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YMMV / A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

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  • Awesome Music:
    • "Running From this Nightmare" by Tuesday Knight (who also plays Kristen), if you like your 80's pop music Darker and Edgier.
      • 27 years with no official release, Tuesday released an EP with 7 different versions of it at fan demand.
    • Dramarama's "Anything, Anything (I'll Give You)".
    • It's agreed that even if Dream Master wasn't the best sequel, it did have the best soundtrack, regarding both the background music and insert songs.
      • Speaking of background music, the downright epic score during Alice's Lock and Load Montage, an instrumental version of "Don't Be Afraid of Your Dreams" that hasn't been officially released. "Fuckin' A", indeed.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Freddy is resurrected when Kincaid's dog pisses fire on his grave. It might be considered a joke since the dog's name is Jason.
  • Contested Sequel: Over whether it marks the last of the good movies or the first of the bad movies. Some consider it a worthy follow-up to Dream Warriors with a strong, compelling lead character in Alice, while others consider it an absurd, shallow SFX spectacle that turned Freddy into a self-parody.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The 'dog peeing fire on Freddy's grave to resurrect him' is less of a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment when you remember how Freddy was defeated in the last film: last rites being performed on his remains. He probably used Kincaid's dog to desecrate his grave. Or a stray animal took a leak on the burial site in the waking-world junkyard by pure chance, and Freddy incorporated the event (with added pyrotechnics) into Kincaid's dream just to fuck with him.
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  • Fridge Horror: Freddy needed Alice to pull in new victims. It would seem as if Freddy was holding either the Idiot Ball or Villain Ball for most of the movie by the way he was antagonizing Alice and seemingly intending to kill her. Of course, there are a lot of things Freddy could do to Alice that wouldn't necessarily kill her, but could keep her in a constant dream state with all the victims he could ever want at his disposal. Say, maybe a nicked brain stem or a concussion which could leave Alice comatose...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The film's theme tune was titled "Are You Ready For Freddy?" Cue an entire YouTube comments section filled with jokes about killer Suck E. Cheese's animatronics. Had the song been released just a year earlier, in 1987, it would've been perfect.
      • The fourth game makes the hilariousness come full circle, because now you play as a child who is being haunted by the animatronics in his sleep.
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    • In the Treehouse of Horror parody Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace, Martin's death is a direct reference to Sheila's. You'll probably hear Nelson's "Ha-ha!" in your head upon rewatching the scene.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The zoom out revealing Kincaid isn't just in a junkyard, he's on an entire planet covered in a labyrinth made of scrapped cars.
  • Hollywood Homely: Enforced. Lisa Wilcox was initially passed over as Alice because she was considered too good-looking for the role, so she intentionally made herself look less flattering.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While Freddy was a horrible excuse for a human being before this, this is the movie that shows just how depraved he is: upon running out of the victims his Deal with the Devil lets him at, rather than be content with his revenge, Freddy chooses to do everything he can to reach out and get more people to sadistically murder.
  • Squick: Freddy disguising himself as a human-like nurse. A make up-free Robert Englund in drag is suprisingly more disgusting than any violent act Freddy could dish out.
  • Tear Jerker: Alice imagining her brother Rick popping out of the coffin at his funeral and telling her he escaped Freddy. It's definitely not Played for Laughs and is a somber moment in a movie that can get otherwise very goofy. For anyone who's ever been to the funeral of a loved one, it definitely hits home as a form of wish fulfillment.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: As argued by 1000 Misspent Hours:
    The idea that Krueger is somehow limited to preying on the children of his killers is an interesting one, and provides a plausible impetus for him to try to exploit Kristen’s power. After all, if Krueger can exist only in the dreams of what Nancy Thompson once called “the Elm Street kids,” then he himself will cease to be if ever he completes his revenge. We might envision a scenario in which Freddy is initially okay with the idea that the powers of cosmic darkness have granted him such a limited exemption from death, but gradually realizes that he’s not ready to die again as he closes in on the last of his intended victims. Seeking a way to preserve himself, he could then imprison Kristen in her subconscious — like he did with Joey in Dream Warriors — keeping her alive but comatose and relying on her panicked efforts to get help to give him access to dreams he never could have entered by himself. Krueger’s rebirth could be explained by a forthright admission that his mother had it wrong — something much more powerful than Freddy himself wants him to finish the job and fulfill his end of a bargain ceding his own soul to Hell. Unfortunately, I’m at just as big a loss as the filmmakers when it comes to devising a sensible way to bring Alice into her role as the Dream Master, and any story predicated on Krueger’s inability to prey on anyone outside of a small, narrowly defined group also flies directly in the face of Freddy’s Revenge; if Krueger could enter Jesse’s dreams when the boy had only just moved to Springwood, why shouldn’t he be able to do the same to any of the natives? But that aside, there is much to be said for the premise, and that goes double for the notion that Freddy would have to share the power he gains from his victims with the person whose dreams he uses as a conduit for stealing their souls. I also like the idea, referred to quite openly throughout the film, that Alice specifically is destined to become the Dream Master (a quibble: she really ought to be the Dream Mistress) precisely because of her helplessness and timidity in the real world — like Alice says herself, dreams are all she’s got. The trouble is that it’s all handled in ways that make very little sense. To start with the biggie, no explanation is ever given for the two crucial events of the story: Krueger’s rise from the dead and Kristen’s transfer of her psychic powers to Alice. Matters are not helped, either, by the lesser instances of lazy writing that are scattered all through the film. For example, in a couple of cases it isn’t even clear that Freddy’s victims are supposed to be sleeping at the time, and when Krueger comes for Dan, although he is explicitly described as being asleep, the outcome of the attack would be flatly impossible unless he were really awake!
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Alice tries to use the abilities she inherited from her friends to fight Krueger, but they don't do anything to actually harm him. It's only when she successfully recalls the full Dream Master rhyme and stands on her own that brings about Krueger's defeat. The power Alice received from her friends could only take her so far. They gave her the strength not just to fight Freddy, but to find the strength to fight him on her own.
  • The Woobie: Kristen, Shelia, Debbie, and Alice.
    • Kristen for being the actual last of the Elm Street kids, and knowing that Krueger is too strong for her to beat on her own so the only option she has is to let herself be killed to keep him from reaching the others. And it fails.
    • Shelia for being the very first non-Elm Street victim Krueger claims.
    • Debbie for her needlessly elaborate and cruel transformation into a giant cockroach before she's crushed to death.
    • And finally, Alice for being dragged into a fight with an undead monster she had absolutely no connection to, watching her friends die, watching her brother die, and realizing that the only reason Krueger could get to them was because of her.

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