27 Jun 2018

SLASHER FILMS - A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Every genre has cliches, but how well do the Nighmare on Elm St films follow the slasher film rules?
Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), yet another Freddy film.

The following analysis may contain spoilers for

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Rule #1

Unheeded Warning

"Sorry? Sorry that you and your tennis pals torched this guy and now he's after me? In case you haven't been keeping score, it's his fucking banquet! And I'm the last course." ~ Kristen Parker.

1a.  Warnings will not be believed...
i.  Source - Teens
ii.  Dismissable - Once again, yeah
iii.  Authorities - Their parents won't listen to them
iv.  Crazy - Everyone thinks so, even survivors of the previous film
1b.  Happened before - This is the fourth film in the series

1c.  General eeriness - Yes.

Sex & Nudity

"We don't kiss and tell. How about you guys?" ~ Rick.

2a.  Nudity -
i. Female Nudity - Hope Marie Carlton, like last time in Joey's dream.  The soul of  one of Freddy's victims trying to leave his body.
ii. Male Nudity - None.
iii. Nudity Equals Death - No
iv. Public vs Private Nudity - N/A
2b.  Sex -
i.  Death - If Kirsten and Rick had sex, sure.  Joey again nearly has sex and dies this time.
ii.  Random Sex - None, but Debbie works hard to get it.
iii. Relationship Sex - Maybe Kirsten and Rick, although it's not made explicit.  Both do die.
iv.  Rape - No, but Freddy does force a deadly kiss on Sheila.

Death will be a punishment for...

"Lighten up, no one died." ~ Rick.


The first three to die in the film were the last of the children of the parents who murdered Freddy, thus ending his revenge motive.  After that he's just killing for fun.

3a.   Sex - Perhaps.

3b.  Nudity - N/A (only a dream creation and a soul)

3c.  Drinking - Alice and Rick's father is a drunk, he is endangered.

3d.  Drugs - Karen now smokes, but I don't know if it counts. It was the eighties.

3e.  Hitchhiking - Doesn't happen.

3f.  Other Criminal Behaviour - Doesn't happen.

3g.  Being annoying/being cowardly/being a sleazy guy - Kincaid and Joey are annoying.

3h.  Being a bystander - Nil.

People will die when they go…

"So, uh, why the haunted house?" ~ Dan.
"It's not just a house. It's his home. He waiting in there for me to dream." ~ Kristen.

4a.  Down to the Basement - No basement, Freddy's boiler room in dreams.

4b.  Upstairs -  Kirsten's room is upstair, but it's hardly relevant.

4c.  For a Shower - N/A

4d.  Into old sheds or out buildings - Freddy, obviously.

4e.  Running off to the “safety” of the forest - N/A

4f.  Anywhere alone - A few.

4g.  Anywhere Remote, Isolated or Confined - N.A

4h.  Any Old, Abandoned or Presumably Haunted Buildings - They hang around outside the abandoned "Freddy's House" but never go inside.

The Order of Death

"One down. Two to go." ~ Freddy Krueger.

5a.  The First Person on Screen - Little girl.

5b.  The Black Man dies First - Kincaid is the first to die.  Sheila (girl) is the first of the second batch to die/

5c.  The Stoner - None.

5d.  The Bimbo - Debbie.

5e.  The Nerdy/Funny Guy - Sheila (girl, died).

5f.  Macho jerks - Kincaid and Joey (more than the first film, and more because Kirsten keeps bring them back into her dreams.) Dan's friends (not endangered).

5g.  The Strong Female Character - Kristen Parker, Sheila (girl, died)

5h.  The Protector - None.

5i.  The Sensitive Guy - Dan

5j.  Children and Animals - None (other than the dream children)

5k. The Final Girl - Alice.
  1. (15)  Kincaid [B/F]
  2. (16)  Joey [F]
  3. (17)  Kristen [G]
  4. (18)  Sheila [EG]
  5. (19)  Rick [I]
  6. (20)  Debbie [D]

Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…

"You can check in, but you can't check out" ~ Freddy Krueger.

...Anything.  But especially:

6a.  Communications devices - N/A

6b.  Lighting - N/A

6c.  Vehicular Transport - Trapped in a car in a dream-loop.

6d.  Your Own Legs - Debbies arms, more.

6e.  The Authorities - Not referenced this time.

6f.  Weapons - N/A

6g.  Escape Routes - N/A

The Final Girl

"Welcome to Wonderland, Alice." ~ Freddy Krueger.


7a.  Final - Yes.

7b.  Girl - Yes.

7c.  Boyish.
i.   Uni-sex name - No
ii.  Masculine dressing - Only vaguely
iii. Flat-chested -  Perhaps.
iv.  Short-haired - No.

7d.  Well Drawn - 
i.  Intelligent - Sure.
ii.  Curious & vigilant - Yes.
iii.  Talented - No.
iv.  Has a dark past - Drunk father, dead mother.
v.  Have/gain inner strength - Massively gains.
7e.  Virginal & innocent - Probably.

7f.  Will be reborn - Big rebirth scene.

The Killer has a Connection to…

"She told us a story about Freddy. Fred Krueger. He's a town legend. He was a child killer freed on a technicality." ~ Rick Johnson.

Freddy Kruger

8a.  The Location - Dream location, sure.

8b.  The Final Girl - No.

8c.  The Protector - No protector.

8d.  The Other Victims - Killed by the parents of the first three.

8e.  Femininity - No.

8f.  A Specific Look - Yes.

8g.  A Specific Weapon - Razor blade glove, anything that comes to hand.

8h.  The Camera - No.

Evil Never Dies

"I... am... eternal." ~ Freddy Kruger

9a.   You Always Have to Kill the Bad Guy Twice - Yes.

9b.  Even then the Bad Guy lives on - Hint at the end, again.

9c.  Evil is Immortal - Flaming dog pee brings him back from the dead in the beginning of the film

RULE #10
The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic

"Kristen! Freddy's back! Freddy's back! Freddy's back!" ~ Roland Kincaid.

10a.  They will follow the rules more - Not really.

10b.  They will be more formulaic - Moves in some slightly new directions

10c.  There will be more T&A - Slightly.

10d.  There will be more and bigger deaths of the victims - Yes.

10e.  The killer’s death will be bigger - Yes.

10f.  The killer will be less realistic - On par.


"You know, I get the weirdest feeling we've done this before." ~ Dan Jordan.

The following rules are followed:  1, 5, 7, 9, 10.
The following rules are partially followed:  2, 8.
The following rules are not followed:  3.
The following rules are mostly not applicable: 4, 6.

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