Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

"The Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" (1987, Chuck Russell, New Line Cinema) is the return to form sequel with the worst name. Craven returned to take over the screenplay to this one, and you can tell. However, like most cult geniuses in the film and TV industry (see Joss Whedon), Craven's original and far superior plot, was stomped all over to make it more 'commercial'... Ah, Hollywood, where dreams are... whatever.

Realising that taking Freddy out of the dream 'verse was a major error, and a no-go with fans, they took him back to his original domain: the nightmare.

But, where in the first film he's killing kids in their sleep and in the second he's framing kids for murder, in this third film Freddy's turning his hand to framing kids for suicide. We also see the return of Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) from the first film... who I'd thought was dead, but once the film got rolling, I'm glad she wasn't.

Set in a psychiatric ward for young teens, Freddy (Robert Englund) is terrorising a group of kids whom have been sectioned for their strange sleeping (or lack thereof) behaviour - caused by Mr. Krueger, also.

Nancy enters as a 'dream expert' and we also have Dr. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson) and  Dr. Simms (Priscilla Pointer), who are 'looking after' the group.

Also spot a young Laurence Fishburne, whom you may recognise as Morpheus from 'The Matrix'.

Realising that Krueger has returned, Nancy joins forces with the kids to defeat him, with initially sceptical help from Dr. Gordon.

A relatively engaging plot, with actors who can actually act and some very enjoyably 80s gore scenes (the 'puppet' suicide is a particular favourite of mine). There are also a lot of dream-related scenes. Some are good, especially the Freddy snake and the roast pig scenes, but some are just laughable - the wheelchair attack scene for example...

There are quite a few nods to the first film: the house comes up a lot for instance. But they decide to investigate Freddy's early life and his burial ground in order to end his reign. Sadly, it doesn't end here because this film isn't too bad, and is what most people feel to be the true sequel.

[Picture: New Line Cinema]