Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (USA, 1987) - Color, Director(s): Chuck Russell
MPAA Rating: X
[UK: 18]
Approx. 96 min.

Z-rating: 5 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 4 stars out of 5

Now this is how you make a sequel! This movie begins with a quote from Edgar Allan Poe, "Sleep. Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them." Followed by Kristen (played by Patricia Arquette in her very first film) getting attacked by Freddy in her bathroom. The attack is made to look like an attempted suicide and Kristen is checked into Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital where Morpheus works as an orderly. She's put into therapy with a group of troubled teens including: an ex-junkie, an aspiring actress, a kid that makes puppets, a mute kid, a tough guy prone to violent outbursts, and a kid in a wheelchair obsessed with a D&D-style board game called Wizard Master. The whole group has been haunted by nightmares of the same guy but no one believes them.  

So this is where he gets all those blue and red pills...

Well, no one except an intern at the hospital specializing in dream therapy. In a stroke of pure genius, they bring back Nancy from the first film. Nancy (played by a returning Heather Langenkamp) is the only one who understands what these kids are going through and tries her best to help them through it. After surviving the events of the first film, Nancy's been taking an experimental drug called Hypnocil that suppresses dreams. When Freddy goes after Kristen, she pulls Nancy into the dream to help her. Kristen had the power to pull other people into her dreams ever since she was a child but hasn't used it since her parents divorced when she was young. Nancy tells the kids that they all have hidden abilities in the dream world and that Kristen can bring all of them together to fight Freddy. For the first time in the series, the kids actually have the power to fight back against him. The mute kid, Joey, is left in a coma following an encounter with Freddy and now he's being held hostage. The rest of the kids have to go back in to save him.

A nun dressed in white gives Neil, the doctor in charge of the group's therapy sessions, the backstory on Freddy. A wing of the psychiatric ward was devoted to housing the worst of the criminally insane before it was shut down in the 1940's. A young girl on the staff, Amanda Krueger, was accidentally locked in over the holidays and the inmates kept her hidden for days. They raped her hundreds of times and when she was finally found, she was pregnant with the bastard son of 100 maniacs. Freddy was eventually killed by the parents of Elm Street but no body was ever found. Now they must find his remains and bury him in hallowed ground to finally lay his spirit at rest.

The tortured souls of children that Freddy's collected

Nudity: A hot nurse shows her boobs while trying to seduce Joey, the mute kid. Turns out that she's Freddy in disguise and that's how he's captured.

Gore: The first person that Freddy kills is the kid who makes puppets. As he's sleeping, one of his puppets turns into Freddy in a scene animated with some AWESOME looking stop motion. Freddy cuts into him and controls him like a puppet using his muscles and nerves as strings. The whole sequence makes me cringe every time I think about how much that must hurt. In fact, all the practical effects just make this movie look so amazing.

Awesome: For casual viewers, this is the point in the series where things may start getting a little silly but for die hard fans, it's where Freddy really develops a personality and his trademark sense of humor. Spouting his signature one liners like, "Welcome to prime time, bitch!" while killing people with heroine needle fingers and deadly wheelchairs. Doesn't make him any less terrifying though! Patricia Arquette really steals the show, in my opinion. She is so awesome and believable in the role of Kristen, she comes off so sweet and innocent. I think she was just amazing for someone in their break out role. There's a nosy bitch of a doctor who interferes with all of Nancy's attempts to help the kids. I don't understand why Kristen didn't drag her into one of the dreams, so she can see what's really going on for herself. If she happens to die in the dream, at least she'd be out of the way when they fight Freddy. Also, John Saxon returns as Nancy's father who's drowning his sorrows in a bar.