A Nightmare On Elm St. 3: Dream Warriors 1987 -Review

PLOT Kristen Parker is plagued by nightmares. She has an usual gift, the ability to bring other people into her dreams. Kristen is later taken to an institution for her erratic behavior. Here is where she meets other teens experiencing the same disturbing nightmares as she does. She also meets a new staff member who turns out to be Nancy Thompson. Nancy is the survivor of the first Nightmare on Elm St. movie. When Nancy comes to learn that these kids are all being tormented by Freddy Krueger in their dreams, she realizes that she must once again, battle the badly burned man in a dirty Red…

Review Overview

Acting
Visuals / Camera
Sound
Story
Pacing / Editing
Characters
Entertainment Value / X-Factor
Mood / Atmosphere

Don't Fall Asleep!

Freddy is back! But so is, Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon! Fans were happy to see familiar faces return for this 3rd installment. Freddy himself may not want to go to sleep this time!

User Rating: 1.05 ( 1 votes)

PLOT

Kristen Parker is plagued by nightmares. She has an usual gift, the ability to bring other people into her dreams.

Kristen is later taken to an institution for her erratic behavior. Here is where she meets other teens experiencing the same disturbing nightmares as she does. She also meets a new staff member who turns out to be Nancy Thompson.

Nancy is the survivor of the first Nightmare on Elm St. movie. When Nancy comes to learn that these kids are all being tormented by Freddy Krueger in their dreams, she realizes that she must once again, battle the badly burned man in a dirty Red and Green sweater all over again. But this time she has help… can they save themselves from Freddy’s nightmarish playground?

REVIEW

A Nightmare on Elm St: 3 Dream Warriors was released on February 27, 1987. Directed by Chuck Russell, Produced by Robert Shaye.  Wes Craven returns as Writer, with some help from Bruce Wagner.

Heather Langenkamp also makes a return for Nightmare on Elm St. 3,  and John Saxon. Wes always loved Heather and wanted her back for the 3rd installment. This made many fans happy to have her return as many was expecting to see her in Nightmare on Elm St. 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Had Wes Craven been involved with Freddy’s Revenge things may have been different.

Apparently, Wes Craven never intended on Nightmare on Elm St. becoming a franchise.  His full intention here was to put an end to the Elm Street series. But as we can see, that never happened. Wes Craven never wanted Heather’s Character killed off either. Neither did the majority of the fans. I was one of those fans. I was quite disappointed when I seen Nancy getting killed off in part 3. Disappointed is probably more of an understatement. I was more pissed. Mostly for just how it happened. It was such an easy kill for Freddy and I felt that if they were going to kill her off, fans deserved a good showdown. I felt Heather’s character deserved so much more than to be tricked and Freddy’s razors buried into her gut.

Nancy was considered the iconic heroine of the first Elm St. She was labeled Freddy’s ultimate nemesis. So she should have never went out so easily like that. As for myself, I never forgave the franchise for that mistake. And what a mistake it turned out to be. Realizing this, the makers tried to create a new female hero for the series. Kristen Parker.

Don’t get me wrong, Patricia Arquette and Tuesday Knight have plenty of Elm St. fans, but the character never really seemed to take off back then. So they tried again, with Alice. Alice appeared to be more accepted then Kristen. As for me, I personally didn’t care much for the Kristen Parker role. I found Patricia Arquettes performance to be very irritating to be honest. Her voice in this movie could crack and break glass. But that’s just my opinion.

Wes Craven originally tried to use the idea of having Freddy come into the real world and terrorize the cast and crew trying to film a sequel for Nightmare on Elm St., but New Line Cinema said no to that idea. But years later they accepted it and it was called Wes Cravens New Nightmare!

Wes Craven didn’t get a whole lot his way with his involvement with part 3. Cravens first draft of Dream Warriors had the characters completely different from what we saw in the finished product. The story was slightly different as well. There was no Sister Mary Helena/Amanda Krueger. Taryns character was originally going to be African-American. John Saxon’s character always knew from the get go that Freddy was real and lurking around somewhere. Joey and Kincaids characters were to be killed off in part 3. The deaths in Wes Cravens original draft was supposed to be much more extreme and gruesome.  Also, Freddy wasn’t supposed to be as talkative.

If you remember, part 3 is where they started to gradually make Freddy humorous. In my opinion, I always felt making Freddy funny was their second mistake with the franchise. I don’t feel Freddy should have ever been made into a funny persona, or ever talk as much as he ended up talking in the sequels. But that’s just me. I loved the first movie and the concept. I originally found Freddy then to be so terrifying and scary that even I didn’t want to sleep. But I felt that was gradually diminishing with the start of Dream Warriors and on from there. It just seemed to get kinda ridiculous after a while. I never could understand why they ruined the “creepy/scary” factor with Freddy. There was so much more potential there. But nonetheless, I loved the Nightmare on Elm St. movies and Freddy despite the directions they ended up taking it in.

