A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Year: 1987

Director: Chuck Russell

Written by: Wes Craven, Bruce Wagner, Chuck Russell, Frank Darabont

Threat: Ghost

Weapon of Choice: Finger Knives

Based upon: Original

IMDb page: IMDb link

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

Other movies in this series:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
New Nightmare
Freddy vs. Jason

The tyranist's thoughts
In an often maligned and praised series the lines between what is truly good and bad in the films often blurs beyond recognition until it is truly up to each individual viewer. This series seems to fit that mold perfectly. There are those who say it should have stopped at 1. Others after 2. Still others like 1, 3, and 7. The opinions vary. In spite of all of that, I would assert that on the list of anyone who has seen this series, episode 3 should probably be listed as either the second or third best entry.
In raw scope and the potential depth of the story line, this entry far exceeds anything else. No other entry did more to enhance the Nightmare mythos than Dream Warriors. Suddenly there is a way to really fight back. There are so many possibilities that lead out of this. Unfortunately, the film falls short in that the final plot is lopped off and fails to deliver on the breadth of the idea. Very little time is spent in the dreams where the heart of the story is. Instead time is spent overdeveloping two characters, one of which we are already intimately familiar with. To fix the story would require time spent with each of the "warriors" in their individual dreams to develop what their ability was.
Really there was potential for greatness beyond even the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. They just couldn't deliver.
Patricia Arquette is pretty good in what should have been a huge role but was pretty limited. They really needed to go after her for the next entry in the series. It's nice to have Heather back, of course. Also check out Morpheus in an early, almost bit, role. He probably doesn't even admit he made this movie anymore. Wes Craven's gifted touch could be felt once again along with a young talent in Frank Darabont. It is a shame that this movie couldn't have been better. I really can't say that enough. This happens way too often in Hollywood and even more often in horror film. It's like the creation is wonderful, but when it comes right down to putting it on film we want the cheapest, quickest solution that will get us the most money.
Watch it. Watch it with an open mind to what this movie could have been. I think you'll find that in spite of its shortcomings, this really is a powerful addition to the cult of Freddie.

Total Skulls: 14

Sequel skull
Sequel setup
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears skull Laurence Fishburne
Former celebrity appears
Bad title
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution
MTV Editing
OTS skull
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex skull
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat skull
Secluded location
Power is cut skull
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise skull
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer
Victims cower in front of a window/door skull
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls
Toilet stall scene
Shower/bath scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare skull
Laughable scare
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence skullskull
Hallucination/Vision skull
No one believes only witness skull
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes
x years before/later
Flashback sequence
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Beheading skull
Blood fountain
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect
Excessive gore
No one dies at all
Virgin survives
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell?