A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

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

"It's really you. I've killed you once before, you son of a bitch."

A while back I came across an intriguing take on sleep. It asserted that if we ever had visitors from another world, they would likely observe sleep as a completely illogical biological mechanism that renders us completely vulnerable for its entire duration. "What kind of evolutionary advantage would dropping their guard grant them?" they would surely wonder. If anything, one could argue sleep is one of our universal flaws as a species.

Enter Freddy Kreuger and that sentiment takes on another layer of dread. Despite the cartoonish flourishes and dark comedic leanings that pop up throughout the series, the relentless peril faced by Elm Street protagonists is one I would never want to run into myself.

We know why all too well following the first two chapters. The genius of Dream Warriors, therefore, is its frankly awesome conceit. Bringing back OG scream queen Heather Langenkamp's Nancy Thompson and arming her with the drive to save others from the fate her friends suffered is the kind of bold storytelling that can inject life into a declining franchise.

The titular dream warriors are all very likable in their own ways. They may be teen archetypes but that I found myself rooting for all of them is a credit to both the actors and the writing they work from. I also appreciated the mental illness angle in this entry and found the fact that the warriors' psychiatrist clearly cares for them enough to open his mind refreshing.

On the technical front, this just looks great and has some truly fantastic puppetry, makeup, and stop-motion animation bringing to life some creative and memorable horror sequences (three guesses on which one is my absolutely favorite). All of it is a blast and the few flaws it runs into never weigh it down.

I'm think I'm going to pause my journey into this series and just appreciate how much I loved this one. I finally have a favorite Nightmare on Elm Street flick and it's one I'll certainly make a point of revisiting in the future.

Hallowtober 2019
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