Retro Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

There are few sequels in any genre that may be better than the original.  I am not sure Dream Warriors is better than the original Nightmare, but I do know it is a fan favorite, even over the original.  I think a big part of its popularity is a change in Freddy and like the original, it has an interesting story and pretty inventive.

The story takes place a few years after the events of the first movie and pretty much skips right over Freddy’s Revenge.  I think, the studio knew that Freddy’s Revenge was not what they expected.  Of course New Line did approach Wes Craven and he wrote a dark script.  It got doctored and changed, Chuck Russell was brought in to direct.  I am not sure what remained from Craven’s script.  But what came from a big collaboration, well they did not work together, came a great sequel, a worthy sequel.

In this sequel, the third movie in the series, we get back to Nancy.  The people behind the second film decided to try something different with possession and a new tenant at 1428 Elm Street.  This time the focus would be back on the Freddy and the nightmares.  This time it takes place at Westin Hills Hospital.  Kristin Parker, is building a model house, she sees this house in her dreams, the Elm Street house.  She ends up falling sleep and dreaming herself in the, now abandon Elm street house.  She wakes up and goes in to the bathroom and finds Freddy in the mirror.  Her mother bursts in the room and Kristin is standing with blood flowing from her wrists and razor in her hand.

We then move to Westin Hills, Nancy is being introduced as it is her first day.  She meets many of the resident teenagers, when her and Dr. Gordon are called to a screaming Kristin as she is being admitted and freaking out.  She begins the nursery rhyme, 1, 2 Freddys coming for you, when Nancy walked in and finished the rhyme and comforted her.

There are some group therapy sessions, and then they lose one of their own, Philip.  The scene was so cool, Philip made these puppets out of clay.  One of the puppets became Freddy and he turned Philip into a puppet, using his veins.  That is why these movies are so good, the dream world, anything can happen.  Which is something they explore further trying a group hypnosis.  Before the hypnosis, the teens learn about their past and what their parents did to Krueger.  Nancy tells them, they are the last of the Elm Street children.  The all enter the dream world together and show each other who they are in the dream.  When suddenly they could feel Freddy coming.  When they awoke Joey, the mute teen, was in a coma.

From that point on the movie picks up and they have to go and rescue Joey from Freddy.  While Nancy, Kristin and Kincaid go into the dream, Dr. Gordon goes to find Freddy’s remains.  He tracks down Nancy’s father who takes Dr. Gordon to the junkyard to find his remains.  They fight a Freddy skeleton, burnt to a crisp, while the others fight Freddy in the dream world.

The ending is very well done, fighting evil from both sides.  It was satisfying and could have ended the series, Freddy seemed to really be dead, holy water, last rights were preformed.  But of course, the following year we would see Dream Master, my personal favorite.  The kills, the dream sequences are top notch in this one, I love the effects as well, from stop motion like animation to Freddy’s make-up, this is a great visual movie.  If A Nightmare on Elm Street wasn’t so groundbreaking and different, Dream Warriors would be the best.

Dream Warriors is possibly the best horror sequel of any sequel there has been made.  Tell me a better sequel, tell me a horror sequel that lives up to the original.  Not only lives up, but adds to the depth of the original, characters and story.  I think it is safe to safe A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a fan favorite.

On a personal note, I saw Freddy’s Revenge before I ever saw the original.  Shortly after, I did see it and of course it has become my favorite horror movie of all-time.  I was 6 years old when Dream Warriors hit, I snuck in to the Lory Theater in Highland IL to see the movie, that is how big of an effect these movies had on me.  I had to see it, bought tickets to something else and like the stealthy ninja I was at 6, I got right in.  I loved every second of the movie.  I wasn’t scared, no, at this point I rooted for Freddy and Robert Englund hit his groove at this point.

IMDB.com has a rating of 6.6, not bad for a slasher horror sequel

I have a much higher rating, the original is damn near perfect to me, Dream Warriors, it gets an 8.8

Thanks for reading, enjoy the trailer, the poster and the amazing music video from Dokken!

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About Ray Marek III 408 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)