Sunday, October 4, 2015

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


   Indeed an improvement from its predecessor but not topping the first, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors revives the franchise from the death it was previously put in. Improved performances, cooler special effects, and an even balance between hilarity and terror earn this addition respect within the franchise.

PLOT: Once again on Elm Street, infamous nightmare serial killer, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), is terrorizing the teens that reside in the area. He tricks young, misunderstood teen, Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) into slitting her wrists resulting in her admission to the local youth  mental hospital. Within the institution, she meets several problematic teens with the same common problem as her: Freddy Krueger coming to kill in their dreams. The problem has hopes to be remedied, though, when older Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) becomes the secretary at the hospital and ways to help remedy the teens worries with their nightmares. However, Freddy seems to be getting more and more powerful as he takes the lives from the last of these Elm Street children. He gets harder to beat, and harder to try and conquer as the chief staff in the hospital disagree with Nancy and allied Dr. Neil Gordon's (Craig Wasson) methods in helping the tormented teenagers. The plot is very interesting and well executed. Putting Krueger in a mental hospital with a bunch of teenagers is similar to letting a hungry Rottweiler in a house full of cats. It's brutal and entertaining to watch, but expected. The many twists and turns of this plot, also, are very effective and very well done. The story is very much alive in this Nightmare.

ACTING: The performances in this Freddy film are very much improved than in its predecessor. Veteran actors Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp reprise their roles as Freddy Krueger and Nancy Thompson with a certain chemistry. The two characters approach as age-old enemies though we feel these two have been each others age-old foil, for they both possess similar qualities but are very much the opposite. Langenkamp has even improved from the last one, establishing a character outside of the intense segments. The rest of the performances are excellently done, especially those of Patrica Arquette as Kristen, Ken Sagoes as haunted teen Kincaid, Jennifer Rubin as former junkie Taryn, Bradley Gregg as sleepwalking Phillip, Ira Heiden as paraplegic Will, Laurence Fishburne as orderly Max, and special appearances by John Saxon as Mr. Thompson and Zsa Zsa Gabor as herself. The cast here, though some are young, are very well played. Everyone plays their respective parts as though they had been that character their whole life.

SCORE: The score is very well done and as familiar as the first Freddy score. This soundtrack is different, however, with the addition of two songs ("Into the Fire", "Dream Warriors") by hair metal band Dokken. "Dream Warriors" lives to be a memorable track still, especially around this season.

EFFECTS: The special effects in this one are miles better than its predecessor. The effects are still used for a cheesy type of appeal, but this time they don't look as cheap or crudely made. From the Freddy-snake to Philip's puppet walk to each individual characters death scene (for those who do die), the effects are noticeably better but still used to get a kind of cheesy, B-movie effect.

OTHER CONTENT: The third Nightmare is miles better than its attempt at a predecessor. The story is thicker, along with the performances, and the balance of funny and scary is yet again in place. However, this one just feels funnier than the first, as the kills get increasingly more specific and ridiculous. However, this is not bad. We find ourselves laughing at Freddy, as if he were a clown performing for our entertainment. It is in this Nightmare movie where Freddy starts to feel like less of a serial killer and more of a stylish murderer. Freddy entertains and thrills, inspiring a few devious chuckles from the horror-loving audience it intends to please. Nightmare 3 is definitely a true horror at heart, however. Though Freddy comes out as funny, he still thrills us in this film, as we still think inside of how gruesome each way would be to die.

   Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is definitely the revival of a long-lost franchise. Everything has improved tremendously, from the cast's performance to the special effects. The balance of scare and fun factor is successfully brought back, showing its fun face more often than it ever has. Freddy Krueger is an entertainer for his devoted audience, but a tremor for all of those who take his kills seriously. With a more developed story as well, this flick rises to an enjoyable Freddy feast.  

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