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Trivia / A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

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  • Acting for Two: Robert Englund plays both Freddy Krueger and Freddy's biological father (albeit briefly) in this film.
  • B-Team Sequel: Renny Harlin didn't return to direct, as he was busy with Die Hard 2.
  • Box Office Failure: While the film made enough money at the box office to warrant another sequel (Budget, $6 Million. Box office, $22.2 Million), The Dream Child managed to gross less than its predecessor, subsequently breaking the ongoing record of each film out-grossing the last.
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  • Dueling Movies: With Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, which were released in the same year. Despite all three being the worst critical and commercial failures for their franchises (with the possible exception of Halloween III: Season of the Witch) up until that point, this film still somehow managed the best critical and commercial reactions of the trio.
  • Franchise Killer: The Dream Child was so reviled that it was decided to kill Freddy in the next movie.
  • Old Shame: For co-writers John Skipp and Craig Spector. Apparently, the only thing from their version of the script that survived to the finished product was Freddy saying "It's a boy!" after his resurrection.
  • Refitted for Sequel: Leslie Bohem first pitched the idea of a "Freddy Baby" for the first film. His pitch involved telling a pregnant executive to imagine Freddy's claws tearing out of your body.
  • Troubled Production:
    • With Renny Harlin being gone due to having to work on Die Hard 2, Robert Shaye and co had less than a year to make the film. The title was the first thing thought up for the film, as was the poster. Nobody had any idea what the fuck a "dream child" was, or why the poster had Freddy levitating a crystal ball with a foetus inside - this was because the story hadn't fully taken shape yet.
    • The idea of Freddy using someone's to-be-born child to get into the real world was an idea that was considered for the first film. Two writers, John Skipp and Craig Spector were brought in to write a story that had Alice and Dan's unborn child being taken over by Freddy. Producer Rachel Talalay hated their script and brought another writer, Leslie Bohem in, who ended up rewriting almost all of it. The only thing from Skipp's and Spector's script that made it into the final version was Freddy's infamous line "It's a booooooy!!!". The two have since come to regret wasting their time.
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    • It then turned out that Bohem's screenplay wasn't entirely to Shaye's liking either, and with the writer unavailable for rewrites, William Wisher Jr. came along and did a further draft, which Shaye also didn't like. Yet another writer, David J. Schow was hired and managed to create a screenplay that most of the key players were happy with, though a few further last-minute revisions were done by co-producer Michael de Luca due to Schow having been assigned to work on the screenplay that would eventually become Leatherface Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.note 
    • The character of Greta was originally to be played by , but like the character herself, she was bulimic, and was horrified by how tasteless her death was, and left.
    • The infamous scene where Freddy's amputated arm turns into a number of red and green tarantulas was a literal nightmare to shoot, so much that the next bit of text will be spoiler marked for arachnophobes: The tarantulas were painted red and green, and trained to move in certain ways. Problem was, only one take was filmed because the tarantulas were angry and aggressive. It doesn't help that nobody knows what happened to the spiders after because they soon disappeared - some even believe they disappeared into the studio office. Yikes. Let's hope there were no arachnophobes in the film's crew...
    • Hell, shooting itself was a stressful mess. Director Stephen Hopkins had only four weeks to film, and a further four weeks to edit, with only two stages to do it on. Although he did get everything done on time, the experience left him so stressed and burnt out that he almost said no to directing Predator 2, despite the higher pay and more relaxed shooting schedule.
    • During post-production, test screenings had scenes that were considered so disgusting that they had large chunks of them left on the cutting room floor. The Freddy Bike scene had even more shots of Dan's skin being ripped away graphically, and the infamous scene where Freddy force feeds Greta tons of disgusting food made of her innards had a shot that panned down to reveal Freddy ripping her insides out as she ate. The scenes still haven't shown up on Blu-ray or DVD today (though some snippets made their way on the Never Sleep Again documentary). Heavy cutting was needed to keep the film from receiving the then-new NC-17 rating.
    • When the film was released, though getting bad reviews from critics was basically expected, fans on the other hand criticized the film heavily for being needlessly mean-spirited and downright cruel in an attempt to be Darker and Edgier- to emphasize, the movie begins with Amanda Kruger, Freddy's mom, being gang-raped in the asylum she worked at, and at 25 minutes into the movie, Dan got killed off in a graphic and cruel fashion- which wouldn't have mattered as much had he not been the father of Alice's unborn child, Freddy turns someone literally into paper and it's shown in its graphic detail, and Freddy kills a bulimic girl by force-feeding her her own innards. Others, on the other hand, found it boring and not nearly as fun as the other films. The film, as a result, was a box office failure - it opened at #3 and soon disappeared after. Despite this, the film still performed better than the other two slasher film instalments that came out that year, but it still was bad enough to make the producers decide to kill Freddy for good in the next one.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Stephen King and Frank Miller were offered to write and direct the film.
    • The first draft of the script didn't have Greta, Mark, or Yvonne. Alice's friends were named Dean, Jen, and Ginger.
      • Ginger appeared to be a prototype of Greta, and suffered from actual bulimia and a sleazy manager named Buddy instead of a domineering Stage Mom. She would've died much later in the film with a two-stage nightmare. First, she appears in Club MTV only for Freddy to turn her into a grotesquely fat pig monster, before she starts puking blood. After waking up from that part, Freddy appears and guts her open in a way similar to Tina's death from the first movie, with the police thinking Buddy actually did it.
    • More on Freddy's backstory would've been explored, such as how his mother gave him up for adoption and how he'd been bullied relentlessly by older kids and a cruel Mother Superior, leading into his desire to hurt others.
    • Amanda Krueger would've had more of a role where Alice calls her out for abandoning her baby and being indirectly responsible for how he turned out.
    • Alice's pregnancy was going to advance rapidly thanks to the energy Freddy was infusing in her unborn child.
    • Freddy's goals with Alice's baby were made much more clearer, with the reveal that he'd been planning on using Alice's fetus to be born again, and had in fact already manifested inside her while feeding on the fetus she conceived with Dan.
    • Other early drafts including one where the kids were part of a small theater production, and another called "Freddy Rules" introduced Nancy's uncle and his family as main characters alongside Alice. This draft included something called the Coma Pit, a realm of the dream world Freddy was absolutely terrified of.
    • In the penultimate battle scene when Jacob kills Freddy by unleashing the powers that were inherited by him, the line Jacob was originally scripted as him saying "Fuck you, Kruger!" but due to Whitby Hertford's age during filming the line was re-written as "School's out, Kruger!"


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