A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

If you think you'll get out alive, You must be dreaming.
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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors - If you think you'll get out alive, You must be dreaming.

Despite being one of the better sequels in the Elm Street franchise, A Nightmare on Elms Street 3: Dream Warriors is definitely the turning point where Freddy starts to show off to his audience and begins the descending spiral towards the cartoon character he is destined to become. For the most part, director Chuck Russell manages to recapture the dream and reality confusion (but does not implement it as effectively as the first) and also the scare factor (for the beginning of the film) although this may be due to the fact that Wes Craven is back involved with the writing. With the return of Nancy and Freddy back on form, Dream Warriors is a much more suitable sequel than Freddy's Revenge and the franchise would probably have been better if the second one had been skipped. The second movie had its charms but A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 continues the story more coherently and utilizes the same scare tactics... mostly.

There is evidence in the movie of corporation interference as there is obviously a much bigger budget to afford giant Freddy snakes to deepthroat Patricia Arquette and a "Jason and the Argonauts" skeleton to serenade John Saxon in his role as the now dishevelled father of Nancy. The movie is definitely working on a bigger budget and doesn't hesitate to overuse the CGI power that ably manages to ruin a good movie, in this instance it isn't too bad but once again this seems to mark a turning point in the mainstream marketability of the franchise.

The movie begins quite ominously with Kirsten (Patricia Arquette), obviously suffering from the consequences of being an Elm Street ancestor and being lured into the condemned remains of Nancy's old house by a sweet little girl on a tricycle that leaves trails of blood behind the wheels. Struggling with the decision between venturing into the house to rescue the girl or forever being guilty when viewing a CWLA advertisement and possibly having to part with $1 a month to help, Kirsten goes in. Possibly not a wise decision on her part as it is all in fact a dream... and dreams for Elm Street descendants star Freddy Krueger as the lead male and he has a fondness for slicing up dreamers with his JML Handy Chopper and preventing their escape by turning the floor into corn flour slime. Kirsten awakes from her dream "American Werewolf in London" style and is attacked in her bathroom by the new range of Kohler Freddy faucets which her mother interprets as a suicide attempt and sends her to Westin Hills, a psychiatric hospital which just happens to be home for the rest of the Elm Street children and has a new staff member by the name of Nancy Thompson.

After some pleasurably ironic kills of the brain challenged, insomniac Elm Street offspring accompanied by a plethora of Freddy witticisms (with a enormously honourable mention going to the Phillip vein pupettery), the caffeine addled posse discovers that Kirsten has the ability to draw other dreamers into her unconscious realities and, with some unprofessional advice from Nancy that would guarantee a media uproar, they decide to give Freddy the happy slapping of his life using their newly discovered dream powers.

We also learn a bit of Freddy history as a mysterious nun by the name of Sister Mary Helena introduces herself to Dr. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson), the psychiatrist at Westin Hills. It turns out that Freddy's mother was Amanda Krueger and his father was 100 maniac rapists and the embarrassment that this caused at high school parent evenings explains his child murdering hobby. Coincidentally it was the abandoned wing of Westin Hills where Freddy was born and where the statistical evidence was discovered for the theory that only 1 in 101 people hate gang rape.

The movie seems to be a "game of two halves" and the first chunk is a fairly harrowing nightmare for those involved controlled by a daunting antagonist who obviously takes pride in his work and enjoys the games he plays with his tormentees, all the successful stand-ups torture their hecklers and Freddy always has a sharp comeback. Once the superfriends arrive the tone of the movie becomes more Goonies than slasher and while the entertainment factor increases this dilutes the horror and anyone wanting to see Freddy give those meddling kids the finger-fucking of their lives will be disappointed as he turns into quite a wussy. Although he does fuck the majority of them up he often has to endure an ass-kicking beforehand. Elm Street 3 is definitely a worthy successor to the first and contains a number of awesome scenes but it definitely marks the start of the more mainstream approach to churning out the sequels.
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Categories: Slasher Movies
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