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

nightmare on elm street 3 dream warriors poster 1987 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

The funny Freddy

Acting isn't the best

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Nightmare on Elm Street 3:  Dream Warriors

Studio:  New Line Cinema

Genre(s): Horror/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  February 27, 1987

MPAA Rating:  R

nightmare on elm street 3 dream warriors freddy worm

Freddy’s the worm in the apple

The children of Elm Street are having nightmares again. When Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) is rushed to the hospital after what appears to be a suicide attempt, she learns others are having the same recurring nightmare of Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). Now it is up to Dr. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson) and Freddy Krueger’s original victim Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) to help the children of a mental home fight back. Kristen discovers she has the ability to pull others into her dreams, and it could give them edge they need.  Meanwhile, a strange nun (Nan Martin) could provide the information needed to end the threat of Freddy Krueger forever!

Directed by Chuck Russell, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a slasher horror thriller.  Following A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, the film was better received than most of the sequels.

nightmare on elm street sleepwalker freddy krueger robert englund

Freddy in the Sky with Razors just wasn’t as catchy as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 tried to do something different and it took years for people to come around to it and its own strange take on the Freddy Krueger mythos.  A Nightmare on Elm Street 3:  Dream Warriors brought the franchise back in line with the first film and is often a fan favorite of the series…while setting up future entries.

The whole idea of Dream Warriors was a great way to go (and I wish they had dealt more with Dream Warriors in later films besides the rather brief connection in the fourth film). It is fun to see Freddy face others with dream powers and the whole film has a fun ’80s feel with the style of the Dream Warriors…I just wish they didn’t have such lame powers since they do essentially get to dream to be anything.

nightmare on elm street 3 dream warriors taryn white punk jennifer rubin

Wait…I thought we were making Return of the Living Dead?!?!

The movie is really a template of future films, especially in the Robert Englund’s portrayal of Freddy. This is the first real “funny” Freddy but he also does not veer too much from the first film at the same time. He cracks lots and lots of jokes and one-liners in this film and really enjoys his killing. This is the style that was used through the sequels and the series of “fun” deaths continue.

In addition to Freddy however, the movie also is a nice homage to the original A Nightmare on Elm Street through the cast. Freddy now has an arch-enemy in Heather Langenkamp and also her father played again by John Saxon. It is good to see them back, and Patricia Arquette who makes her film premiere in this movie feels like a more worthy nemesis for Freddy than Jessie from Freddy’s Revenge.   Many of the other Dream Warriors are kind of bland, but the movie also features an early Lawrence Fishburn as an orderly and a cameo by Zsa Zsa Gabor.

nightmare on elm street 3 dream warriors wizard ira heiden freddy krueger

Can we all just admit that for the most part the Dream Warriors went out like chumps

I think that the effects are a bit of step-down from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, but it really isn’t the fault of the filmmakers. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 looked better than A Nightmare on Elm Street, but it also had fewer special effects. A Nightmare on Elm 3: Dream Warriors has a lot of special effects (especially involving the Dream Warriors) and more sets…they just don’t always look so good and have not held up as well.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a fun entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series and is a bit of a genre blend with an action movie.  The story has a rather definitive ending (though like in horror movie tradition this is undone).  While the character of Kristen Parker returns for the sequel, Tuesday Knight takes over the role from Patricia Arquette.  A Nightmare on Elm Street 3:  The Dream Warriors is followed by  A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 1988.

Related Links:

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:  Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:  The Dream Master (1988)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5:  The Dream Child (1989)

Freddy’s Dead:  The Final Nightmare (1991)

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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