After much consideration about what my favorite horror movie was, I came to the third installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street series: Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, given to us by Wes Craven in 1987. This movie begins with Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) putting together a model house with Popsicle sticks… the house of Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) who is haunting her dreams. The beginning was in fact… all a dream. It is a scary and fantastic way to begin a horror movie.
During one of Kristen’s nightmares after falling asleep in the bathtub, Freddy slices her wrists with a razor. When Kristen’s mom barges into the bathroom and finds her wrists cut, she takes her to the hospital saying that it is a suicide attempt, which was a “cry for attention”.
Kristen refuses sedatives and begins saying the infamous rhyme those haunted by Krueger chant in their dreams:
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.
Three, four, better lock your door.
Five, six, grab your crucifix.
Seven, eight, gonna stay up late.
Nine, ten, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!”
During this chant, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) enters the hospital room. Nancy was a character in the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie. She and her friends were the children of the adults who killed Freddy Krueger. She was haunted by Krueger and lost many of her friends, her mother, and her boyfriend (Johnny Depp) to the monster. In Nightmare 3, she has become a psychiatrist specializing in dream therapy. She takes a medication called “hypnocil” which is meant to keep the patient from dreaming. Kristen is committed to a psychiatric facility for teenagers. She learns that she and the other teens in the ward are the last of the Elm Street kids. The doctors at the facility all agree that Krueger is a group delusion, and are unimpressed by the fact that they all dreamed about him before meeting one another. During Kristen’s stay, a few of the other patients die in their sleep, clearly facilitated by Freddy.
During this movie, we learn more about Freddy Krueger. A nun, or the spirit of a nun, presents herself to Dr. Neil Gordon as Sister Mary. She explains the story about a girl, Amanda, who while working in a prison, gets locked in the cells with the prisoners. She has raped hundreds of times, and when the guards found her she was barely alive… and pregnant. Freddy Krueger, as she explains it, was “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs”.
Nancy begins working with Dr. Neil Gordon from the mental hospital to teach the kids how to work together to defeat Freddy. They realize that Nancy and Kristen share a similar power. They can both pull other people into their dreams. Using this power, Kristen and Nancy end up in a dream with all of the other kids from the mental hospital. During this dream, Dr. Neil picks up Nancy’s father to find Krueger’s remains so that he can be laid to rest, and his deadly nightmares can end once and for all. Although they make it to his remains and begin digging a hole to lay him in, when they attempt to finish the burial, Krueger’s bones (yes. I am serious.) begin attacking Nancy’s father and Neil. During all of this, the group is still in the dream. Holy water is used to kill Freddy Krueger. He is laid to rest, and Nancy… sadly… dies in Kristen’s arms. As Neil falls asleep, a light in the model house Kristen made goes on. This was a setup for number four in the series.
This movie is full of fantastic little things that make any 80s movie worth watching. For instance, the hilarious cliché’ “bad girl” character, Taryn White (Jennifer Rubin). She has a bad attitude and a history of drug abuse. When everyone gets to be the ideal them in their dreams, she has a spiky mohawk and a biker chick outfit on. She also does acrobatics. Rarely have I laughed so hard as when I saw this.
Also, the grotesque ways that the victims die make this movie enticing to the horror fans. For instance, the teen who is susceptible to sleepwalking falls asleep. Freddy appears as a puppet-master, and pulls Phillip’s tendons from his body, using them as puppet strings. Freddy walks him to the ledge of the hospital where he makes it look like Phillip jumps to commit suicide. This part was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen in a movie. Not bad for 1987.And last but not least, Dokken’s amazing theme song for this fantastic movie… “Dream Warriors”. In fact, I will go ahead and make that my new ringtone.
So, for all of these reasons and many, many more, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is my favorite horror movie. 5/5 Great Pumpkins!