Welcome back horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon! I’m back for the third go around with the man with razor fingers, Freddy Krueger. That’s right, I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. There will be some spoilers below so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, give it a watch, try to take a nap, wake up in utter terror, realize it was just a dream, and come on back here to read the review.
This movie feels like it should have been the direct sequel to the first film. This starts some years after the first Nightmare movie. We open with a dream, as we have with all the movies so far. In this nightmare, a girl named Kristin Parker dreams about Freddy and she gets trapped in the bathroom where she ends up with marks on her wrists before waking up. Once she is back in the real world, it looks to any outside observer like she tried to commit suicide.
Turns out there has been a bit of an uptick in teen suicides in this little town with one thing in common for all of them. These kids have all been having sleep trouble. Kristin is sent to a mental health clinic where they can monitor her and help her overcome her nightmares. In the clinic is a group of kids who also have sleep issues and have been plagued by nightmares.
The audience, and the kids in the clinic know who is behind the deaths in town. They’ve all been dreaming about a man with a dirty brown hat who has knives on his fingers.
The clinic in question is trying their best to help the teens suffering from these problems but the adults don’t believe a word of what they are being told. But, things get interesting when a new intern comes in, named Nancy Thompson. The same Nancy Thompson from the first film. At last, someone who knows what is really going on is there to help.
One night at the clinic, Kristin has one of her nightmares but she is able to pull Nancy into her dream. The pair escape Krueger and Nancy realizes this might be the key to defeating Freddy once and for all.
While Nancy is there to help, things do take bad turns as two of the kids there are killed by Freddy but it looks to all outside observers like suicides. Meanwhile, one of the doctors at the clinic tries to find out more about the background of Freddy and keeps seeing a mysterious nun.
The remainder of the movie is basically Nancy and her group of friends taking on Freddy in the dream world while the doctor from the clinic tries to eradicate the world of the last physical remains of Freddy.
If you’ve seen the movie you know how this goes but in case you haven’t I’ll keep any other major spoilers to myself.
This movie has a surprising amount of star power in it. Robert Englund is back as the man from your nightmares and as always is menacing as can be. But, this also has Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburn. It was one of their earlier roles so they were not huge stars yet but they certainly went on to larger fame. And of course, Heather Langenkamp is back as Nancy.
While not all of the film holds up, especially some of the older effects work, that doesn’t stop this movie from being utterly frightening. It expands the background of Freddy Krueger and tells us more about his horribly violent origins. But it also just feels more like the first one did, where it seems nearly impossible to defeat a killer who can invade and possibly control your dreams.
The most unfortunate part of the film is the reliance on the “haunted medical facility” trope. It’s a very worn out and used up situation at this point but there is enough here to still terrify. While this may not be the scariest horror movie, or even the scariest sequel, it’s got to be in the top five for sure.
If you loved the first Nightmare movie, whether or not you like the second, this is a great follow up to the first film and you should watch it.