A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child — Scripts
Freddy Krueger returns to haunt the dreams of the Dream Master’s unborn child in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Two scripts are available here: the original draft by John Skipp and Craig Spector, and the revised draft by Leslie Bohem and David J. Schow which New Line Home Video included on the DVD released in 2000. Both scripts are in PDF format.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master performed exceptionally well at the box office and New Line Cinema, prompted by Nightmare 4’s tremendous success, rushed a fifth film into production. “The story for Nightmare 5 was controversial for some people,” said producer Sara Risher.
“I really think that I came up with the story, because I was a new mother. And I remember stressing that [the teenage audience is growing up] during the creation of the script. I thought it needed to have those themes of abortion and birth and motherhood.” (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy)
New Line approached John Skipp and Craig Spector to write the script. “The excitement for Craig and myself about doing a Nightmare on Elm Street film and Freddy Krueger was dealing with the unconscious,” explained John Skipp. “Somehow, here’s this guy and he’s sneaking through into dreams. Now where do dreams come from? They come from the collective unconscious. Just like the mind of God. Freddy is like this oil slick on the dream pool, this evil black miasma that’s kinda floating there. He can sink into anyone’s head; he’s this eternal, awful thing.”
“If you believe that concept,” added Craig Spector. “Who would be most in touch with that but an unborn child? Who for nine months is in a perpetual dream state. They’re dreaming constantly. Freddy has established himself as the guy who sneaks in through the back door of perception. I wanted to play with that, because the door swings both ways. If Freddy can come in, we can go into his world.”
“Because he was already dead and has joined the pantheon of the eternals, it made sense,” continued Skipp. “I wanted to lock on where he was and how do we get there, which was what the dream pool was all about. And [Alice] diving into her own dreams was how she found him.” (The Nightmare Series Encyclopedia)
“The idea was to make Freddy scary again because he was getting dangerously close to becoming a game show host or a breakfast cereal mascot which is, of course, what happened,” Skipp later said. “We wrote what we thought was a pretty solid first draft. [New Line] said, ‘You wrote a Nightmare on Elm Street movie like Stanley Kubrick would do it.’ And we said, ‘Cool, huh?’ They said, ‘No.’
The script was then passed to Leslie Bohem for revisions. “For Nightmare 3, I had pitched [New Line] Freddy has a baby,” recalled Bohem. “I went in, one of the executives was pregnant at the time, and I [said] picture Freddy clawing his way out [of the womb]. No one liked my idea. So then I got a call for Nightmare 5 and when they came to me they said, ‘Remember when you wanted Freddy to have a baby? Well, we like that idea now. What if Alice was the mom?’ We had to make up a set of rules for what [Freddy] was doing to get himself into the real world, which might be a little muddy in the movie, but essentially it was to get all four of [Alice’s] friends’ souls and give them to the baby.” (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy)
Script revisions continued during filming with Director Stephen Hopkins and Michael De Luca sharing writing duties. After production finished, screenwriting credits were given to John Skipp, Craig Spector, Leslie Bohem, and David J. Schow.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Script by John Skipp and Craig Spector
First Draft: January 7, 1989
Special thanks to Bozz
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Script by John Skipp, Craig Spector, Leslie Bohem, and David J. Schow
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ALICE looks down at herself. Now she is dressed in an old fashioned nurse’s uniform. White and starched. There is a name tag over her left breast. It reads: AMANDA KRUEGER.
Alice barely has time to react when she hears the first orderly impatiently say…
Close enough. Let’s call it a hundred and call it a day.
We hear the SOUND of RUSTY HINGES as the heavy door starts to swing closed. Alice looks up. Starts moving toward it.
ON THE DOOR
As it slams closed with a resounding CLANG. We hear the SOUND of heavy bolts being thrown in place.
ALICE whirls around. WHIP PAN with her as she discovers that the door she came through is no longer there.
She turns back to the room, frightened. Starts moving for the bolted steel door at the far end. As she hurries forward, the maniacs notice her. All heads turn. Horrible faces peer at her from everywhere. Some of the men move toward the center of the room, blocking her way.
Alice stops. There is no way past them to the door. She turns. The maniacs move in on her from all directions.
Freddy’s hundred fathers. A drooling, macabre parade of human beings. Hands grope toward her. Hideous faces leer.
ALICE watches, terrified.
This is looking less like an insane asylum in the 1940’s and more like a nightmare scene of London’s 16th century Bedlam!
Madam, if I may…
He wheels in a trolley with a sterling silver chafing dish on it. He turns to Greta and pushes in the tray to the hideous baby chair, which Greta’s chair has become, pinning her in place.
The guests continue chowing down, while Mom beams approvingly. Greta stiffens into a parody of too-straight posture.
Frederick removes the lid of the sterling silver chafing dish with a flourish, revealing a perfect, miniature doll-like replica of Greta.
With a flourish, he proceeds to slit it open, filleting it in front of Greta’s horrified eyes with one of the blades on Freddy’s clawed hand.
Frederick has now become Freddy, transforming from the normal Robert Englund to Freddy Krueger.
At the end of the blades on Freddy’s claw, a sharpened silver spoon now exists.
He scoops into the dissected doll and begins to feed Greta, forcing some of the mush into her mouth. Greta resists, turning her head to spit it out.
Freddy jerks her head back to the front.
GRETA’S POV as her head is snapped back. Another claw/spoonful of mush in her face.
You are what you eat.
INT. ASYLUM BASEMENT
ON JACOB crying as he watches Alice, who is obviously losing the fight with Freddy. Amanda’s voice, close by, suddenly cuts through the sound of the struggle.
Jacob! Alice will not triumph.
Jacob looks up and around, puzzled. Amanda is nowhere to be seen. Again, he hears her voice as if she were standing behind him.
AMANDA (O.S. cont’d)
Only you can help her now, Jacob.
With a snarl of anger, as if dismissing the thought, Jacob bounds up the bridge toward the struggling couple.
Hey! Leave her. She’s no fun anymore. I want to go home now.
Freddy looks at Jacob. He sees a different boy, now. A nasty evil expression on his face.