A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors ★★★★★

BatQuinn's Cinema Review #16

“Sleep, those little slices of death-- how I loathe them."- Edgar Allen Poe

Greetings fellow cinephiles and welcome back to BatQuinn's Cinema, where I review the good, bad, and obscure sides of motion pictures. And welcome to Day 13 of Hooptober 2020, where I will be reviewing a horror film for each day of October, leading up to Halloween.

Often considered to be one of Poe's best quotes, it uses sleep as a metaphor for death. When you drift off to sleep, you imitate death. And since this is a franchise about people dying in their sleep, this quote works perfectly, setting up the tone for one of the best horror sequels ever made.

Plot Synopsis: After the events of the first Nightmare movie, a girl named Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) is having nightmares about the clawed maniac, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). She is eventually checked into Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, after slicing her wrist, which is deemed as a suicide attempt. At the hospital, she meets Phillip Anderson (Bradley Gregg), a sleepwalker with a talent for making puppets, Roland Kincaid (Ken Sagoes), a tough street kid with a very violent history, Jennifer Caulfield (Penelope Sudrow), an aspiring actress prone to cigarette burns, Joey Crusel (Rodney Eastman), who can't speak due to a traumatic incident, Will Stanton (Ira Heiden), a nerdy boy who is a wheelchair due to a previous suicide attempt, and Taryn White (Jennifer Rubin), a recovering drug addict. As each character is killed off, Kristen teams up with Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and her dad Lieutenant Donald Thompson (John Saxon) to defeat Freddy yet again, along with her gift of pulling people into her dreams.

After the critical failure of Freddy's Revenge, New Line Cinema was very hesitant about continuing the series. Wes Craven, who did not participate in the making of Freddy's Revenge, wrote the script for this film to end the franchise. Instead, it marked a turning point in the series. Freddy, who was a very dark and scary character, was now a very comedic character, but this is the only entry that delivers a perfect portrayal of seriousness and comedic Freddy, without going overboard.

Like with the first Nightmare movie, the characters are all great. Even though there are more than the first film, they are all memorable like Kincaid making wise-ass remarks or Taryn with her awesome punk rocker look. Kristen is also a great main character and she's very likable, along with Nancy. You both root for them to defeat Freddy. Speaking of Freddy, we also get to learn some history about him. Whenever they bring up his past, there's always something screwed up that happened to him. This was also the film that established that the souls of all the people that Freddy kills go into his chest, which makes him stronger.

The nightmare scenes are also a treat to watch. Each kid is killed off in unique ways, without going overboard like in the other films. With Phillip, his veins are pulled out of his body and he is dragged around like a puppet, or the most famous kill is when Freddy kills Jennifer by smashing her face into a television. Of course, I can't forget to mention the scenes where Freddy's skeleton is done in stop motion, or when Freddy becomes claymation. That stuff is great.

Most fans of the franchise will say that either the first one or Dream Warriors is their favorite. I'm a bit mixed. Whereas the first Nightmare is a genuinely scary movie, Dream Warriors is the most entertaining. Despite that, this is still one of the best sequels in the franchise, and one of the best horror sequels ever made. It's definitely worth a watch.

Final Rating: 5/5 A

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