A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

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A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:
The Dream Child
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Produced by Robert Shaye
Rupert Harvey
Screenplay by Leslie Bohem
Story by John Skipp
Craig Spector
Leslie Bohem
Based on Characters 
by Wes Craven
Bruce Wagner
William Kotzwinkle
Brian Helgeland
Music by Jay Ferguson
Cinematography Peter Levy
Edited by Brent A. Schoenfeld
Chuck Weiss
Heron Communications
Smart Egg Pictures
Distributed by New Line Cinema1
Release dates
  • August 15, 1989 (1989-08-15)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million (estimated)
Box office $22.1 million (domestic)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is a 1989 American slasher horror film and the fifth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. It was directed by Stephen Hopkins, stars Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox and Danny Hassel. It is the sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master and is followed by Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.

The film's general tone is much darker and the dream sequences are more gothic than the previous films of the series, and a blue filter lighting technique is used in most of the scenes. The film's main titles do not display the "5" that was used in all of the promotional material, TV spots, trailers, and merchandise. The main titles simply say "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child". Released on August 15, 1989, the film grossed over $22.2 million at domestic box office to a generally mixed critical reception.


Taking place almost a year after The Dream Master, Alice and Dan have now started dating and there is no sign of Freddy Krueger. One day, while in the shower, she sees herself at a strange asylum. As she walks she finds that she is dressed in a nun's habit with a nametag saying Amanda Krueger. She is then attacked by patients at the hospital but wakes up before anything happens. The next day Alice is graduating from high school alongside her new friends consisting of Greta, an aspiring supermodel, Mark, a comic book geek and Yvonne, a candy striper who is also a swimmer. She only confides her nightmare to Dan, after he tells her about a trip to Europe. He tells her she is all in control of her dreams, and she goes to work.

While on her way to work, Alice finds herself back at the asylum, where she witnesses Amanda giving birth to a gruesomely deformed and Freddy-looking baby. Amanda tries to collect the baby before it escapes, but it gets out of the operating room and Alice follows it into the same church that she had defeated Freddy in the previous film. The baby finds Freddy's remains and quickly grows into an adult, hinting to Alice that he's found the "key" to coming back before waking her up. Alarmed, she contacts Dan, who leaves the pool party. He falls asleep enroute and is attacked by Freddy who sends him back to the pool, leaving again he finds a motorcycle which he uses to try to get to Alice. Freddy possesses the bike and injects Dan with wires and fills him with fuel, turning him into a literal speed demon before veering him into oncoming traffic. Hearing the explosion of Dan's vehicle impacting with a semi-truck, Alice runs out and sees his body come to life and taunt her before she passes out. Waking in a hospital, she has to take the news of Dan's death and that she is pregnant with his child. In the night, she is visited by a young boy named Jacob, but the next day Yvonne tells her there are no children on her floor, nor is there a children's ward he could have wandered in from.

Alice tells her friends about Freddy and his lineage, but Yvonne refuses to hear it while Mark and Greta are more supportive, telling her that Freddy would need to go through them to get to her, which is what Alice claims she is afraid of. That afternoon, at a dinner party her mother is throwing, Greta falls asleep at the table. She snaps at her mother, going on a rant over her controlling nature before Freddy arrives and literally forces Greta to eat herself alive before choking her before a laughing audience. In the real world, she falls down dead at the dinner table to the surprise of her mother and guests. Yvonne and Alice visit Mark who is grieving Greta's death and a rift forms between her and them. Mark falls asleep next and is nearly killed by Freddy's house, but Alice comes in and saves him at the last minute before seeing Jacob again. Jacob hints that she is his mother, but he flees before she wakes up. She requests an early ultrasound and discovers Freddy is feeding Jacob his victims to make him like himself. Her behavior alarms the doctor, who calls the concerns of Dan's parents who seek parental control, which Alice refuses. Realizing that Amanda was trying to stop Freddy, they investigate her last known whereabouts and Alice goes to sleep, hoping to find Amanda at the asylum. While there, Freddy lures her away from the asylum by threatening Yvonne, who had fallen asleep in a Jacuzzi. Alice rescues her and Yvonne finally believes the stories. Meanwhile, Mark falls asleep and is pulled into a comic book world. He unlocks his power of his comic book superhero, the Phanton Prowler, and appears to kill Freddy, who then rebounds and slashes Mark apart like a paper doll.

Imploring Yvonne go to the asylum to find Amanda's remains, Alice is forced to return home and she goes to bed in order to find Freddy and save her son. She is led into an M.C. Escher-type maze before she finally draws Freddy out from within herself. Meanwhile, Yvonne finds Amanda's remains and she joins the fight in the dream world, encouraging Jacob to use the power that Freddy had been giving him. Jacob manages to destroy Freddy and his infant form is caught by his mother while Alice picks up a baby Jacob. Warning Alice away, Amanda narrowly manages to seal Freddy away in time.

Several months later, Jacob Daniel Johnson is enjoying a picnic with his mom, grandfather and Yvonne. As the camera pulls away, the familiar song of Freddy's theme can be heard being hummed by children jumping rope.



