Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, A - 4/5

Now I was one that didn't think "Freddy's Revenge" was THAT bad, but needless to say that it wasn't even close to being on the same ground as the original. Many others thought the same thing including Wes Craven (writer and director of the original) so he came back to co-write the third on in the series bringing along with him characters and wonderful story elements from the first. Thusly, we arrive at "A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" which is by far the best sequel of this franchise, in my humble opinion.

Kruger just can't be killed. Nancy and Jesse both tried taking away his fear to destroy him but obviously that works about as well as trying to wash off dirt with mud. Thusly, Nancy has dedicated her life to studying the power of dreams. So when she gets a whiff that Freddy is once again killing the children of his murders by forcing them to commit suicide in their sleep she intervenes. The teens are all holed up at a mental institution that is studying their habitual sleep deprivation and group dreams, which of course is about as understanding as science gets when it comes to pure evil incarnate, so its up to Nancy, with new colleague Neil, and the help of a dream manipulator in Kristen to band the teens together to stop Freddy once and for all (again).

"Dream Warriors" can come off as cheesy more often than not with its Dokken inspired theme song and some of its basic elements, but underneath its slightly less dark exterior lies a nice intelligent and interesting concept that makes this film work as well as it does. Explaining more about Freddy's past through visions of a nun to Neil, a new layer of the Freddy myth is uncovered about how he is able to exist and this adds a new little fun to the villain. Of course, something that has been mentioned in every "Nightmare" film is the ability to understand and manipulate dreams and that is also brought to light here on a new level. Although towards the end it gets a bit cheesy with each teen's 'super' power, it does have relevance and weight to the story and thusly it works better than it should. Freddy does start to show his one-liner colors in this film and his more wacky side, but it mostly fits into his fear creation lineage which saves it from getting too cheesy too often.

An element that is required for a good "Nightmare" film is the visual style which is in full effect here. Russell does a nice job giving us wonderful effects and visuals to create a unique watch. The Freddy snake that burrows through the floor and walls is pretty sick to watch and even more cleverly done parts, like the mirror moments at the end or even to a lesser extent Nancy falling into the chair and going through it to the dream world, all create a nice distinction of dream versus reality. It doesn't really blur them as the first two films did, focusing more on the characters eventual understanding of the dream realm, but its still a nice blending with awesome effects that make it worth the while.

"Dream Warriors" might have a concept that seems too ridiculous on paper, but the film sells it with all its might and it pays off on the end. It still remains original enough despite its intense connections to the first film and with some nice returning roles (yay for John Saxon!) "Dream Warriors" is able to add new elements and keep the original concept alive and kicking. Its the best sequel of all of them and comes highly recommended.

BONUS RANT: Despite a wicked awesome scene to have Freddy's real life remains come to life and battle against Neil and Lt. Thompson, it really doesn't make sense. How the hell is he able to transfer himself from the dream realm to the real one? We touched on that same issue on "Freddy's Revenge" as an issue with the story and Wes Craven himself said that it essentially stupid to have Freddy able to kill in the real world. So why the fuck would he do it here? It still makes slightly more sense than it does in "2" but slightly above 'what the fuck' is still 'what the hell'. And thusly this scene earns its bonus rant. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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