A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

"We're gonna kick that motherfucker's ass all over Dreamland."

"Freddy the Child Murderer" pushes "Freddy the Child Molester" into subtext, only until each dream-kill dredges it out of the subconscious. Snakemonster Freddy eating Patricia Arquette, Freddy injecting needles/ejaculating into gaping heroin mouth vaginas, Freddy's many tongues... those are the most overt. Craven's re-introduction to the series (he has a "story by" credit) grafts the survivor/empowerment narrative, along with a faith vs. science angle, into the proceedings. Even filling in his back-history extends the trauma to the point of birth; what else can you expect from the "bastard son of 100 maniacs?"

To see a massively successful horror franchise built on these sorts of deep-seated emotional fears then grafted onto the Boogyman myth is pretty astonishing -- moreso given this picture's expressive set design, practical effects, and inventive kill scenes.

Also, I'd be remiss to not mention one of my favorite screen presences ever: Craig Wasson. A beige smear of a man, seeing him desperately try to be an active hero, much like in Body Double, is a delight from start-to-finish. Dick Cavett slicing Zsa Zsa Gabor in the throat comes close to matching that.

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