anna nomaly’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wow. Going into this rewatch, I knew Dream Warriors was one of the better Nightmare sequels, but I also completely underestimated how solid it actually is. I will say that, as far as horror movies go, it's not particularly scary, but what it lacks in fright, it makes up for in...emotion? Yeah, I just said that. Emotion. You know how in Inception you fall in love with all of the characters early on, you go on this insane adventure with them, and then when it's all over and everyone who made it made it you're just overcome with happiness? This movie totally works like that.
Centered around a group of nightmare-plagued teenagers in a psych ward, Dream Warriors plays sort of like a horror movie version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, impressively tackling a large cast of characters and making each one distinct, compelling, and memorable. Here, Freddy isn't so much a bloodthirsty boogeyman as he is a representation of each character's personal hang-ups. Being that this is a mainstream genre flick from the 80's, the subtext isn't exactly subtle, but it's there, and the screenplay and the cast are so good that it all works.
It's worth mentioning that the acting is astonishingly accomplished for a movie like this; of course Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp are great, but Patricia Arquette, Craig Wasson, Ira Heiden, and several others are also stellar. Throw in some creative production design and enjoyably dated special effects and you've got yourself one hell of a good movie. So happy with the way this turned out.