A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

The best of the sequels, and the beginning of the end for the franchise.

The great appeal of the Elm Street movies for me is that—unlike so many teen slashers—we aren’t there primarily to watch the killer triumph, and the kids die. They feature likable leads fighting for their lives against a supernatural force. Rather than being punished for their own transgressions, the protagonists are unfairly paying for the sins of their parents, or simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As much as I love Heather Langenkamp, she was never the greatest actress; her scenes with sympathetic orderly Larry Fishburne in particular show how stilted her delivery could be. Craig Wasson is functionally the protagonist in a different movie, a science vs. superstition ghost story about “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs.”

This is the entry where the special effects set-pieces and Freddy one-liners start to dominate. (“Welcome to prime time, bitch!”) It’s only a short hop from here to Freddy, rather than his targets, fully becoming not just the main attraction for ticket-buyers, but the de facto hero of the series. And that’s where I check out.

[Watched with New Nightmare for Hoop-Tober 2: Hoop2fer]

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