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Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

This film should have been the sequel to the original Nightmare film.  Nearly everything about it works.  First of all, Wes Craven was one of the authors of the screenplay and also signed on as executive producer.  His influence is clearly evident with a much stronger story than Freddy's Revenge and a more ominous feel to the movie overall.  This is also helped by director Chuck Russell [The Mask, Scorpion King] who has put together a decidedly darker and more emotionally powerful film than Freddy's Revenge.  

Cinematographer Roy H. Wagner [Nick of Time, Drop Zone] gives us a visual feast while the special effects team delivers many inventive and eye-popping moments that are truly entertaining.  Furthermore, composer Angelo Badalamenti [The Beach, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist] takes the baton from Charles Bernstein, the composer of the first film.  He picks up several of the musical themes from the original score and adds his own touches.  All of these elements work together to create a strong look and feel for the film.

Perhaps the biggest blessing of Dream Warriors is the cast.  Thank God, Heather Langencamp is back as Nancy.  This time out it's six years later.  She's graduated form college and is interning as a psychologist who specializes in dream therapy.  [Nice touch!]  Langenkamp is joined by a great cast, some of whom went on to become big Hollywood stars such as Laurence Fishburne [The Matrix Trilogy] and Patricia Arquette [T.V. Medium].  John Saxon makes a small appearance to reprise his role as Nancy's Father.  Finally, the teens in the psych ward are all very good actors and help to make this Dream Warriors of the strongest casts of the Nightmare Franchise.  Robert Englund is back, of course, as Freddy.  This time out he has less screen time and develops his one liner wise cracking style that would dominate some of the later films.  It's not his strongest Freddy performance but there is no one else who can really fill his shoes.  [I hate the new modern remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Jackie Earle Haley's portrayal is pure brutality with no sense of humor or playfulness about.]

I could go on but I think you get the point.  I love this film.  It's one of my favorites in the franchise and proves that when Wes Craven is involved it's always a better movie than when he's not.

RATING: Excellent.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

2 comments:

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