A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master — Scripts

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master Movie Poster

Freddy Krueger hunts the last of the Elm Street Children and ends up facing his dream counterpart in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Two scripts are available here: the draft for the film’s FX team and the draft New Line Home Video included on the DVD released in 2000. The script for the FX team is a website exclusive! Both scripts are in PDF format.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors proved a box office smash and New Line Cinema moved quickly to push a fourth film into production. As with Nightmare 3, New Line again approached original Nightmare creator Wes Craven to participate. “Initially, I approached Wes about a fourth film,” explained producer Sara Risher. “His idea was illogical. It was about time travel within dreams that broke all the rules of dreams.

“We decided not to go with that.” New Line eventually tapped screenwriter Brian Helgeland to draft a script based on an idea Helgeland and William Kotzwinkle had that involved the “Dream Master.” “I told Wes we decided to go with the Dream Master idea,” Risher said. “When the script we had didn’t work, I went to Wes and Bruce Wagner to see about rewriting it and directing it.” (Cinefantastique)

“The script I saw was written by William Kotzwinkle,” explained Wes Craven. “He’s obviously a gifted writer, but when they had problems with the script they came to me and my [writing] partner Bruce Wagner to rewrite it. Bruce and I thought if we were going to be approached, we should be approached as artists of the original material. So, New Line went off to do some more work with the script they had.” (Cinefantastique)

Script revisions continued until the writers’ strike halted its development. “There was sort of a rough script but [more of] a blueprint for the movie,” recalled Director Renny Harlin. “And sooner than we knew the writers’ strike started.” Ultimately, Dream Master’s script became a collaborative effort among the production team during filming, with many sequences being developed on the fly. “Mostly I would come up with the nightmares because I had an endless amount of nightmares in my memories from childhood,” Harlin said. (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy)

“To make a great sequel, you’ve got to do everything a little better with more originality,” asserted Harlin. “For this film, I wanted to develop stronger characters and relationships. A film can have all the special effects, but if the audience doesn’t care about the characters, you are lost. Great films need great characters.” (Fright)

After the production dust settled, final screenwriting credits were given to William Kotzwinkle, Brian Helgeland, Jim Wheat, and Ken Wheat.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Script by Brian Helgeland, Jim Wheat, and Ken Wheat
Third Draft, Revised: May 9, 1988

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master Script

A Website Exclusive!
Special thanks to Bill Forsche

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Script by William Kotzwinkle, Brian Helgeland, Jim Wheat, and Ken Wheat

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master Script

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Kristen glances up at the sky. Rain trickles onto her face. Then after a second, she looks back down at the sidewalk. THE LITTLE GIRL IS GONE. Kristen scans the area, but the child is nowhere to be seen.

Rain is splashing down on the chalk illustration. Not only is the image washing away, but as the colors blend together, they form a liquid that looks just like BLOOD.

Kristen hears a CREAKING NOISE coming from the direction of the house. She turns and stares at the menacing structure. The front door is SLOWLY OPENING. Somehow Kristen seems unsurprised by this. And as though drawn by an uncontrollable urge, she turns toward the house. With thunder and lightning crashing above her, she walks deliberately toward the open door.


As soon as Kristen enters the house, she hears VOICES behind her. It’s CHILDREN SINGING a strange nursery rhyme.

One two, Freddy’s coming for you…

Alice is staring at the house. She suddenly speaks, almost to herself.

“Now I lay me down to sleep…”

Kristen glances over at Alice who notices Kristen’s attention.

ALICE (cont’d)
The dream master. I think I remember the rhyme.
“The master of dreams, my soul I’ll keep…”

She falters, stops.

ALICE (cont’d)
Sorry, I forgot the rest.

It’s okay. It’s only a prayer, no good in Freddy’s realm.

Alice sinks heavy among the debris. She doesn’t move. Freddy advances on her. Going in for the kill. Just when he’s close enough, Alice springs up. She was playing possum.

She reaches out and PUNCHES a hole in the wall behind the debris of the confessional. She pulls out several crackling electric cables. She looks bizarre and powerful framed for a moment in the blue light of the sparkling electricity.

She rips off the gadget from around her neck and aims it at Freddy. Freddy LAUGHS at her and it.

Alice shoves one of the electric cables into the center of the gadget. It HUMS and BUILDS and GLOWS until a LOUD, incredibly powerful LASER BOLT shoots out of it and hits Freddy square in the chest.

A stunned Freddy looks at his mid-section. Quite frankly, it’s missing. There’s only a gaping, smoking hole through which Alice can see the rest of the church.