A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

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

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Freddy vs. (the Victims of (Not-) Jason

Bonus Movie #5 of HoopTober 2020

Damn, I really thought this was gonna get a higher rating. The first half or so is STELLAR. It’s the original Nightmare on Elm Street but now with the budget, dialogue, atmosphere, and acting to actually back it up. The manifestations of Freddy are weird and unsettling. The pacing is tight. And the themes match the darkness of the story. The Freddy snake is incredibly creepy, and the human puppet and television monster are both so upsetting in their own ways. And finally we get a little personality out of old Fred! I can’t wait for more. 

When I mention the plot’s darkness, I mean DARKness. This movie could be seriously triggering to a person not knowing what they’re getting into. There’s fairly graphic recreation of self harm, and suicide attempts, as well as the fact that the plot is really built around all the characters dealing with severe mental illness. And the movie really does not always treat those topics with the respect they deserve. 

Sadly though, the second half of the movie really drags down the rating. The pacing slows to a glacial crawl in order to wallow in medical procedural, a very creepy pseudo-romance between Nancy and her much older colleague,  (not helped by the fact that the attempts to make Nancy seem older than she is come off more like a little girls trying on mommy’s pantsuit) and the kind of backstory mysticism that Wes Craven would come to satirize in Scream 3. 

All that said, the movie is very likable. My opening comment is a nod to the fact that to me this movie is very reminiscent of the setting of Friday the 13 Part V, with the disturbed kids and adults trying to help them. What I enjoyed about that movie is what I do about this one: all the kids (outside of Patricia Arquette, ironically) give really great performances that really make you care about and root for them. 

There is probably more I could say about this one, but I’ll wrap it up here. I’m excited to move on to my next Freddy movie sometime soon, still holding out for a truly great entry in the franchise.

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