Okay, so I’ll admit, I am guilty of writing shorter reviews about movies I’m not fond of, and writing longer reviews of those I love. I’m going to try to change this. I don’t do this intentionally, I just typically find it easier to write freely and creatively about those films I admire. And alas, The Dream Child is one that I am still on the fence about. It’s nowhere near the shit storm that was Freddy’s Revenge, but this one just really needed a little more hitch in its giddy-up. Lisa Wilcox was still amazing and dazzling as Alice, and most of it was pretty good, it just lacked the umph that made me love Dream Warriors and The Dream Master so much.
Alice is now dating Dan, and they share a steamy scene together during the opening credits. Afterward, she takes a shower, which proceeds to fill up with water. Alice appears much more mature, and is now sporting blonde hair, instead of her regular red. After bursting through the door, she finds herself in a strange corridor. We see a crowded room with a bunch of lunatics, literally, running around in archaic looking clothing, being counted by security guards. Obviously, this is where Amanda Krueger gets locked in and raped by 100 maniacs. Okay, this part is really creepy, just because these guys are absolutely insane, and it would be hard to imagine a more horrifying situation to be in. Robert Englund is among the patients, apparently playing his father who ends up impregnating Amanda. Suddenly, Alice awakens in bed, shaken awake by Dan. She is relieved until the same man pops up next to her, attacking. Alice eventually awakens, for real this time.
The next day is graduation at Springwood High. Alice’s new friends include Yvonne, Greta, and Mark. Yvonne, a cute, spunky chick works at the local hospital (played by Kelli Jo Minter, who had a small role as a video store employee in The Lost Boys), Mark is a comic book nerd in love with Greta, and Greta is a pretty model type, whose mother is overly protective and possessive of her. Alice is disappointed that her father didn’t show up….until he does. He tells her that he watched from behind the stands because he didn’t want to embarrass her. She tells him not to worry, that his alcoholism is in the past. Apparently, he has cleaned up a great deal from the last film, and is actually nice, caring, and a really good father. I appreciate this scene, maybe because I like that her father cleaned up his act, and it’s hard to know that some parents cannot, or will not, do likewise. The kids plan on partying in the school’s pool after Yvonne’s practice for graduation, but Alice has to work. Dan plans to take Alice to Paris over the summer, and has a bottle of wine stashed away to celebrate. On the way to work, Alice cuts across a playground, and notices the tell-tale white-dressed little girls, jumping rope and chanting Freddy’s Anthem. They begin to run away, and she follows them, as it begins to get dark. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of the old insane asylum that looks more like a gothic cathedral than a hospital. Either way, Alice watches as Amanda Krueger gives birth to Freddy, and we catch a glimpse of baby Freddy. What an ugly little fuck he was. Consequently, Freddy has now returned. Alice is now back at the diner, where she calls Dan, telling him about her daydream.
Apparently, Freddy doesn’t need Alice to be asleep anymore to bring him victims, he can do it while she is awake. That is because she is pregnant with Dan’s baby, and has been influencing the unborn child’s dreams. Alice only discovers her pregnancy after waking up in the hospital after fainting. On the way to the diner, Dan had been in a terrible car crash, after falling asleep at the wheel. Freddy had turned him into a fuel-injected hunk of metal.
Yvonne breaks the news to her at the hospital, and everyone is very sad about Dan. As are we. He was only in the film a short while, but worse than that, he didn’t even know Alice was pregnant. Now she knows for sure that Krueger is back. She meets a little boy named Jacob at the hospital, who seems to know an awful lot about her. She tries to explain Freddy to her friends, but they all, especially Yvonne, think she is just experiencing delusions because of her trauma. Greta is the next to die, choking to death at the dinner table as her conceited, stuck-up mother and guests look on in horror. In one of the most memorable deaths of the series, Greta is force-fed by Freddy dressed in a chef’s uniform.
Alice tries in vain to help Greta, as she witnesses her death upon opening the refrigerator and seeing a very bloated Greta struggling. Mark is particularly upset by her death. He was madly in love with her, and she only saw him as a friend. Alice tries again to tell her friends the truth, and still, Yvonne is reluctant to accept. Mark is pulled into a dream, where Alice saves him from falling into a fiery pit of death. She sees Jacob again, and this time he questions her love for him. Realizing he is really her unborn child, she is angered to know that Freddy has tried to poison his mind against her.
