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For other projects of the same name, see A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (disambiguation).

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a 1989 horror-fantasy film, and the sequel to The Dream Master. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins.

The film's general tone is much more gothic and darker than the films before, and used a blue filter lighting technique in most of the scenes. Overall, it received mixed-to-negative reviews from the critics and fans, and was criticized for taking a new direction and the undertones of abortion.



Taking place almost a year after A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Alice Johnson and Dan Jordan have now started dating and there is no sign of Freddy Krueger. In the beginning scene as titles roll, we see scenes of Dan and Alice having intercourse. Afterwards she goes to take a shower, but the shower began losing control and the water flies everywhere until the bathroom is filled. Alice almost drowns but thanks to her dream power, she is able to escape in time. As she flies out of the water filled shower she discovers she is in a strange asylum. She walks for a moment naked seeing doors open. She finds herself in nun's clothing with a name tag saying Amanda Krueger, and in a room with 100 insane men (One of them played by Englund, possibly implying that specific maniac is Freddy's biological father), above her two orderlies attempt to do a head count but they were in a rush to leave. They didn't hear Alice calling for them to wait and locked her in there with them. She is then attacked by the lunatics, but Dan wakes up before the dream could progress further.

At the Springwood High School Class of 1989 graduation we are introduced to: Greta Gibson, a super-model in training, Mark Gray , a comic book geek, and Yvonne Miller, a candy-striper volunteer who likes to swim. She only tells Dan about her nightmare. He tells her she is in control of her dreams. After acknowledging this, she makes her way to work.

As Alice walks to work she finds herself in a dark part of the park where she sees Amanda and follows her back to the asylum. Inside Alice is knocked onto a gurney and is then wheeled into an operating room, wearing Amanda's uniform and screaming in pain. She sat up screaming and was suddenly standing to one side and as Alice looks around she sees Amanda Krueger on the table instead of herself, giving birth. As the baby is delivered, Amanda clamors to get to the newly resurrected, yet powerless, Freddy. The mother superior tells Amanda that it is "One of God's creatures" before the demonic baby breaks free from the doctors and escapes the room. Alice follows it into a church rectory, the same place that Alice defeated Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Before she can stop the baby, he finds Freddy's clothes then begins to scream, summoning his powers back to himself and quickly grows into an adult. Freddy Krueger is reborn from a monstrous infant through the spirit of Amanda Krueger in Alice's dream, and returns to his original form. Alice was shocked after she saw Freddy's rebirth, and tells him she will find a way to defeat him and lock him away for good. At this time, Amanda shows up to help Alice, but is disrupted when Freddy slams the church doors closed on her. After these events, Alice finds herself at work, but four hours late, somehow dreaming while awake.

Alice immediately phones Dan who leaves their friends and rushes over to the diner. Before Dan can make it to her, he falls asleep (though Alice is awake) and is attacked by Freddy. Eventually he rides a motorcycle away, but Freddy fuses him with the wires of the motorcycle, and forces him to crash into another vehicle (making him crash his truck in the real world, and with the fragments of the bottle of champagne he had for Alice, making some suspect he was driving drunk). At the hospital, she is informed that she is pregnant with Dan's child. While recouping, she meets a young boy, Jacob Daniel Johnson, who tells her he is lonely and that his mother doesn't care about him. Yvonne later informs Alice that there were no children on her floor, nor is there a children's ward at the hospital.

Freddy begins to kill Alice's friends one by one as they fall asleep. One night at dinner, while Alice is home and awake, Greta is pulled into the dream world and killed by Freddy, who stuffs food and her own guts in her mouth, causing her to choke to death. Yvonne refuses to believe Freddy exists, but Mark, on the other hand, finds it odd that two of them died around the same time. Soon, Freddy goes after Mark, and after Alice draws herself into Mark's dream and saves Mark in time from being dropped into a hellish pit. Mark starts to believe Alice does some research on Freddy. She also discovers that Jacob is her unborn child, and Freddy is using his dreams to pull his victims into the dream world for him. Hence why she is dreaming while awake. Alice requests an early ultrasound for her baby, and soon realizes that Freddy is using her dream power, through her child, to pull her friends into Freddy's world.

The next day, Alice and Mark try their best to convince Yvonne that Freddy is real, but Yvonne leaves angrily with tears on her face. In Mark's bedroom, he tells Alice that according to his research, Amanda Krueger hung herself after Freddy's trial, but no body was ever found. They reason that she must be released from her earthly resting place in the tower of The Hathaway House. While Alice is looking for Amanda's body, Yvonne is pulled into the dream world and is attacked by Freddy, he almost kills her but is stopped when Alice stabs him in the mouth with a pipe. He refuses to go into the next room because he is afraid of Amanda. Yvonne is now convinced of Freddy's existence and accepts what Alice has been telling her.

Shortly afterwards, Mark finds a comic book named Nightmares from Hell and is drawn into his own nightmare, a dream world that has everything (including Freddy) in black and white, but only Mark himself is bright and colorful. While there, Mark sees an image of Greta and finds his "dream power", The Phantom Prowler. He attacks Freddy, but Freddy becomes Super Freddy.


is ultimately defeated by Krueger, his body color dropped draining as Freddy shreds him to pieces with his claw (literally, as he was turned into a paper character in his nightmare).


