A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

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

Welcome to primetime, bitch!

Yeah, this is really just peak Elm Street....... bitch.

I noticed that this is the first movie where he's credited as Freddy Krueger, and not Fred Krueger, which feels appropriate, because this is really the movie where he fully becomes the Freddy Krueger we all know and love. There's glimpses of his sadistic sense of humor in the first movie, but here, he becomes a full-on quip master.

I also like how the kills here don't just feel arbitrary in terms of their... ahem... execution. Freddy really commits to psychologically fucking with the gang, even if he's right about to kill them anyway, and the manner of death manages to connect with their actual emotional baggage.

But also, the kills are just cool as fuck anyway, too. The marionette scene remains one of my favorite kills of the franchise. Creatively, this whole thing is just firing on all cylinders. Wall-to-wall, this is the very definition of Iconic. They really take advantage of the possibilities of dream logic, to a whole new level, and cleverly, they come at it from both sides this time. The gang learns they can control their dreams too, and use that to fight back.

Also, "In my dreams I'm beautiful... and bad!"? Love it.

The story here is pretty solid too, especially for a slasher. It does a pretty good job in utilizing Freddy as part of a metaphor for mental illness (we'll overlook that it seems to posit "faith" as the cure, and "science" as bad), and the choice to set it in a mental institution makes the refusal of adults to believe in the threat of Krueger that much more potent.

This is just such a ridiculously fun and imaginative movie, and the true pinnacle of everything that the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise can and should be.


➡️ A Nightmare on Elm Street Ranked

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