Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors


You don't even really have to be a fan of Horror to enjoy this film. Written by Frank Daranbont,(director of Shawshank Redeption), Wes Craven, and Chuck Russel. Directed by Chuck Russel(The Mask, Eraser), this movie is more of a fantasy horror than it is pure horror. The score is the same man who scored Twin Peaks. A lot of people who don't know the series that well might say "all of the sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street are trash." It is not true at all. Dream Warriors also stars Patricia Arquette, and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Especially for a fan of 80s American Cinema. This is one of the hidden gems of the 80s considering all of the brilliant minds involved. Chuck Russel also clearly had an eye for talent introducing Patricia Arquette, and then later in his career introducing Cameron Diaz in the Mask.

Smells mystical, doesn't it?
The first half of the film showed promise, I thought. But once they were actually in the dream-state it pretty much threw it's redeeming qualities out the window, and went into that over-the-top corniness that all the sequels suffered from.
Let's talk some jive.

After Wes Craven's New Nightmare, Dream Warriors is my second favourite out of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Definitely one of the best in the series and the film to introduce me to the band Dokken during my phase of listening to power/heavy metal. Oh yes!

Before I saw the film a horror obsessed friend use to go on and on about a certain 'Puppet' scene that I had to see and he let me borrow his VHS of the film.

Haha yes! Into the Fire. That song is forever stuck in my head.

yea^ Chuck Russel's special effects and just about everything else about his direction are pretty great.

Never thought I'd see a thread dedicated entirely to

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3:

Dream Warriors

right here on Movie Forums.

This is one of my favorites in the series, too. I think it's a little overrated, though. You should definitely watch the first movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street, before you go into this one. That one features Heather Langenkamp as the heroine, and she's back in 3 (she wasn't in 2) to fight Freddy again.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
(1987) is about a group of teenagers who are all locked up in a mental hospital because they've been having Freddy Krueger nightmares - and surviving them - but their parents don't believe their stories about being attacked by a madman in their sleep. The kids are also doing everything to stay awake. The movie begins with Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette), one such teenager. A Freddy nightmare she soon has makes her look suicidal when her mom discovers her in her bathroom, so she's taken to the mental hospital. She goes there the same day that Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), the star and survivor of the first film, is beginning her first day at the hospital as a doctor who specializes in sleeping disorders. Nancy ends up having a Freddy nightmare and because she's had experience with him, she knows what's going on with the kids and she's willing to help them in a way that nobody else has. A doctor who becomes fond of her, Neil (Craig Wasson), joins her mission, and with the help of Kristen, who can bring other people into her own dreams, these kids team up together as "Dream Warriors" (never actually called that in the film) who go into the dream world to fight Freddy Krueger.

This movie is somewhat overrated because the story and the screenplay is a mess. The script was originally written by Wes Craven, who wrote and directed the first movie, and then other people revised his script, changed a lot of stuff around and it became a patchwork of ideas, names, death scenes and character identities. The final product is actually better, in my opinion, than Wes' original script (available somewhere on the internet) but not everything is coherent and detailed enough for the story. There are different versions of this movie to be found in writing -- in the novelization of this movie, for example, the story is drastically different than the movie and Wes Craven's script. All form something very compelling and exciting, but it's made apparent that the final product is lacking in certain areas.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is actually a much better improvement over Dream Warriors, but in Dream Warriors, Freddy Krueger is more sinister and more modeled as a dirty old, violent man with the darkest sense of humor possible and a love for torturing youth. In Dream Master, he's lightened up some and so has the rest of the movie, which includes an inferior portrayal of one character from Dream Warriors who survives and gets played by a new actor - both the performance and the way the character was written were wrong.

Dream Warriors
and Dream Master both feature spectacular death scenes and creativity, but Dream Warriors does have a darker tone and I think that's something that fans of the film really love about it. Dream Warriors also has a rather unhappy ending. There is more to love about Dream Warriors and it is definitely the standout movie in the series -- even more than the original film. It just, unfortunately, has an imperfect script. It is less developed than the story of Dream Master. You might go into Dream Warriors and think it sucks. But I think it's definitely an experience. If you had to watch a Freddy film just for the special effects and you had never seen one before, I might recommend this one. But I might also recommend Dream Master. Or, dare I say, Freddy's Dead, which I think is great.

But Dream Warriors is intense and darkly humored and its flaws can be overlooked because of this. It's a beautiful and richly crafted mad movie. I love that about it and I think that's why it's so important to people. But it's also kind of dull and dreary - the mental hospital setting is largely at fault with that, along with some ideas that could have been explored but weren't. It needed a few more coats of blood red paint -- then it would have been worthy of more serious consideration. It made less money at the box office than Dream Master, but Dream Warriors was certainly the Batman Begins to its Dark Knight, and over time, Dream Warriors became the most important sequel. The majority does not consider Dream Master better - but Dream Master is underrated.

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

There is also The Dream Child, which is part 5, and while that movie isn't what I'd call terrible, it's a lesser movie than 3 & 4. It really falls behind.

