Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Nightmare on Elm St. 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
With the last entry going through heavy criticism for taking many plot deviations from the first film, Wes Craven stepped back up to the plate to write Nightmare 3 as the final chapter, which he intended to end the Freddy saga. Although he was not directing, Craven's involvement with this film ensured that fans would not have to endure a repeat of the previous film.
This time around, we follow Kristen (Patricia Arquette) as she is sent to a mental hospital after an encounter with Freddy made her mother believe that she was attempting suicide. Kristen soon makes friends with all the other stereotypical patients, including a junkie, criminal, crippled kid and a deeply disturbed mute fellow named Joey. Even Nancy from the first film comes back and gets a job at the hospital as a therapist. She begins to try and convince the staff to prescribe a new drug called Hypnosil, which prevents dreams. In the meantime, the kids discover that they have powers in their dreams to fight Freddy and can become dream warriors-hence the subtitle.
Although Craven surely had good intentions with the film, it still bears little resemblance to the original film. Sure, Nancy and John Saxon were back, but this sequel, while decent in its own right, still lacked the originality and dark nature of the first Nightmare. Freddy has now begun his comedy routine and can suddenly morph into giant snakes and television sets. Hair metal band, Dokken even had a hit single on the soundtrack, which proves that Nightmare was becoming a fad rather than a collection of great horror films. Perhaps if this movie reeked a little less of 80's MTV and little more like a classic that could stand the test of time, then it might have been a lot more enjoyable.
The acting is mediocre at best, which is unfortunate because the main actress now has a network television drama and this was Patricia Arquette's debut performance. The special effects are the real star of the show and great effort was put forth. This is most excellent because this was the era when real people used real material to create special effects in movies. No longer is that the case today because with the increase of technology, anyone can make pretty effects with a simple computer.
Despite its problems, Nightmare 3 definitely stands out as the strongest of the sequels. This could have something to do with Craven's return, however, I believe its because they left out the leather clad coach in the S&M bar.
3 / 5 "Kills"