Mark has awakened, and now knows Alice is telling the truth. He tries to tell Yvonne, but she is stubborn. Alice is concerned for her baby, and goes for an ultrasound, and has a vision of Freddy in the process. The doctor thinks she’s lost her mind, and calls Dan’s grieving parents, who rudely show up at her house and want to take her baby. A couple of assholes, if you ask me. She goes off with Mark, who promptly falls asleep when she asks him not to (reminiscent of Glen Lantz), and is pulled into a really cool dream sequence, where Krueger becomes Super Freddy and Mark becomes the Phantom Prowler. But skateboarding, overly-bulked-up Super Freddy has other plans and cuts him into itty bitty shreds of paper. Yvonne goes for a swim with Freddy, but Alice, who is also asleep, saves her. Yvonne finally comes around after Mark’s death and experiencing Freddy on her own, and Alice tells her to find Amanda, and set her free. Since she had killed herself, her soul is in torment, and cannot stop Freddy until she is released.
Alice must fall asleep to fight Freddy at home, because her father is concerned about her and won’t let her leave with Yvonne. Yvonne does find Amanda, and sets her free, and in a really cool shot, transforms from a nasty skeleton to a beautiful spirit, vanishing as she thanks her. Alice finds Jacob talking to Freddy, who is trying to convince him to follow him. Alice begs Jacob not to, and he finally realizes Freddy is bad news. They run through a labyrinth of staircases, alternating between upside down and right side up shots. Enough to make me a little dizzy. Freddy even turns into Dan to try to lure Jacob to him. That fails, and upon embracing, Jacob and Alice are now on this stained glass platform, where Freddy tells her he’s been inside her the whole time.
He forces his way out, in a particularly gross scene. I’m definitely not squeamish, but some of the special effects are just downright nasty lookin’. When it seems Alice is down for the count, Jacob is confronted by Amanda’s ghost, who tells him it’s up to him now. He suddenly develops burn scars like Freddy and tells him Mommy is boring and he wants Freddy to teach him. Then, turning on Freddy, shoots some kind of ectoplasmic crap all over him, causing his victims to burst forth from him. Kinda weird. Freddy’s reduced to a pile of rumpled clothing, as Amanda takes his soul back into her body. As the camera pulls away, we see her struggling with Freddy as his glove begins attacking her. I always feel sad at that part, because she sure as fuck didn’t do anything to deserve to be raped or have that bastard Freddy as her son. Why should she continue to suffer?
Anyway, skip ahead a number of months, and Alice has had the child, and is seen having a picnic with her baby, Jacob, her father, and Yvonne in the park. The baby is quite adorable, which is strange for me to say. As the camera pans away, we see a few recognizable little girls, jumping rope, and humming Freddy’s Anthem. Of course! Why not?
So, all in all, this movie is just fine. But that’s it – fine. There is nothing particularly jarring about it, it’s not funny in the usual sense, and there aren’t many victims at all. Dan, Greta, and Mark. That’s it! I’d say this is the lowest body count in any Freddy movie, maybe even any horror movie. I don’t mind the film being focused much more on Alice, because I always loved her character, and in one touching scene, her father walks in on her crying in the kitchen after Dan’s death. He has really come full circle and completely supports his daughter 100%, and it’s just a really sweet scene. That might be where the problem comes in with the majority of the horror population. The emotional scenes are the best in the film, not the blood, gore, or even Freddy. I like that they brought Amanda back into the story, because, let’s face it, she is the reason Freddy exists at all. Well, actually, the psychotic rapist assholes are to blame, but Amanda was a good person with a good soul with the power to stop her murdering son. But that ancient looking castle does not look a thing like Westin Hills. Can you just imagine this huge, dark aura of an enormous former mental hospital hanging out on the edge of town? It kind of reminded me of the beautiful neighborhood in Edward Scissorhands, and when you look up, there’s this hideous eyesore on top of a mountain. There’s not a lot to complain about, but there’s not a lot to rave about either. It’s just sort of like a middle child – not doted on by parents like the baby would be, but not loathed and dreaded as the rebellious teen might be either.