A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5, 1989
Starring: Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Kelly Jo Minter, Erika Anderson, Danny Hassel, Nicholas Mele
Alice, having survived the previous installment of the Nightmare series, finds the deadly dreams of Freddy Krueger starting once again...
No matter what the cinephiles of the world believe of this series of movies, there is no escaping from the fact that the “Nightmare…” franchise has grossed an enormous amount of money and accredited its star Robert Englund with legendary status. Much like Boris Karloff was with being identified as Frankenstein, this comic yet truly horrific character will never diminish in popularity.
Returning from the fourth instalment is Alice (Wilcox). Now pregnant and no longer suffering from the dreams she once had which terrified the life out of her, she is looking towards a brighter future with her boyfriend Dan (Hassel). However, she has started to have those dreams yet again and the same figure has returned to haunt her; Freddy. Only this time, he wants her baby as he wants to live forever and knows his time is nearly up. Will Freddy be successful and the baby succumb to his evil ways? Or will Alice be victorious and send Freddy back to hell?
To continue this series of films over this period and release them in quick succession is remarkable. The release of this fifth instalment only came five years after the release of the first movie and shows how creative the team were who were responsible for releasing them all. What made this instalment different is that it shows one of the teenagers having grown up and taking that next step in adulthood. However, Freddy stops them in their tracks and sees to it that the children whom he tries to kills will always be his victims no matter how old they are.
Englund, as he is in the “Nightmare…” movies, demonstrates that he relishes this part. At no point does his enthusiasm for the role ever diminish and it seems as though he is enjoying it when he dons the hand coated with knives. Whatever Englund’s thespian intentions were when he first landed his opening acting role, I doubt that in the years to come he would be regarded as one of the finest serial killers in cinema but each to their own and Englund will be always be Freddy Krueger in many people’s eyes.
Lisa Wilcox does remarkably well here too. There aren’t many actresses who return to the “Nightmare…” fold and do remarkably well but here she goes against this grain and does exactly that. Not only do her intentions to want to kill Freddy seem believable but when she is terrified you truly and honest believe that she is afraid that this child-killer will make her his next victim.
There have been some stupendous directors at the helm of many of the “Nightmare…” franchise and this time it was Stephen Hopkins. One year after this he directed “Predator 2” and then eight years after came “Lost in Space”. Since then, he has directed a number of leading television shows such as “Californication” and “24”. This director is not to be sniffed at and, with this film in particular, it was his second directorial effort and his efforts demonstrated that he understood what made the film tick and the many ways which would put bums on seats.
The franchise never lost its popularity and it is planned for a second re-imagining to be released in 2012. As long as the director of that film watches these originals and notes about what made it popular in the first place then they have a winner on their hands.
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