Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Dir.: Chuck Russell
Producer(s): Robert Shaye
Writer(s): Wes Craven, Frank Darabont, Bruce Wagner
Company: New Line Cinema
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Larry Fishbourne, Craig Wasson, Priscilla Pointer and Robert Englund
One of my favorites in the franchise.
As much as I have accepted Freddy’s Revenge as a member of this series and it’s okay compared to the first one, Dream Warriors can get you back on track as in enjoying the series. Like a lot of fans, the original, Dream Warriors and New Nightmare could be one trilogy based around the character Nancy Thompson and her return. And it is great to see a HUGE past character/main protagonist show up again however, that never bodes well.
Dream Warriors follows Nancy (Langenkamp) returning to Springwood to help aid Kristen (Arquette) and others in a psychiatric hospital where it seems Freddy is back. The film has some great imagery, special effects and makeup (as usual) and the plot is solid. It also helps that Wes Craven was back as well, just for a tiny tiny bit.
I think that the entire ANOES series does a great job of blurring the lines between reality and the dream world, some films do it better than others, but what I enjoyed about this one, very similar to how I feel about the original, is that the film seems very grounded. The characters are believable, you feel for them and unlike Freddy’s Revenge where… so many things took a left turn, Dream Warriors stays on a steady and straight path.
Favorite moments include Kristen creating the house with sticks and glue, drinking coke and eating ground coffee beans. When Kristen brings Nancy into her dream and we see that Freddy “worm” or “snake” and that moment of recognition with a simple “you”. One of the best kills of the franchise ever featuring Jennifer being slammed into the television screen and just left hanging there suspended. A male victim used as a puppet by Freddy, making his death appear to be a suicide. There are so many great, horrific and comedic moments in the film and it’s done well and translated well from script to screen.
The colors are cooler toned, lots of blues. Red is also featured throughout the film and it is a strict contrast to Freddy’s Revenge where the tone is more warmth but on the same playing field as the original. Very fascinating. The play on lighting is interesting, mixing colors to create an environment or mood, highlighting or in the film’s case, creating shapes or outlines of silhouettes.
Dream Warriors is creating a visual, cold, environment and when you think about the place where the movie is taking place, it makes sense. We’re talking teenagers locked away in a psychiatric hospital, not feeling safe or secure. That coldness of no family caring, coming around, all you have are a handful of friends you can confide in or believe you when you say hey, there’s a killer in my dreams coming for me. This isn’t a happy place to be and yes, colors create emotions and the emotion is sadness, somber, dread.
It boils down to a solid script, the acting, the return to the dream rules set in the original, color use and it is one of the fan favorites of the franchise.