A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors ★★

A mood board opening, where what the image shows is less important than the fact of Badalamenti's score and CJ and Mick Strawn's art direction. All the nightmare sequences are fantastic here, in their range of techniques (stop motion, animatronics, superimposition) and gall. But these scares exist almost outside of the story, a matter of one and then the other, slowing both. The film veers into formulaic slasher territory, abetted by the larger cast that lets it be more creative and gruesome with its deaths. (In its dark lighting, it already looks like a paint-by-numbers 2000s horror.) That said, representing collective healing in the face of institutional violence, negligence, and abuse is great. I only find how Dream Warriors goes about this representation to be quite dull.

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