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

Hello everyone, and welcome to Day 28 of my 31 Days of Horror and this is one I have been looking forward to all month. Everyone has their favourite horror icons, whether it’s the blunt trauma of Jason Voorhees, the sinister shape of Michael Myers, or the petulant temper of Chucky.

But if we’re talking about one killer that haunts popular culture more than most, there’s no denying that Freddy Krueger takes top billing. Crude, sharp and verbose, there’s nothing like a good Freddy kill, as demonstrated in the incredible A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

After the failure of A Nightmare On Elm Street 2, which I reviewed last year, the future of the Elm Street franchise was in doubt. In an odd parallel to Friday The 13th, this third chapter was intended to round off the series and stop any more sequels from happening – yeah, that, that didn’t work out so well.

Dream Warriors opens on Kristen Parker, a young girl haunted by terrible nightmares. Every night, she sees an old abandoned house, its windows and doors barred with planks of wood, surrounded by small children who sing a familiar tune. On this occasion, one little girl leads Kristen down into the cellar, where she is confronted by a sinister figure in a dirty hat and wielding a clawed glove. She escapes, at first, but is attacked by Freddy, slicing her own wrists in the real world.

Kristen is promptly taken to Westin Hospital and joins a group of similarly disturbed teenagers – each one terrified of falling asleep for fear of seeing the man who haunts them nightly. The other patients are Phillip, the sleepwalker, the violent Kincaid, Jennifer the hopeful actress, recovering addict Taryn, Will, the nerd in a wheelchair, and Joey, the mute. But Kristen isn’t the only new arrival, joining Dr Neil Gordon in charge of the teenagers is Nancy Thompson, our heroine from the first film – who is fully aware of the damage Freddy can cause.

Nancy reveals that the teenagers are the last of the Elm Street children, and they are at serious risk. Sure enough, Freddy goes after each child one at a time – leading to some truly awesome and incredible special effects, and some killer one liners to boot.

During an attack, Nancy discovers that Kristen has the power to bring people into her dreams and soon a plan is put into action to tackle Freddy once and for all. These aren’t just kids, these are dream warriors.

When people think of A Nightmare On Elm Street, this is likely the film people think of. It has everything – Freddy’s crimes before being hunted down and murdered are kept perfectly vague, allowing the audience to still have some fun with him. As ever, the scenes with Freddy are the highlights – and Robert Englund’s charisma just oozes off screen. The kids, too, are all perfectly likeable and the special effects and make up are stunningly good.

It’s good to see Heather Langenkamp back in the role of Nancy after the last film, but, ah, she’s no Jamie Lee Curtis. Still. This is the sequel that A Nightmare On Elm Street deserved and it’s all just bloody lovely. Oh, and before I go, the extras on the blu-ray are pretty great too – definitely check them out if you can!

Bye!

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