A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

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

Chuck Russell's "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" outdoes the first two chapters in the Freddy Krueger saga by delivering an experience that is slick, chilling, smart, and fun. Boasting a bigger budget than its predecessors, the film is part fantasy, part youth angst allegory, and all horror. Expanding the original film's canvas and mythology, the series' third film is an ideal sequel.

Years after the events of the first film, a handful of teens are driven into a psychiatric hospital where they experience visions of the scarred madman, Freddy Krueger. This premise leads to an organic growth of the original film's story and a solid narrative where the sleep-deprived teens take on Freddy in his nightmarish turf. Spirited and scary, the story here has refreshing heft and strong subtext regarding the anxiety faced by all late adolescents.

Russell puts together a solid production. Locations are sound, special effects are well-rendered, and the cast is capable. The film moves at an engaging pace, speeding up and slowing down to clearly communicate its dark tone and narrative. Robert Englund's iconic Freddy is a deadly and frightening foe, not yet drowning in one-liners. The atmosphere and jolts are appealing.

Full of menace, violence, and nightmarish color, "A Nigtmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" is an outstanding chapter of a series that would quickly lose its momentum. A dangerous villain, interesting heroes, and a satisfyingly executed narrative combine for a film that is sharp, spirited, and memorable.

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