A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (stylized onscreen as A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child) is a 1989 American gothic slasher film[2] directed by Stephen Hopkins and written by Leslie Bohem. It is the fifth installment in the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, and stars Lisa Wilcox, and Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. The film follows Krueger, using a now pregnant Alice Johnson's baby's dreams to claim new victims.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:
The Dream Child
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - The Dream Child -US poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Matthew Peak
Directed byStephen Hopkins
Produced by
Screenplay byLeslie Bohem
Story by
Based onCharacters
by Wes Craven
Bruce Wagner
William Kotzwinkle
Brian Helgeland
Music byJay Ferguson
CinematographyPeter Levy
Edited by
  • Brent A. Schoenfeld
  • Chuck Weiss
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • August 11, 1989 (1989-08-11)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million[1]
Box office$22.1 million (US)

The film's general tone is much darker than that of the previous films. A blue filter lighting technique is used in most of the scenes. It is one of the final slasher films released in the 1980s.

The Dream Child was released on August 11, 1989, and grossed $22.1 million on a budget of $8 million, a steep decline in box office receipts from Dream Warriors and The Dream Master. It received mostly negative reviews from critics.

The film was followed by Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991).


In June 1989, a year after the previous film, Alice and Dan have started dating and there is no sign of Freddy Krueger. One day, in the shower, she has a vision of herself dressed in a nun's habit with a name-tag saying Amanda Krueger at a strange asylum. She is attacked by patients at the hospital but wakes up. The next day, Alice is graduating from high school alongside her new friends Greta, an aspiring but reluctant supermodel, Mark, a comic book fan, and Yvonne, a hospital volunteer and swimmer. Alice confides her nightmare to Dan, who tells her she is in control of her dreams.

On her way to work, Alice finds herself back at the asylum, where she sees Amanda giving birth to a gruesomely deformed baby. Amanda tries to collect the baby before it escapes but it sneaks out of the operating room. Alice follows the baby into the church where she defeated Freddy in the previous film. The baby finds Freddy's remains and quickly grows into an adult, hinting to Alice that he has found the key to coming back. Alarmed, she contacts Dan, who falls asleep en route to see her. Freddy attacks and electrocutes Dan, turning him into a frightful creature before veering him into oncoming traffic. Alice sees Dan's body come to life and taunt her before she faints. Waking in a hospital, she hears 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.

Alice tells her friends about Freddy and his lineage; Yvonne refuses to listen but Mark and Greta are more supportive. That afternoon at a dinner party at her home, Greta falls asleep at the table. She dreams of herself snapping at her mother and ranting over her controlling nature before Freddy arrives and forces Greta to eat herself alive before choking her in front of a laughing audience. In the real world, Greta falls down dead in front of her mother and their guests. Yvonne and Alice visit Mark, who is grieving Greta's death, and a rift forms between them. Mark falls asleep and is nearly killed by Freddy but Alice saves him before seeing Jacob again. Jacob hints that she is his mother. Alice requests that Yvonne gets her an early ultrasound and discovers Freddy is feeding Jacob his victims to make him like himself.

Yvonne and Dan's parents still believe Alice is crazy. Dan's parents insist that she give them the baby when it is born, which Alice refuses. Alice and Mark research Krueger and the Nun Amanda. Realizing Amanda was trying to stop Freddy, they investigate her whereabouts and Alice goes to sleep, hoping to find Amanda at the asylum. While there, Freddy lures her away by threatening Yvonne, who has fallen asleep in a jacuzzi. Alice rescues Yvonne who finally believes her. Mark falls asleep and is pulled into a comic book world, where Freddy slashes him apart.

Alice goes to bed to find Freddy and save her son. She is led into a maze before she draws Freddy out from within herself. Yvonne finds Amanda's remains at the asylum and joins the fight in the dream world, encouraging Jacob to use the power Freddy had been giving him. Jacob destroys Freddy and his infant form is absorbed by his mother while Alice picks up a baby Jacob. Warning Alice away, Amanda seals Freddy away in time.

Several months later, Jacob Daniel Johnson is enjoying a picnic with his mother, grandfather, and Yvonne. Some children jumping rope nearby are humming Freddy's rhyme.



