The 3rd Nightmare on Elm Street movie marks the turning point of the franchise. This is where the deaths start becoming more imaginative & Freddy starts to become more comical.
Set 6 years after the original movie it opens with Kristen Parker making a papier-mâché house that looks familiar to Nightmare fans. After going to bed she dreams of being in this house, a dilapidated place where young girls play & hide in fear of him.
Kristen runs from Freddy but this is his house & his rules, Waking up she goes to the bathroom where she finds out that she is still dreaming & he attacks again slashing her wrists. Kristen’s mother bursts in & Freddy makes it look like she is attempting suicide.
Kristen is admitted to psychiatric hospital but when they try to sedate her loses it attacking staff. She is calmed down by a returning Nancy Thompson who sings the Freddy nursery rhyme showing that she understands what Kristen is going through.
Nancy is a new employee of the hospital to assist with a group of teens all struggling with their dreams. We have Philip (likes making puppets), Kincaid (angry dude), Jennifer (aspiring actress), Taryn (recovering drug addict), Joey (horny & mute) & Will (confined to a wheelchair).
Each character is instantly likeable & their interactions are believable. With the rest of the cast being made up of orderlies & doctors a cast this big could cause issues with screen time but thankfully the time is used really well.
Anyway…each of these teens has been having Freddy nightmares as well hence their incarceration at the facility. No-one believes them though until Nancy arrives, she gains their confidence by telling them who Freddy is.
One night Kristen has a nightmare & pulls Nancy into her dream. This ability stems from her childhood & alongside Nancy & Neil Gordon (a Doctor who is trying to help the kids) they teach the rest of the kids to unlock their dream abilities.
With these they can stand up to Freddy & no longer fear him…however Freddy is aware Nancy is back on the scene & is upping his game to finish off the last of the Elm Street kids.
It’s a thrilling story mixed with genuinely great effects & gore. There are so many good ideas here & to see Freddy theme his attacks around the casts dreams & fears makes him seem so much more threatening.
With Nancy returning anticipation was high for her & Freddy’s face-off & it doesn’t disappoint as she saves Kristen from a Freddy Kruger giant snake that is attempting to swallow her whole. It looks amazing & reminds you why she is basically his nemesis. She isn’t afraid of him & he knows it…
The range of acting on show ranges from top-notch (Nancy, Nancy’s father, Kristen) to average (Taryn & Joey). The problem lies with a lot of the dialogue when they get to use their dream powers. It looks, feels & sounds corny as Taryn talks about being ‘beautiful…and bad’. *Shudder*
Joey’s attraction to a female nurse results in him getting in a situation that relies on his expressions & I swear he was struggling not to laugh at times. It’s also an opportunity for the film to squeeze in a little nudity.
With so much going on a Freddy backstory should be impossible but they manage to squeeze in a really interesting sub-plot about Freddy’s mother & what happened to her. It offers little explanation as to his long-term motivations but it adds layers to his evilness.
The ending will surprise but leave you satisfied…in fact this could have easily wrapped up the story comfortably but a final lingering scene makes sure you know that Freddy isn’t quite dead just yet.
The best Nightmare since the original but it’s is all downhill from this point sadly. The combination of great acting, a returning cast, great effects & lots of gore make this a lot of fun to watch.
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors