Stanley Scorsese’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have been meaning to revisit and review Dream Warriors during last October but I was still struggling with the time I was spending on taking care of the kids. So now that I have enough time to do it and have nothing scheduled, let’s go back to Elm Street and talk about the film!
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors follows Nancy Thompson where she helps a group of teenagers at a mental hospital to battle against the infamous boogeyman after invading in their dreams in their sleep.
Back in the summer of 2010 when I was on my Elm Street craze as a teenager, I borrowed my cousin’s box set of all the films so I can see how good they were. The first film is always incredible, but after seeing how mediocre all the sequels were except for New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason, Dream Warriors was literally the best sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street! I stayed up all night long watching at least 5 of them until 8am and had filled myself up on 2 cups of coffee when I got to The Dream Child. Immediately after returning the box set, I had to find Dream Warriors on DVD. It was hard to find without the entire box set so I bought a copy of it on eBay for a good price! So I’m here to tell you this remains as one of the best sequels in film history and one of the best sequels in this franchise.
The cast in this film was phenomenal! You have Robert Englund as the legendary boogeymen Freddy Krueger stalking and killing new kids, Heather Langenkamp come back as Nancy where she is now a psychiatrist and her father played by the late great John Saxon! You also have fresh faces at the time like Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, and Jennifer Rubin! Arquette plays Kristen Parker, a teenager who was played in Westin Hills for attempting suicide after having nightmares about Freddy Krueger preying on her. So Nancy is brought to her attention and helps her and a group of teenagers who’ve been preyed upon by Freddy and fight back.
When I saw it for the first time, I loved seeing Nancy Thompson come back in the picture! And it gave fans like me new development for her character, like where she comes in and be like the mother Kristen never had. It was also seeing Saxon come back and to have a real purpose than just to have him popped up as a pointless cameo. It was great to see the new leading character Kristen evolve as the film progresses where she becomes a stronger character with her awesome dream power! And to see the other characters come in and join the fight is pretty entertaining when you see them taking no shit from Freddy anymore.
Wes Craven was asked by New Line to come back and make another film after Freddy’s Revenge turned out to be a failure and he came back with an idea that could end A Nightmare on Elm Street with a 3rd film. Although he wasn’t available to direct Dream Warriors because he was working on a horror film called Deadly Friend, he wrote the screenplay and submitted it to New Line. Craven’s original script was darker and profane and director Chuck Russell liked it, but there was some great ideas that were begging to be in the film. So he and Frank Darabont came in and tweaked it and they improved by making it as one of the infamous sequels in the series with memorable kills, nightmare scenarios and an incredible return for one of the best final girls in horror films!
I loved the practical effects and the kills in Dream Warriors, they are creative and effective! If Hollywood would learn to make a better horror film with practical effects instead of relying on so much CGI, I think they would understand why movies today suck. The practical effects are memorable, particularly the snake, the TV set, the souls on Freddy’s chest and the marionette death scene! And yes, the dark humor and one liners from Freddy is delivered with perfect timing. And as far as death scenes go in A Nightmare on Elm Street film, you got to have some insanely graphic kills and go beyond the expectations and they were bloody brilliant! Especially the TV set scene with the infamous one liner by Freddy, “Welcome to prime time, bitch!”
At the end of the day, Dream Warriors is and still is the best sequel in the Elm Street franchise! I love New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason for being creative, engaging and bloody fun but everyone who is fan of the series would pick this as the greatest sequel in A Nightmare on Elm Street. I can go on all day and talk about how impressive, creative and memorable this film is, but I’ve already stated my case. If you’ve been a casual fan of this series, I suggest you find it on DVD and add it to your collection! You’ll love it!
I’m giving A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors 4.5 stars!