Alice Johnson is a fictional character and a protagonist in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, portrayed by Lisa Wilcox. She was created by William Kotzwinkle and Brian Helgeland. She appears as a main character in two of the nine A Nightmare on Elm Street films, first appearing in Renny Harlin's A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988). In 1989, Alice returned in Stephen Hopkins' A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child before going on to appear in the comic book adaptions, novels, and Freddy vs. Jason (2003) through archive footage. In The Dream Master, Alice has the ability to gain the "dream powers" of Freddy Krueger's victims and takes over the protagonist role after Kristen Parker is murdered by Freddy. In The Dream Child, Freddy begins to use Alice's unborn son Jacob as a way to return.
In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Alice Johnson was the best friend of Kristen Parker. Their friendship was further solidified due to Alice's brother Rick dating Kristen. Alice and Rick came from a broken family. Their mother had long died before the events of the film, and the grief and devastation likely turned their father Dennis into an alcoholic. Whereas Rick showed gregariousness to mask his emotional pain, Alice became timid and withdrawn—to the point that she covered her dresser mirror with pictures just so she would not have to see her reflection. She worked as a waitress and daydreamed constantly to escape from the real world. When Kristen accidentally pulls Alice into her dream, Kristen passes on her dream powers before being killed by Freddy Krueger.
Alice became the "Dream Master", described in the script as a mythical "ancient guardian of the gate of good dreams", due to the combination of Kristen's powers and her own latent dreaming abilities (e.g., shortly before Freddy's final attack on Kristen, Alice appears in Kristen's dream as a child playing on a beach). Alice then became Freddy's next target because, by killing Kristen, he could no longer access new victims. Alice was Freddy's loophole, as he could kill anyone that she uncontrollably pulled into her dreams. Her link to Freddy allowed her to take on the abilities— both from the waking world and the dream world—of his victims. As Alice's friends and brother are picked off by Freddy, she grows much stronger and capable of fighting back through the abilities that she accumulates. Sensing that Freddy relied on his victim's souls, Alice manages to defeat him by giving all of his victims the power to escape Freddy's body and enter the positive dream gate.
In A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Alice suppressed her encounter with Freddy by starting a relationship with Dan Jordan (the other survivor from The Dream Master) and making new friends. However, after becoming pregnant by Dan, Alice begins having nightmares about Freddy that reflect the horror surrounding his conception and birth. Alice's friends and Dan are soon murdered, and it is revealed that Freddy is planning to be reborn in the body of her unborn son Jacob Daniel Johnson. He is corrupting Jacob by feeding him the souls of the victims. Due to her pregnancy, Alice shares her "Dream Master" abilities with Jacob. There is a caveat, however, as Jacob is able to blur the boundary between the waking world and the dream world without Alice needing to be asleep. Thereby, just like his mother in the previous film, Jacob becomes a prime target for manipulation due to not having the right control over his abilities. When Alice is on the verge of losing her battle against Freddy, Sister Mary Helena (Amanda Krueger) urges Jacob to beat Freddy with the souls that were fed to him. Upon Freddy's demise, Alice gives birth to Jacob several months later.
In the original script for Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Alice was set to return. She would have been killed by Freddy early in the film, making Jacob the main protagonist. However, this version of the script was scrapped and the actual film makes no mention of Alice or Jacob, and leaves their fates ambiguous. Lisa Wilcox has since confirmed that the producers never made any attempt to call her back for the sixth Elm Street film, although they did contact her about allowing footage of Alice to appear during the end credits. Footage of Alice also appears in flashbacks during Freddy's introduction in Freddy vs. Jason (2003).
Alice is the one of the main protagonists of Innovation Publishing's 1991 Nightmares on Elm Street comics. In this comic book series, Alice returns to Springwood following the death of her father and is forced to face Freddy after he again tries to use Jacob to kill for him. In the end, Dr. Neil Gordon gives up his body so that he can join Nancy Thompson in the "Beautiful Dream." Dan's spirit occupies Neil's body, and he is reunited with Alice and Jacob.
She also appears in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors where a vision of Freddy causes her to meet with other Freddy and Jason Voorhees survivors. As with The Dream Child, Alice and Jacob are partly linked regarding the "Dream Master" abilities. For instance, a sleeping Jacob has the ability to call an awake Alice. In turn, Alice can physically enter Jacob's dream and wake up in the place that he fell asleep. Alice's dream powers come at a cost, as she has been suffering from a terminal illness. She later sacrifices herself to pass her full powers onto Jacob.
In the anthology book The Nightmares on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger's Seven Sweetest Dreams (1991), Alice appears in Philip Nutman's short story "Dead Highway, Lost Roads". Years after the events of Dream Child, Alice is now married to a real estate developer named Steve Segel. Although they've settled into a normal domestic routine, there's still cracks in their marriage — Alice is secretive about her Dream Master abilities and Steve feels like he's competing with his wife's late high school sweetheart Dan Jordan. Alice cannot shake her frightful encounters with Freddy, and she even insists (much to Steve's chagrin) on living near a shopping mall complex that has been built over 1428 Elm Street to secretly keep watch. While driving to visit her father Dennis at a rehabilitation clinic, Alice is involved in a major car pileup. Freddy manipulates the lucid dream abilities of serial killer Karl Stolenberg (who was involved in the accident while en route to his execution) in order to ensnare Alice in the "dead highway". Alice searches for a means of escape while Freddy prepares an "Alice in Wonderland" tableau in anticipation of their reunion. Six-year-old Jacob—who is staying in Wisconsin with Yvonne—enters the dreamworld upon sensing Alice's peril, and enlists the aid of Karl and anthropomorphic armadillo Joe Bob to find his mother. Near the conclusion, a deranged Karl attacks Alice, but is returned to his senses by Jacob through physical force. Alice and Karl cooperate to defeat Freddy, though Karl perishes in the battle. With Freddy defeated, Alice and Jacob return to the waking world.
Alice is also mentioned in the short story "Le Morte De Freddy" by William Relling Jr. In between the events of The Dream Master and The Dream Child, Alice sent a letter to Dr. Neil Gordon (now living in Gainesville, Florida) that Kristen Parker, Roland Kincaid and Joey Crusel were murdered by Freddy, but that she took care of him. With Freddy now terrorizing a new batch of adolescent psychiatric patients, Dr. Gordon teams up with another psychiatrist to stop Freddy for good. Alice, whose whereabouts are unspecified, is not involved in their plan. She is mentioned by Freddy, alongside with Nancy and Kristen, when he accuses them of hating their neglectful parents, claiming that it was their hate and not their fear that allowed him to get into their dreams.
Her son Jacob is the main protagonist in Natasha Rhodes' novel A Nightmare on Elm Street: Perchance to Dream. The book mentions that his grandmother Doris Jordan stole custody from Alice when Jacob was born, though he eventually entered the foster system. Alice went missing shortly after an adolescent Jacob was institutionalized at Westin Hills for killing his foster parents (who he was hallucinating as being Freddy). It is revealed that anyone who is aware of Freddy's existence is quarantined in the institution. Upon escaping from the mental hospital, Jacob sees a vision of her when he passes by his childhood home. Near the end, he sees another vision of his mother suffering unresponsively in the dream world, supposedly killed by Freddy; it is not clarified in the novel whether Jacob's vision of Alice is truly her or just an apparition conjured up by Freddy to torment him. Even though Alice is absent, Jacob has stopped himself and others from dreaming for a month by using his dream powers to protect everyone from Freddy.