Film: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
"Now I lay me down to sleep The Master of Dreams my soul will keep In the reflection of my mind's eye Evil will see itself, and it shall die"
— The Dream Master rhyme
A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is the fourth Nightmare On Elm Street film, released in the year 1988.Despite the Dream Warriors' best efforts, Freddy Krueger returns from his grave to continue invading the dreams of others. After quickly dispatching the survivors of the last film, Freddy makes Kristen involuntarily pass her dream abilities on her schoolmate Alice, so that he can extend his cruelty past Elm Street. Alice now has to find a way to defeat Freddy before she loses all of her friends and loved ones.Critical reception to the film was mixed, but it did so well on the box office it became the most successful Slasher Movie of the 80s. It was the most financially successful movie in the Nightmare series until Freddy vs. Jason came out.
Alice fantasizes about doing this to her father during one daydream.
Kristen does this to her mother when she realizes she's been given sleeping pills.
"No, Mother, you just murdered me. Take that to your goddamn therapy."
Chekhov's Gun: Alice tells Kristen that reciting the Dream Master rhyme helps you control your dreams, but she herself has forgotten it. In the climax, the spirits of Freddy's victims help her recite it to defeat him.
Daydream Surprise: Some of Alice's fantasies are not revealed as daydreams until she snaps out of it.
Dead Star Walking: Despite Tuesday Knight getting second billing after Robert Englund, Kristen dies about twenty minutes into the movie.
Death by Irony: In Debbie's first scene she's shown to hate cockroaches, and she squashes one under her boot. Later on she gets turned into a cockroach by Freddy, who then crushes the roach motel she's trapped inside.
Alice is a meek daydreamer who fantasizes about telling her alcoholic father off and asking hunky jock Dan Jordan out. By the movie's end, Alice has grown as a character and no longer relies on simply fantasizing about what she wants to do.
Debbie, a punk girl with her own weight equipment who does bad in school...and also likes to watch Dynasty, is terrified of cockroaches, and is friends with brainy girl Sheila and sticks up for her. When Sheila dies, you can tell from Debbie's voice she's trying her best not to break down.
His Quirk Lives On: Alice starts to take on personality traits of her friends as they're picked off by Freddy.
Parental Neglect: Elaine Parker shrugs off Kristen's attitude to a lack of sleep, even though her daughter had just lost two close friends in one day, friends she only recently saw. Elaine's pretty much responsible for Kristen's death, since she put sleeping pills in Kristen's lemonade at dinner, leaving her easy prey for Freddy.
Quicksand Sucks: Kristen finds herself trapped in the beach dream when the sand beneath her tyrns into quicksand. Freddy places his foot on her head, and pushes her down.
Relative Button: Subverted. Freddy Krueger throws Alice into a Bad Future nightmare where she still works the same dead-end job until she's old and grey, before he shows her how delicious he finds teenagers' souls by serving up a "soul pizza". Freddy eats Alice's previously deceased brother Rick in front of her by devouring his soul purely to be a dick to Alice, but she's way too horrified to react with immediate rage.
Sequel Non-Entity: Dr. Neil Gordon, who knew about Freddy and survived the last movie. Justified because the characters he knew are quickly killed and the new characters never met him.
Skyward Scream: After Kincaid witnesses Freddy's resurrection in the car graveyard dream, he tries to escape but is then cornered. He screams towards the sky, trying to signal his friends that Freddy is back, as the camera pans out to reveal that the graveyard covers the whole planet.
Soul Fragment: Freddy Krueger manipulates Kristen into giving her powers (which allow her to pull others into her dreams) to her friend Alice as she dies. This allows Freddy to use Alice's dreams to stalk new victims (he could previously only get at the ones whose parents killed him), and he starts killing off all her friends. It takes Alice a while to realize it, but a small part of each victim stays with her; she starts talking and acting like her dead friends and even develops some of their skills. This grants her a level in badass.
Freddy Krueger: You've got their powers, I've got their souls. Come on!
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Kincaid, Joey, and Kristen all die within the first 30 minutes of this movie after narrowly surviving the previous one.
Torso with a View: Happens to Freddy via a laser beam shot by Alice. He fixes himself up with just a wave of his hand.
Unwitting Pawn: Alice doesn't immediately realize that Freddy is using her to get to new victims.