After Mark's death, Alice's father (who is no longer drinking) takes her home, so she tells Yvonne to go to the now-abandoned asylum and release Amanda's spirit from the tower. Alice then enters the dream world and fights off Freddy, impaling him on spikes and throwing him into a room full of a hundred maniacs (Alice uses her Dream Master power to create them and controls them to defeat Freddy Krueger). They attack him and tear his arm off, but his arm suddenly turns into tarantulas. Seemingly defeated, Freddy pulls her into his Dream Core, a M. C. Escher-like labyrinth, mixing all the dream sights from the previous four films (including the Boiler Room, 1428 Elm Street, the Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital and The Church). Freddy goes back to hiding inside Alice as she finally catches up to Jacob. Jacob tells Alice that Krueger has been hiding inside of her the whole time, and that is how he found Jacob. Alice drives Freddy out, but because of the strong pain, she loses her strength to fight back.

Yvonne, meanwhile, enters the tower and releases Amanda's spirit, where she enters the dream world and tells Jacob that Alice will not triumph and he must use his power on Freddy. Jacob shoots what appears to be a tongue beam at Freddy, and the souls of Dan, Greta, and Mark are released. Freddy is turned back into an infant, as is Jacob and are absorbed by Amanda and Alice, respectively. Amanda walks through a door into a light as Freddy attempts to claw his way out, and the church doors close. They are finally at peace from their nightmares.

After three months, Alice has given birth to Jacob successfully and is having a picnic with Yvonne and Mr. Johnson. The children (who are the omens of Freddy's presence) singing "One, two, Freddy's coming for you" can be seen near them.


  • Jacob is a fetus, yet can speak and understand English and has the reasoning ability of a 10-year old.


Box Office

The Dream Child was released on August 11, 1989, on 1,902 theatres in North America. On the first weekend, the film grossed $8,115,176 as the third highest-grossing film of that week, falling behind Parenthood ($9,672,350) and James Cameron’s Abyss ($9,319,797). The film ranked No.8 at the second weekend box office with a box office performance of $3,584,320, and it dropped out from the Top 10 list at No.11 and No.14 spots on the third and the forth weekend. Finally, the film winded up a domestic total of $22,168,359, making it the second lowest grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film, but with an intake close to 4 times the budget, making it financially successful. The film ranked No.43 of 1989's highest domestic grossing films, and was also the highest grossing horror-slasher film of that year.

Critical Reception

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child received generally mixed reviews from the critics. Most of the critics praise the film’s darker, more imaginative dream sequences and special effects, but criticized its strange plot idea and some graphic scenes. Although Robert Englund ranked the film as one of his personal least favorite A Nightmare on Elm Street films after the negatively reviewed A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge and Freddy's Dead, in his book Hollywood Monsters he gives the film a positive comment as well as in the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, which he considers the film a success.

Lisa Wilcox, the actress who portrayed Alice Johnson commented on the film's tone and controversies in an interview: “...ANOES 5 was much darker, literally and figuratively. The lighting was darker and the subject matters were heavier too-like abortion, teen motherhood, drinking and driving, bulimia, anorexia…Perhaps it was too much for a ANOES film to handle. Thus, the film hit nerves too close to society home and therefore not as entertaining…” she gave the film a positive review in the interview, “…5 brought up interesting issues regarding teen pregnancy and rights of a mother.” (Apparently, she considered these things to be heavier subject matter than abducting and murdering children.)

On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an overall mixed score of 31% "rotten" based on 28 reviews. Though considered a weak entry story wise, some fans regard the film as a mid-level entry of the franchise for its creative kills, imaginative sequences, soundtracks and character developments.

Film Awards

1990 Fantasporto Awards Critics Award – Stephen Hopkins (Won)

International Fantasy Film Award Best Film – Stephen Hopkins (Nomination)

Razzie Award for Worst Original Song – Bruce Dickinson for "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" (Won)

Razzie Award for Worst Original Song – Kool Moe Dee for "Let's Go" (Nominated)

1990 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor in a Supporting Role – Whit Hertford (Won)

Deleted Scenes

The graduation sequence was considerably cut down, which included Alice's father giving her the camera. As a result, there are a number of minor continuity errors such as Alice holding airplane tickets moments before Dan gives them to her as a surprise gift. An unrated version of the film was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc. This version contained longer, more graphic versions of Dan, Greta, and Mark's death scenes. In Dan's scene, cables can be seen sliding under the skin of Dan's arm, a large piece of the bike pierces his leg, and the skin on Dan's head is much more graphically torn off while he screams in pain. In Greta's scene, Freddy slices open a doll that begins to bleed and Greta is shown to have a gaping wound in her stomach, from which Freddy starts to feed her to death. Also Mark's demise when Freddy starts to kill him was originally slightly extended.

As of 2010, New Line Cinema has yet to officially release the uncut version of the film on DVD; however, snippets of these scenes are found in the Nightmare 5 section of the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.


The soundtrack featured ten tracks. The first side was essentially all heavy metal, with the second side essentially being all rap and hip-hop. The song "Any Way I Gotta Swing it" was featured as one of Nightmare 5's Music Video in 1999's Nightmare on Elm Street Collection DVD Boxset.

  • Bruce Dickinson – "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"
  • Romeo's Daughter – "Heaven in the Back Seat"
  • W.A.S.P. – "Savage"
  • Mammoth – "Can't Take the Hurt"
  • Slave Raider – "What Do You Know About Rock 'n' Roll"
  • Whodini – "Any Way I Gotta Swing It"
  • Samantha Fox – "Now I Lay Me Down"
  • Kool Moe Dee – "Let's Go"
  • Doctor Ice – "Word Up Doc!"
  • Schoolly D – "Livin' in the Jungle"

Bruce Dickinson, famous singer of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, wrote and performed the song "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" for this movie's soundtrack. The song, later re-recorded by the band Iron Maiden itself, went on to be a #1 single in the UK.

External links