Box officeEdit

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child was released on August 11, 1989, in 1,902 theaters in North America. On the first weekend, the film opened $8.1 million, falling behind Parenthood ($9.7 million) and James Cameron’s The Abyss ($9.3 million).[3] The film ranked eighth at the second-weekend box office, with a revenue of $3.6 million, and it dropped out of the Top 10 list ranked at eleventh and fourteenth on the third and the fourth weekends, respectively. Overall, the film grossed $22.1 million at U.S. box office.

The film is the highest grossing slasher film released in 1989. It is currently the second-lowest-grossing Nightmare on Elm Street film. The film ranked number forty-three of the Top fifty highest-grossing films released in the U.S. in 1989 and is thirty-seventh of all slasher films cataloged by Box Office Mojo.[4]

The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc on December 20, 1989.[5][circular reference]


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 32% approval rating and an average rating of 4.2/10 based on 31 reviews. The site's consensus is: A Nightmare on Elm Street feels exhausted by this cheesy fifth entry, bogged down by a convoluted mythology while showing none of the chilling technique that kicked off the franchise.[6] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]

Caryn James of The New York Times wrote that the film "doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is – a genre film that won't totally insult your intelligence or your eyes".[8] Variety called it "a poorly constructed special effects showcase" with "highly variable" acting, but praised the special effects, stating that "saving grace is the series of spectacular special effects set pieces featuring fanciful makeup, mattes, stopmotion animation and opticals".[9] Dave Kehr of the Chicago Tribute praised the direction of Director Stephen Hopkins, stating, "Using a style heavily indebted to music videos - lots of fast cutting, odd angles and gratuitous camera movements - Hopkins keeps the energy level up, though his manner is a bit too choppy to keep all of the diverse elements together." Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times described it as "a dynamic, fully visually realized experience", complimenting the acting, set design, and directing. Thomas identifies Krueger as representing the irrational adult world to teenagers.[10] Richard Harrington of The Washington Post ranked it below the first and third films, saying the plot is too confusing.[11]

In a 2016 interview with Den of Geek, Robert Englund recollects the experience working with director Stephen Hopkins, "I met Stephen Hopkins, who’s like the handsomest man in Hollywood, at a Thai restaurant in Culver City. Stephen was doing storyboards and he’s such a great illustrator that I just said, 'Take me now.' He goes, 'I want this whole sequence to be like M.C. Escher.' I went oh, perfect for a dream sequence, I get it. That’s all he had to say to me and show me his doodle on a napkin, and I was hooked." In the same interview, he also praised the special effects and experience when shooting the film, "My best time on that was the sequence in the insane asylum. That was fun because that was my first time with the floating crane camera. There’s no crew. It was just me and 100 extras, and this little teeny camera. It was like having a drone on a little wiry crane ... and there’s a lot of wide shots in that magnificent set."[12]

Director Stephen Hopkins has expressed disappointment with the final product, stating that "It was a rushed schedule without a reasonable budget and after I finished it, New Line and the MPAA came in and cut the guts out of it completely. What started out as an OK film with a few good bits turned into a total embarrassment. I can't even watch it anymore."[13]


1990 Fantasporto Awards
Critics Award – Stephen Hopkins (Won)
International Fantasy Film Award Best Film – Stephen Hopkins (Nomination)
10th Golden Raspberry Awards
Razzie Award for Worst Original SongBruce Dickinson for "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" (Won)
Razzie Award for Worst Original Song – Kool Moe Dee for "Let's Go" (Nominated)
1990 Young Artist Awards
Best Young Actor in a Supporting Role – Whit Hertford (Won)

Deleted scenesEdit

Several scenes were removed from the film's final cut. The graduation sequence, which showed Alice's father giving her the camera, was significantly reduced. 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.[citation needed]

Upon its release, the movie was subjected to some cuts in the sequences of Dan's, Mark's and Greta's deaths to avoid being classified X by MPAA due to their extremely violent and graphic nature. An unrated version of the film, which contained longer, more graphic versions of Dan's, Greta's and Mark's death scenes, was originally released on VHS and Laserdisc formats.[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.[14] In Mark's death sequence, Freddy turns him into paper and shreds him before beheading him; the decapitation scene was deleted from the original version of the film. Despite this, the Australian Classification board did not rate it "R18+", giving it the lower "M15+" rating. As of 2020, New Line Cinema has yet to officially release the uncut version of the film on DVD but excerpts of these scenes are found in the Nightmare 5 section of the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.



