A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4, 1988
Starring: Robert Englund, Tuesday Knight, Lisa Wilcox, Rodney Eastman, Andras Jones, Brooke Theiss, Jacquelyn Masche
Following up the previous Nightmare film, the dream demon Freddy Krueger is resurrected from his apparent demise, and rapidly tracks down and kills all three of the surviving Elm Street kids. However, Kristen (who has the ability to draw others into her dreams) wills her special ability to her friend Alice before her demise. Afterwords, Alice soon realizes that Freddy is taking advantage of that unknown power she now wields to pull a new group of teenage children into his foul domain.
A huge fan of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, the 2010 version left a bitter taste in my mouth as it wasn’t quite up to scratch with the quality shown in the previous films. For a start, Freddy was not played by Robert Englund but by a much shorter and less convincing man. If only the producers of that film had viewed the original films and they would have seen how it is meant to be done.
Following on from the 3rd film where three of those from Westin Hills Asylum return to society. Joey, Kristen and Kincaid believe they can now resume with the rest of their lives as they start to attend high-school. However, Freddy has not forgotten them and he soon starts to pursue his chosen victims but will they fall asleep and succumb to Freddy?
In the third film, the role of Kristen was played by Patricia Arquette but here that is covered by Tuesday Knight. Arquette might be a revered actress but so should Tuesday as well as her portrayal of the bewildering Kristen is downright stonking. Possessing the ability to scream convincingly (a trait which is important for any slasher heroine) she also seems genuinely scared when she is confronted by Freddy. Although she hasn’t appeared in any other projects which has made as much of an impact, Tuesday should always be regarded as one of the finest actresses of this franchise.
As Kristen tries to defend herself against Freddy, she encounters Alice who then becomes friends with her as they are united in grief. Played by Lisa Wilcox, she presumes the role of the heroine and she physically embodies this after Kristen’s demise and she now has the ability to bring Freddy into the real world so he can be killed. Lisa Wilcox has gone on to star in even bigger roles and has rightfully deserved these plaudits especially when you consider how fantastic her efforts were in this particular role.
Rodney Eastman, who played the part of Joey, featured in the third “Nightmare…” film and makes a joyous return. A mute in the formerly mentioned film, Eastman talks here and shows a wonderful young actor in the making. Unlike Tuesday, Rodney has appeared in several projects which have ranged from television shows to feature films. His quiet demeanour in this particular movie certainly laid the foundations for a successful career to emerge and it is all owed to him appearing alongside the notorious child killer.
The director Renny Harlin had big boots to fill especially as the director before him was Chuck Russell who has since directed “The Mask” and “Eraser”. Renny improves in some ways to Chuck’s efforts as the inventive ways in which Freddy kills his victims is disturbing and offers an insight into Renny’s mind that he understood what made Freddy tick and how to give audiences bang for their buck.
Whatever the future holds for the “Nightmare…” series, one aspect which will never change is that the impact which Freddy Krueger has made on popular culture is nothing short of remarkable. Admittedly not the most impressive “Nightmare on Elm Street” movie, it is no doubt better than the 2010 version and that makes it more than credible for classic status.
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