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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Released: 1987

Genre: Horror

Runtime: 1 hr 36 min

MPAA Rating: NR

Director: Chuck Russell

Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Craig Wasson, Robert Englund

Freddy Krueger hunts down teens in a mental institution in this sequel.

Witty dialogue, sharp pacing and some very imaginative killings.

Review by: MiamiMovieCritic

Added: 7 years ago

Directed by Chuck Russell from a script co-written by Frank Darabont, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a sure bet. As horror sequels go, this is top-tier stuff.

The first really cool thing the filmmakers did was cast an insanely hot Final Girl: Patricia Arquette, a full six years before she set the world on fire as Alabama Whitman in True Romance. Shots with her, Heather Langenkamp and Jennifer Rubin all in the same frame are enough to make you appreciate Freddy Krueger’s insatiable bloodlust.

The plot is unusually focused: it follows a group of teens who have been hospitalized because their dreams have driven them to attempt suicide. The movie has two main set pieces: the mental ward where all the teens are staying, and the haunted house where Freddy takes his victims. We’re also given a backstory that explains Freddy’s origins. This is the only horror sequel I can think of where doing so doesn’t completely ruin the bogeyman. In fact, Freddy’s backstory – his mom was held captive by prisoners and raped thousands of times; he is their fucked-up offspring – actually makes him even scarier.

Thanks to the work of a world-class writer (Darabont, who adapted Stephen King’s The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist), Dream Warriors has witty dialogue, sharp pacing and some very imaginative killings. (I’m particularly impressed by what happens to the girl who dreams of TV stardom.) I’ll admit that on some level it’s utter trash, but you can’t ask for much more when you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.