A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master - VHS
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This fourth trip down Freddy Lane was the most successful at the box-office, but although it has some impressive visuals, it is mostly an empty film. Credit must go to the effects team for some fine work, but otherwise, this entry from the director of Cutthroat Island (Renny Harlin) is extremely weak. Roland Kincaid falls asleep and awakens in the Springwood junkyard, where his dog -- named "Jason" in a sad foreshadowing of the film's giggly tone -- pees fire on Freddy's grave. The pyro-urinary baptism causes Krueger (Robert Englund) to reassemble from bones outward in an admittedly impressive sequence. Predictably, Freddy guts Kincaid, then appears in Joey's waterbed as a naked pinup girl (Hope-Marie Carlton) before slicing him to ribbons. And so it goes. The film has a few interesting ideas kicking around, but no real identification points. This is a video game, not a movie, and the characters seem to exist only in order to move the film from one effects sequence to another. There is a lot to be said for special effects, and the ones here are extraordinary and vivid. However, the wonderfully grim mood and subtle performances of Chuck Russell's outstanding third entry in the series are gone, abandoned by Harlin in favor of a splashy, comic book approach which would, unfortunately, dominate the series' later installments. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi