Home > Freddy Krueger Movie > A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a 1988 American slasher film and the fourth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Renny Harlin.


Kristen (Tuesday Knight), Joey (Rodney Eastman), and Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) have been released from the Westin Hills Asylum and are now living normal lives and attending high school. Kristen has managed to make some new friends: Alice Johnson (Lisa Wilcox), a young, bright girl and a frequent daydreamer; Sheila Kopecky (Toy Newkirk), a brainy, quiet girl with asthma; and Debbie Stevens (Brooke Theiss), a tough girl who hates bugs. She has also found herself a boyfriend, Rick (Andras Jones), a martial arts enthusiast who is also Alice’s brother.

Kristen begins to have bad dreams and feels as though Freddy has once again come back from the dead. During one of her nightmares, she pulls Kincaid and Joey into her dream as she explores the deserted Elm Street house. The boys try to convince her that Freddy has not come back, and puts her hand on one of the furnaces, showing that the boiler room is empty and cold. Kincaid’s dog Jason then jumps out of the boiler and bites Kristen’s arm. Kristen wakes up and discovers the bite marks on her arm; while Kincaid wakes up and sees blood dripping from Jason’s mouth. In school the next day, Kincaid and Joey confront Kristen about pulling them into the dream. Kincaid wakes up one night and finds himself locked in the trunk of an old junked car. When he opens the hood, he realizes that he is in the same salvage yard that Freddy’s body was buried in. Kincaid spies his dog, Jason, digging and urinating fire in the ground nearby. Freddy then resurrects from the ground after which Kincaid knocks a pile of junked cars down on him. Freddy quickly recoups and kills Kincaid by stabbing him in the stomach. Later that night, Joey is attacked and killed by Freddy on his waterbed after being tricked into thinking a naked woman was swimming within it.

The following day at school, Kristen is concerned when her friends fail to show up for class. She confides to Alice about nightmares. Kristen hits her head and passes out when she discovers both of her friends missing, being attacked by Freddy but revived in time. After she learns of the deaths of Kincaid and Joey, Kristen goes to the actual Elm Street house, with Rick, Dan, and Alice. Rick tells Dan the story of Freddy, and Alice reveals a part of a rhyme by the name of The Dream Master. Alice suggests to Kristen that she is in control of her own dreams. However, Alice also looks down at the ground and sees something, a sidewalk chalk drawing of the house, that only Kristen has been able to see. Clearly, she senses something. At home that night, her mother secretly slips a sedative into her drink to forcibly put her to sleep. Kristen replies angrily to this, and runs upstairs in fear. She quickly falls asleep. On Alice’s advice, she tries to convert nightmares into pleasant dreams. At first this works, and she proceeds to dream about a sandy beach vacation spot. While she meets a child named Alice creating a sand castle in her dream, Freddy appears and ruins everything, eventually taking Kristen to his boiler room. It is explained that Kristen is the last child from Elm Street, and Freddy needs her help to get more children. Freddy taunts her long enough to make her scream for Alice. Alice appears suddenly in the boiler room and Kristen tries to get her to wake up but to no avail. Krueger attempts to kill Kristen’s friend in front of her, but she jumps in front of Alice, and Freddy throws Kristen into a furnace and collects her soul along with the other Dream Warriors. Before Kristen dies, she sends her power to pull people into her dreams, to Alice’s body.

Alice awakens immediately, realizing that Kristen is in danger, and she and Rick both quickly make their way to Kristen’s house. Outside, they see flames coming from Kristen’s room, and they are too late to save her. As Alice tries to understand what has happened, and exactly who Freddy is, her friends begin to die. The next day at school, while taking a test, Alice falls asleep in class and accidentally pulls Sheila into her dream where Freddy is waiting. He traps Alice in her desk chair so she cannot help her friend and torments and taunts Sheila before sucking all the air out of her mouth. Alice awakens, only to discover Sheila having an asthma attack.

Later, Rick finds himself fighting an invisible Freddy and seems to win when he knocks his glove off. The glove stirs and soon launches at Rick and stabs him in the stomach. After every death, including Kristen’s, Alice picks up new talents and traces of the former owner’s personality. She also picks up the dream powers of the children who have died. She is obviously Freddy’s supernatural opposite, albeit too weak to truly conquer or even resist him yet. After Rick’s funeral, Alice teams up with Dan Jordan, who was one of Rick’s closest friends. Together with Dan, Alice tries to get to Debbie, their last surviving friend, before Freddy finds her. Unbeknown to the two teens, Freddy is able to control their movements. Trapping Alice and Dan in a time loop, Freddy is able to reach Debbie and kill her by transforming her into a cockroach and trapping her inside a roach motel and then crushing her before Alice and Dan intervene.

Following a car accident, where Dan is injured and rushed to the hospital, Alice returns home to prepare for one final battle with Freddy. Alice goes to sleep to help Dan before Freddy can kill him. As Alice and Dan search for Freddy, Dan is injured and right at the moment the doctors wake Dan and he is pulled from the Dream World. Alice, facing Freddy alone, attempts to use all of her newly absorbed abilities against him. The fight is relatively equal, except that she has a mortal body and he does not, giving him the advantage of immortality. It is an advantage that proves nearly too great to overcome. He declares that he has been guarding his gate for too long to be taken down by her. But just as he is preparing to kill her, she recalls the final verse of the Dream Master rhyme. For the first and only time, someone defeats Freddy, by using the power of the spell to make him see the evil that is inside. Using her power as guardian of the gate of good dreams, Alice releases the tortured souls that Freddy imprisoned into the gates of good dreams where he can no longer harm them. Krueger’s clothes fall lifelessly to the floor and Alice kicks his glove. The film ends with Dan and Alice at a fountain some time later. Dan tosses a coin into a fountain and before the coin falls into the water, Alice briefly sees the reflection of Freddy appear, Alice brushes this off and she and Dan walk through the park.


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