Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Nightmare on Elm Street Marathon: Dream Warriors

I'm gonna be honest. This one surprised me.

    Now this is more like it. After the lackluster Freddy's Revenge, the Nightmare series was in need of a strong kick in the ass in order to get back to where it once was. And boy did the series get kicked in the ass. Original Nightmare direct Wes Craven returns, this time in writer and producer form. Heather Langenkamp stars once again and Freddy actually gets screentime in this movie. All is right. Well, at least until we get to number four.
    This time around Freddy (Robert Englund) is back and haunting the dreams of the remaining Elm Street kids. Kristen (Patricia Arquette) is the latest kid to be haunted by Freddy and she soon finds herself placed in a mental institution, run by Dr. Gordon (Craig Wasson) and Dr. Simms (Priscilla Pointer). When up and coming researcher Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) joins Wasson to try to treat the kids, she soon grasp that Freddy is once again behind it all. She also discovers that each of the kids has a special power in their dreams that they decide to use against Freddy. Together, they are the Dream Warriors.

This happens.
    So, if the above picture is any indication, Dream Warriors is an insane movie. And that is a pretty accurate representation of the movie. Easily making up for the dullness of Freddy's Revenge, Dream Warriors is creative on a... nightmarish scale (Okay, sorry for that one). A whole lot of effort has clearly been put into making this film and while none of the kills are better than in the original, Dream Warriors certainly doesn't pull any punches. A kid gets tied up with tongues during ruined hot nurse sex. Freddy controls a kid using the kid tendons as marionette strings. Freddy even sicks a psycho wheelchair on a kid. And I didn't even touch on the Freddy snake or his needle glove.
    All of this craziness is set to a great story too. Attacking Freddy in the dreamworld is a cool concept and have Langenkamp back to lead the team is a very welcome edition. In fact, most of the acting in this movie is good and by the time Freddy starts to get his handslaughter on you do feel connected with the kids and want to follow their story through. That said though, the movie isn't completely void of problems. The story can drag in some parts and not all of the acting is that great (Here's looking at you, Ken Sagoes). And, as usual, the film never actually explain how any of this works, but hey, that's all part of the fun. Right?

This would have made Mirror Mirror
so much more interesting.
    Dream Warriors is about as good as a Nightmare sequel could be. The story is great, the acting is solid and the film even brings back Heather Langenkamp, which is always a plus. The kills are fantastically creative and Freddy is better than ever. Sure, the pacing may be a little off and the acting isn't perfect, but this is still the most fun you can have on Elm Street without going to the original. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors gets 5 and a half stars out of 6.

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