At the end of the day,  after watching A Nightmare on Elm St. 3, despite some of paths the makers took the film in, I did enjoy it. I loved the part where Freddy comes out of the T.V. and grabs one of the girls and says, “Welcome to prime time, bitch!”. That line was actually improvised by Robert Englund. Even though I didn’t care to much for the Kristen Parker character or Patricia’s portrayal of it, I did like the dream ability she had. I felt that could have been used just a bit more creatively. Most of the cast is very likable, and the kids in this movie all seem to grow on you fairly quickly and you hate to see anything happen to them. They all have very unique dream abilities. I also liked Wills ability, the wizard master! I always thought he had the strongest ability, to bad he rushed up to close to Freddy. He could have used that ability for a more teamly advantage. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending of part 3. It seemed to easily predicted once you knew what Gordon had to do. Although, the fight between the two with Freddy’s skeleton coming to life was pretty cool. The ending just seem to be missing something in my opinion. Dream Warriors did help put the francise back on it’s feet and got quite a bit of positive feedback. So you know what that means! Another sequel had to happen!

The soundtrack featured a band called Dokken, Dokken provided the theme song for Nightmare on Elm St. 3, Dream Warriors was the title of the song. The single was actually quite successful. Check it out!

 

CAST

Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson
Craig Wasson as Neil Gordon
Patricia Arquette as Kristen Parker
Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
Ken Sagoes as Kincaid
Rodney Eastman as Joey
Jennifer Rubin as Taryn
Bradley Gregg as Phillip
Ira Heiden as Will
Laurence Fishburne as Max
Penelope Sudrow as Jennifer
John Saxon as Donald Thompson

 

Lilith’s Tidbits:

Robert Englund had written a treatment for the film. But it was never used.

Actress Patricia Arquette and Director Chuck Russell did not get along during filming. Patricia stated it wasn’t a very pleasant experience for her. Later, Chuck Russell said that he may have pushed her too hard.

Remember when Nancy’s boyfriend Glenn and the rest of her friends pull up in the car to pick up Nancy at the end of the first Nightmare on Elm St.?  The one where the roof comes up and it looks like Freddy’s Red and Green sweater and then just drives off. Well, this same car makes an appearance in Nightmare 3. It is the car you see in the junkyard that has Freddy’s bones hidden inside!

Wes Cravens original script was darker and more graphic language. Kristin had a friend named Becky, she was killed by Freddy before events of the movie and Nancy meets in a dream before being written out. All the characters in the movie were to be drawn to the institution from all over. Kincaid was able to fly, Joey had super strength, Taryn was able to become invisible, Will had another name, but was still a Dream Wizard. Kristen still pulled people into her dreams. Will tried to commit suicide because he left his brother alone in a swimming pool, then drowned. Freddy used this particular memory to get to him. Taryn’s dead grandmother was used against her and to kill her off. Nancy was a patient. Philip was killed by sleepwalking into traffic and was hit by an ambulance. Joey creates the nightmare house and gave it to Kristen. Joey is seduced by a girl he had a crush on in high school and then gets killed. Philip and Jennifer’s ghost tell Nancy where to find Freddy’s glove so she can kill him. Nancy’s father was blinded and a patient in the sanitarium. Lastly,  Freddy takes Neils appearance on, but Nancy sees through it and turns the blade on Freddy but is still unfortunately gutted.

Freddy’s glove was stolen from the set of this film. It re-appears in another movie. It can be found hanging on the wall of the work shed in the movie EVIL DEAD 2! Apparently, there was some on going banter between Directors Wes Craven and Sam Raimi.

 

In Memoriam:

Wes Craven recently passed away due to brain cancer. The shocking News broke just this past Sunday night, August 30, 2015. The Horror Community was shaken to it’s core in disbelief. Many fans took to the internet and social media to express their condolences and sadness of losing such a legend. Many called Wes Craven the Hitchcock of our generation. He will be greatly missed among fans and colleagues.

Always remember…. The House That Freddy Built!

Rest in peace Mr. Craven….

Wes

 

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About Lilith

Hello to all you horror fans out there! I go by the handle "Lilith", I am one of the original reviewers for TalkHorror.com. Since TH is back, I have resumed as part of the TH staff! Really happy to be back, I have missed the place! A bit about me as far as horror goes.... I am known for my old school horror ways. While I try not to be biased towards today's modern horror, sometimes it can come across. But I do try my best to bring honest, open minded opinions and thoughts to the table. One thing you will learn about me is that I am very open minded and strongly opinionated. I also have a very twisted sense of humor that I am known for. My sense of humor doesn't have to many limits. Back to horror... I tend to enjoy horror movies mainly from the 70's and 80's. I feel some of the greatest horror movies came from this time period. I find them to be more scary, creepy and more realistic and believable. Back then people making these movies seemed to take more time, effort and care in their project. Hard work had to be put into the special FX and mostly done manually. Not like today's horror, where CGI is getting overused because it is easier and faster. For me, it takes something away from the movie. I have seen good horror movies with potential become ruined because of to much CGI. I am also not a big fan of remakes and found footage films. I do give them a chance, but the majority seems to fall short. Some start off with some great potential, but then end up losing me by the end of the movie. Very few I end up actually liking. I also am a huge collector of horror movies. I collect rare hard to find OOP VHS movies. I have quite a few rare VHS. I also collect DVDs as well. I do not have a lot of horror memorabilia otherwise, but I do have a few things. Mostly the problem is that I have ran out of room, lol! I have around 1200 horror movies alone, VHS & DVD. That isn't even counting the regular movies I have. So that is about it really, if you have questions for me, just ask! I don't bite! Lilith

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