The soundtrack album consists of ten tracks. The first side consisted of heavy metal and hard rock songs, while the second consisted primarily of hip hop songs.

Track listing
1."Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter"Bruce Dickinson5:03
2."Heaven in the Back Seat"Romeo's Daughter3:58
4."Can't Take the Hurt"Mammoth4:21
5."What Do You Know About Rock 'n' Roll"Slave Raider3:34
6."Any Way I Gotta Swing It"Whodini4:30
7."Now I Lay Me Down"Samantha Fox4:17
8."Let's Go"Kool Moe Dee5:25
9."Word Up Doc!"Doctor Ice3:24
10."Livin' in the Jungle"Schoolly D3:36

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.[citation needed]

Film scoreEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [15]

All tracks are written by Jay Ferguson.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child - Original Motion Picture Score
1."Prologue – Elm Street Kids"0:48
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, Bring Me A Dream"1:17
8."Don't Dream & Drive"1:17
9."Like Father, Like Son"2:02
10."Mark Visits Elm Street" (Original A Nightmare on Elm Street Theme by Charles Bernstein)1:43
11."Hell On Wheels"2:10
12."Another Brick In The Wall"1:30
13."Stuffed / Choked (Gag Me With A Spoon)"1:32
15."The Asylum"1:13
16."There Was A Crooked Man"1:51
17."Freddy's Stroller"1:22
18."Super Freddy"1:17
20."Freddy Cuts"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"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"0:54
30."Kicking And Screaming"1:03
31."Womb With A V.U"1:52

Bonus tracks, previously unreleased (included on the A Nightmare On Elm Street - 8 CD Box Set)[16]Edit

1."Nightmare Theme Insert A" (Original A Nightmare on Elm Street Theme by Charles Bernstein)0:15
2."Nightmare Theme Insert B" (Original A Nightmare on Elm Street Theme by Charles Bernstein)0:37
3."Bed Fred Sting"0:05
4."Wake Up"0:23
5."New Line Logo / Main Title (Film Version)"3:22
6."Rape / Bed Fred / Freddy Sting"0:39
7."Elm Street Kids" (Original A Nightmare on Elm Street Theme by Charles Bernstein)2:07
8."Delivery Room (Birth)"1:44
9."Crash / You Are Pregnant"1:55
10."Jacob / Greta's Room"1:31
11."Greta's Room Reprise"1:25
12."Mark’s World Continued / Jacob Wait / Resolute Mark (1:25)" ("Mark's World Continued" was based from the original A Nightmare on Elm Street Theme by Charles Bernstein)1:25
13."The Womb / Keep The Baby"1:23
14."Greta’s Doll"1:00
15."Yvonne Goes To The Asylum"2:22

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ Fujishima, Kenji (2016-01-14). "Revisiting all 8 of Freddy's nightmares, the richest of the slasher franchises". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  3. ^ "August 11-13, 1989 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  4. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  5. ^ 1989 in home video#Movie releases
  6. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - The Dream Child (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  7. ^ A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, retrieved 2019-11-05
  8. ^ James, Caryn. "Review/Film; Dreams and Nightmares On a Well-Traveled Street". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  9. ^ "Review: 'A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child'". Variety. 1989. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  10. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 11, 1989). "Movie Review : Dreamy Confrontation in Freddy's Family". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  11. ^ Harrington, Richard (August 12, 1989). "'A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child'". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "Robert Englund Talks Nightmare on Elm Street El Rey Marathon & Wes Craven Legacy". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  13. ^ Shapiro, Marc (December 1990). "Predator 2 Stalks the Concrete Jungle". Fangoria (99): 36–40, 64.
  14. ^ "Photographic image of DVD cover" (JPG). Nightmareonelemstreetfilms.com. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  15. ^ "Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  16. ^ "A Nightmare On Elm Street - 8 CD Box Set". Varèse Sarabande. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

External linksEdit