A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors ★★★½

Geoff T's Hoop-Tober 3.0 Challenge
Freddy Triple Bill #2

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

While I did enjoy Freddy's Revenge more than I expected to, Dream Warriors feels much more like a "true" sequel, having a cast of old and new while expanding on many of the themes established in original. This is probably because Wes Craven was actually involved again this time around, even if it was only as a writer only (Chuck Russell directs instead).

The events of the last one appear to be completely discarded here. Either way, Freddy is still at it, this time haunting a girl named Kristen Parker in her dreams. Believed to be suicidal, she is taken to a mental hospital that houses the remaining of the "Elm Street" children, whom Freddy takes upon to finish off in their dreams once and for all. Returning is Nancy Thompson (now working as a therapist) who with the help of Dr. Neil Gordon, is one of the few who can help them against Freddy and hopefully destroy him for good.

As well as a series of colorful characters (Neil is a particulary strong character), they got a good cast for this one. A young Patricia Arquette (pre-True Romance) plays Kristen, and Laurence Fishburne is here as a hospital orderly, while Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon return as Nancy and her father. Robert Englund is just as much fun playing Freddy, even taking the time to drop wisecracks while terrorizing his victims, which adds a bit of humor to the morbid nature of the whole thing.

The dream sequences are more nightmarish than ever, featuring an array of ugly set designs, grotesque special effects and grisly death scenes. The third act is especially a lot of fun, as Nancy and the others band together to battle Freddy, and I like how this gives us a little more insight into his origins (how we was born and where e.g). Charles Bernstein's original theme makes a welcome return, along with some new compositions by Angelo Badalamenti and (to top it off) an ace titular theme song by heavy metal band Dokken.

Out of all the sequels, this would easily have to be the one that's the most fun and faithful to the original, while introducing it's own nice ideas into the mix. It's a more than worthy entry that truly ranks amongst the franchise's high points. While I personally feel that the series could have ended here (which would of been on a high note), New Line had other plans. Money talks, I suppose.


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