.

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