Box office

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: 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, falling behind Parenthood ($9,672,350) and James Cameron’s The Abyss ($9,319,797).[1] 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 ranked as No.11 and No.14 on the third and the fourth weekend. Overall, the film eventually grossed $22,168,359 at domestic box office. Though this makes it the second lowest grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film, the box office result equals 4 times its estimated budget, making it a financial success. The film ranked No.43 of the Top 50 highest domestic grossing films released in 1989. It is also the highest grossing horror-slasher film of the year.


A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child received generally mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 33% approval rating with an average rating of 4.2/10 based on 29 reviews. The film was widely criticized for its plot and for taking the series in a more comedic direction.

However, the film was acclaimed for its more gothic and imaginative dream sequences, special effects, and Robert Englund's portrayal of Freddy Krueger. Lisa Wilcox is praised for her darker, more emotional and touching performance. Robert Englund has said that it is his least favorite film in the series next to Freddy's Revenge and Freddy's Dead.

In an interview posted on Nightmare on Elm Street Companion, Lisa Wilcox, praised Nightmare 5's gothic tone, but also pointed out that several scenes and parts of the film's plot perhaps are too sensitive for the audiences: “...NOES 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 NOES film to handle. Thus, the film hit nerves too close to society home and therefore not as entertaining…” and she also gave the film a positive review in the interview, “…5 brought up interesting issues regarding teen pregnancy and rights of a mother."


1990 Fantasporto Awards
  • Critics Award – Stephen Hopkins (Won)
  • International Fantasy Film Award Best Film – Stephen Hopkins (Nomination)
10th Golden Raspberry Awards
1990 Young Artist Awards

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.

Upon its release, the movie had to be subjected to some cuts in the sequences of Dan's, Mark's and Greta's deaths, in order to avoid being classified X by MPAA due to those scene' extremely violent nature. An unrated version of the film was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc. This version contained longer, more graphic versions of Dan's, Greta's and Mark's death scenes.[citation needed] 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 to her. In Australia, the scenes were cut in cinemas, but restored to the VHS release.[2] In Mark's death sequence, Freddy turns him into paper and shreds him to pieces, before beheading him; decapitation scene was deleted in the original version of the film. Despite this, the Australian Classification board did not rate it "R18+", giving it the lower "M15+". 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 album featured ten tracks. The first side consisted of heavy metal and hard rock songs, while the second consisted primarily of hip hop songs.

Track listing
No. Title Artist Length
1. "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"   Bruce Dickinson 5:03
2. "Heaven in the Back Seat"   Romeo's Daughter 3:58
3. "Savage"   W.A.S.P. 3:28
4. "Can't Take the Hurt"   Mammoth 4:21
5. "What Do You Know About Rock 'n' Roll"   Slave Raider 3:34
6. "Any Way I Gotta Swing It"   Whodini 4:30
7. "Now I Lay Me Down"   Samantha Fox 4:17
8. "Let's Go"   Kool Moe Dee 5:25
9. "Word Up Doc!"   Doctor Ice 3:24
10. "Livin' in the Jungle"   Schoolly D 3:36

Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, wrote and performed the song "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" for the film. A second version of the song, recorded with Iron Maiden, became the band's only Number 1 single in their native UK when released in December 1990.

Film score

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[3]
Track listing

All songs written and composed by Jay Ferguson, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Prologue: Elm Street Kids"     0:47
2. "Main Title"     3:22
3. "'It's a Boy'"     0:59
4. "Freddy Delivers"     1:18
5. "Family Plot"     1:32
6. "Yvonne Takes the Plunge"     0:54
7. "Mr. Sandman"     1:17
8. "Don't Dream and Drive"     1:44
9. "Like Father, Like Son"     2:02
10. "Mark Visits Elm Street"     1:43
11. "Hell on Wheels"     2:10
12. "Another Brick in the Wall"     1:30
13. "Stuffed/Choke (Gag Me With a Spoon)"     1:32
14. "Shower"     0:43
15. "The Asylum"     1:13
16. "There Was a Crooked Man"     1:51
17. "Freddy's Stroller"     1:22
18. "Super Freddy"     1:17
19. "Twins"     1:15
20. "Freddy Cuts Up"     1:47
21. "Mr. and Mrs. Jordan"     1:47
22. "Party at Club Fred"     1:27
23. "Amanda's Tune"     1:23
24. "Jacob's Story"     1:00
25. "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"   Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers 1:15
26. "Don't Look Down"     0:46
27. "St. Elm Street's Child"     1:59
28. "Toys for Tots"     1:19
29. "I've Got You Under My Skin"   Cole Porter 0:54
30. "Kicking and Screaming"     1:03
31. "Womb With a V.U."     1:52
Total length:

See also


  1. ^ The film's distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. in 2008.


  1. "August 11-13, 1989 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com/Files/anightmareonelmstreet5thedreamchild-vhs-australia.jpg
  3. "Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links