A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I didn’t expect much from the transfer, so I was pleased by the pretty positive results.
Sharpness was usually good. A little softness affected wider shots, but any lack of definition was typical for films of this one’s era. Overall clarity appeared fairly appealing.
I saw no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to cause issues, as this became a clean image.
With a palette that emphasized reds and blues, the colors of Master worked pretty well. I thought the hues generally came across as well-depicted.
Blacks were mostly dark and firm, and low-light shots offered reasonable clarity. No one will view this as a demo film, but given the era in which it was made, the end result satisfied.
While prior Nightmare movies ran theatrically via monaural mixes, Master went out to screens with a stereo track. Reworked into DTS-HD MA 5.1, this became the best of the soundtracks to date.
Though not one without flaws, as quality could show its age. Louder effects tended to seem a bit distorted, and some edginess impacted dialogue.
Still, lines always remained intelligible and reasonably natural, and effects came with nice range and impact. Music could veer a little shrill in terms of high end, but that reflected production trends of the time, and bass came across well.
The soundscape opened up better than any of the film’s predecessors, with a surprisingly involving mix. Music showed nice stereo presence, while effects offered good localization.
Those components managed to blend smoothly and they moved around the room in a satisfying manner. The surrounds contributed a fair amount of information and helped make this a relatively impressive track for its era.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? The lossless audio felt a bit broader and more dynamic, while visuals appeared tighter and clearer. The Blu-ray turned into a nice upgrade.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find four featurettes. Krueger, Freddy Krueger runs eight minutes, 16 seconds and involves New Nine Theatrical Distribution President Al Shapiro, director Renny Harlin, producers Rachel Talalay and Robert Shaye, and screenwriters Jim and Ken Wheat.
This show looks at how Harlin came to the film and his impact on the project as well as aspects of the screenplay and production. It gives us a good view of some complications involved with the movie.
With Hopeless Chest, we find a three-minute, 45-second reel that includes special effects designers Steve Johnson and John Carl Buechler and actor Robert Englund. We learn some fun details about the film’s effects here.
Let’s Makeup lasts two minutes, 20 seconds and features makeup designer Howard Berger. He tells us about his work on Freddy in this short but useful clip.
Finally, The Finnish Line goes for two minutes, 27 seconds and brings notes from Harlin as he discusses his work on the film. This offers another quick but informative reel.
Though A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master marks a decline from the heights of its immediate predecessor, it still offers a fairly interesting and exciting experience. It should be regarded as pretty much "middle of the road" for Nightmare films. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio along with minor supplements. This turns into a watchable horror experience.
Note that the Blu-ray of Dream Master can only be found as part of a seven-movie “Nightmare on Elm Street Collection”. While the first flick can be purchased on its own while the second and third appear in a “two-for” disc, films four through seven appear solely in this package.