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

I'd rank the entire franchise - both on personal feelings and how good/bad it is - as:

#1: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
#2: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
#3: Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
#4: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
#5: Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
#6: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)
#7: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

I'm not even going to bother with the 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street remake, which is ... the worst thing ever. Freddy vs. Jason (2003) is good... but I don't know where I'd put it on that list. It seems so outside of the franchise, in a way, even though it's not. It would probably be between Freddy's Dead and Nightmare 5 for me.

And I'd give Dream Warriors:

I have seen this movie hundreds of times. I saw it when I was a kid. I used to make my own Freddy houses like Patricia Arquette does in the opening credits -- I'd get glue and newspaper and a cardboard box, black permanent markers, popsicle sticks (used to buy big boxes of popsicle sticks for these) -- and I'd go to town making a Freddy house, trying to improve upon the last one. None of these things have survived time, but I know I made at least five or six of them. Whenever I'd get bored, it was Freddy house building time for me.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Sexy has summed up my thoughts. Probably the best addition to the series after the original.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

Can't recommend the original Nightmare and New Nightmare enough and Dream Warriors slips nicely between the two, IMO.

And every Nightmare fan should see this. 4 hours, yes, FOUR HOURS, of Nightmare goodness.

5-time MoFo Award winner.

Kakarot89: The Infamous Thread Killer
And every Nightmare fan should see this. 4 hours, yes, FOUR HOURS, of Nightmare goodness.

I saw that a few years ago around Halloween on IFC. It was really good.

Wow i love all those pictures Sexy Celebrity. Yes one thing you will learn with me quickly is I will start a thread about any movie basically at any time. I don't care what forum we are on, there is always room to talk about a movie with such creativity at the helm.

I absolutely love Dream Masters and have the poster over my bed, but the acting in that movie is absolutely atrocious. Can't help but laugh at a few of the scenes and the terrible actors including Tuesday Knight. I love her in every way especially considering she actually sings some of the songs in the movie, but that movie is what I think of when I think of bad acting. The first 40 minutes or so of Dream Masters are actually very entertaining with all the great music, but when the main character dies, the movie really takes a hit. A few of those songs especially

Did I mention that I love all those pictures???

****ing awesome.

I actually really like Dream Warrior. But NEw nightmare was really dumb. Although i thought Nancy died in the 1st one why was she in this 3rd installment?

The most loathsome of all goblins
Dream Warriors is a camp classic, but hardly a fitting follow-up to the brilliant original. Still, it's better than any of the other sequels, sans New Nightmare.

Nancy's "death" in the first one, at least IMO, is debatable. Mainly because she's talking to her mother and her mother is the one acting strange, like it might be her dream. Andthe mom's the one that is shown getting killed by being dragged through the tiny window in the front door. So I kind of figured it was Mommy dearest getting offed. I don't know for sure but that's why it didn't surprise me when Nancy showed back up in "Dream Warriors."

Nightmare 3: Dream Warriors is my favorite of the entire series, yes, even over the first film. I like a movie where the protagonists at least try to fight and not just sit there and get killed. The kids with their "dream powers" was pretty cool, Freddy's lines were hilarious, and the ending where they thought they'd finally had a solution to offing Freddy for good was great for me. I liked the next film but I didn't like the way he just came back, saying, "I am eternal!" Nah, I want there to be at least a way to kill the bad guy (even if he's already dead) in horror films. But New Line had a huge franchise and they went on with them, and I went to them and got a kick out of them anyway.

Favorite line from all the films was in 3: "What's the matter, Joey? Feeling tongue-tied?"

EDIT: Oh yeah, Sexy, thanks for all the great pictures and gifs!
"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."


- You're 10 0% right, that makes the most sense. Freddy got revenge on her. Can't believe I never thought of that.

I watched Nightmare on Elm Street 3 recently again. It's really not that great now to me. The tone is great and the closest to the original movie more than the others, but I see a bunch of flaws now.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I watched Nightmare on Elm Street 3 recently again. It's really not that great now to me. The tone is great and the closest to the original movie more than the others, but I see a bunch of flaws now.
It's an 80's horror movie. The flaws are what makes it awesome.

It's an 80's horror movie. The flaws are what makes it awesome.
The biggest thing I noticed that bugged me about 3 when I rewatched it recently... how they handled Nancy Thompson's character. She seems way too composed and confident and though Heather Langenkamp does a good job performing her and "bringing her back", she doesn't seem right. It's mainly a problem with them rushing the story. There's a buildup in the first movie with how she gradually learns of Freddy and then prepares to fight him. In three, I'm confused by her ability to be so cool -- it seems like she's trying to remain professional since she's an adult and she's got a job, yet she's also totally aware that Freddy is back and is killing her patients -- why isn't she just more... frantic? She was angry and tough in the first movie, in part three she's more docile.

WARNING: "Nightmare 3" spoilers below
Even her death is a reflection of this -- getting so easily tricked by Freddy. This movie is sad -- not emotionally, but intellectually. It's a waste -- because not only do they kill off Nancy, but the three survivors of this movie just die first in Nightmare 4. Dream Warriors is depressing. At least Alice from 4 & 5 lived. Though, most of the other characters we meet along the way die. There really needs to be a hero to root for. Dream Warriors really doesn't have one -- I mean, Kristen lives? Big whoop. The real hero of the film is Dr. Gordon and he's quickly forgotten.