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A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Movie poster
Directed by Chuck Russell
Produced by Robert Shaye
Written by Story by
Wes Craven
Bruce Wagner
Screenplay by
Wes Craven
Bruce Wagner
Frank Darabont
Chuck Russell
Starring Heather Langenkamp
Patricia Arquette
Craig Wasson
Robert Englund
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Cinematography Roy H. Wagner
Editing by Terry Stokes
Chuck Weiss
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) February 27, 1987
Running time 96 minutes
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $5,000,000
Gross revenue $44,793,222 (domestically)
Preceded by Freddy's Revenge
Followed by The Dream Master

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was the third film in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Chuck Russell and starred Robert Englund, Patricia Arquette, Heather Langenkamp, and Craig Wasson.



Taking place six years after the events of the first film (one year after the events of the second film), with no mention of Jesse Walsh (the protagonist in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge), Kristen Parker falls asleep and dreams of a young girl running into an old, condemned house, which bears resemblance to Nancy and Jesse's house in the previous films. As Kristen follows the little girl she begins to realize that she's in trouble. She finds the girl in a boiler room. As she hears someone walking above them, the little girl exclaims, "Freddy's home!" Kristen then grabs the girl and flees from Freddy. After gaining some ground on the madman, she then realizes that the little girl she is carrying is nothing more than a decomposing skeleton. She wakes and is seemingly attacked in her bathroom. Her parents mistake it as a suicide attempt.

Kristen is placed in Westin Hills, a psychiatric hospital. When a nurse tries to sedate her, Kristen fights back and cuts one of the orderlies, Max, with a scalpel. As she backs into a corner chanting a rhyme she heard in her dreams, new staff member Nancy Thompson suddenly appears in the room and finishes it for her. Nancy soon realizes that Freddy is not dead, and that Kristen and the other patients, Joey, Taryn, Kincaid, Phillip, Jennifer and Will, are the "last of the Elm Street children" - the last remaining children of the vigilantes who killed Freddy.

After seeing Freddy in a dream, Nancy realizes she has to protect the remaining children. However, Freddy kills Philip and Jennifer.

Meanwhile, Dr. Neil Gordon, the psychiatrist who works with the kids, begins to receive visits from a mysterious nun, who introduces herself as Sister Mary Helena. She informs Neil that Freddy Krueger was born in the abandoned wing of the same hospital, Westin Hills, after one hundred maniacs raped his mother, Amanda Krueger. She was a staff member who was accidentally locked inside over Christmas holidays, and that Krueger was never properly buried and must be laid to rest in consecrated ground. Soon after, Joey is kidnapped by Freddy in his dream, who seduces him in the form of a sexy nurse, and in the real world he lies in a coma. Nancy and Neil are fired because they try to tell their superiors that the dreams are real; the remaining kids are forced onto a regime of nightly sedation. Neil and Nancy's father, Lt. Donald Thompson, embark on a journey to find Freddy's corpse and give him a proper burial. Nancy and the kids attempt a group sleep session to try and go in and free Joey and get to Kristen, who was thrown in the "quiet room" and sedated against her will.

As soon as the kids fall asleep, Freddy separates them. He kills Taryn, then Will. However, Kincaid manages to fight his way through Freddy's barriers and reunite with Nancy and Kristen. They fall into a version of Nancy's old home. They save Joey from a fiery end. Krueger reveals he gains strength from imprisoning the souls of his victims. The fight almost kills Kincaid, but Neil and Lt. Thompson have found his bones in the real world. Freddy manages to kill Thompson; Neil is knocked out.

Thompson's spirit seemningly visits Nancy in the dream world to say goodbye, but it somehow becomes Krueger and he stabs her. He is about to kill Kristen when Neil uses a crucifix and Holy Water on the bones. This destroys Krueger's spririt.

Nancy, however, is beyond any help and dies. At the funeral, as others are weeping in silence over the loss, Neil sees the nun that helped him. When he goes to thank her, she vanishes. He is left standing by a gravestone. On the stone there is a name, Amanda Krueger, just below that is another name, her name in Christ: Sister Mary Helena, showing that the nun was the spirit of Freddy's mother. At the end, Neil falls asleep with a toy house next to his head, and a light suddenly comes on in it, just before the credits roll.


Patricia Arquette, the main star of the film, at the Heart Truth fashion show in 2009


Elm Street creator Wes Craven, who did not participate in the first sequel and indeed did not want the Elm Street franchise to be a franchise at all, intended for this film to end the series, but its success made that impossible.

Craven's very first concept for this film was to have Freddy Krueger invade the "real" world, emerging to haunt the actors filming a new Elm Street sequel. New Line Cinema rejected this metacinematic idea at the time, but years later, Craven's concept was finally brought to the screen with Wes Craven's New Nightmare. Also, Wes Craven did not want Nancy killed off. Writers Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont ensured that Nancy die, but they changed the role to have Nancy return and comfort the children.

The "dream suppressant" drug Hypnocil which Neil researches is also featured and written into this film, yet more prominently figures in Freddy vs. Jason and is mentioned in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash. The psychiatric hospital Westin Hills reappears in both A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and Freddy vs. Jason.

In interviews with cast and crew in the DVD's extras, it is revealed that the original idea for the film centered around the phenomenon of children traveling to a specific location to commit suicide, with dreams of Freddy Krueger eventually discovered to be a common link between the youths. Suicide, at the time, was a taboo social issue and this led to the abandonment of that storyline, though some aspects remained within the filmed version which still depicts suicide and self-mutilation, though they were deemed less controversial because these acts are committed with Freddy's distinct influence, inserting enough fantasy into the acts to remove it from the supposed controversial exploitation of disturbed youths in America.

In the original script by Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner the characters were somewhat different from what was eventually filmed. Nancy was not a dream expert or any kind of mental health professional, Kristen stayed in the institution for only a while and had a father, Neil's last name was Guinness, Dr. Simm's last name was Maddalena, Taryn was African-American, Joey was the one who built the model of a house and has trouble getting around (although did not use a wheelchair), and Philip was a thirteen year-old. Will's name was originally Laredo, with long hair, did not use a wheelchair, and the one who made the clay puppets. This script also showed the ranch house where Krueger was born, and is the house that shows up in their dreams rather than the Elm Street house. Contrary to the film, Lt. Donald Thompson knows from the start that Krueger is real and still alive. He had been missing and Nancy was intent on finding him, she finds him and learns that he was obsessed with finding the Krueger house and burning it down. There are scenes and lines that are very reminiscent of the first film. There is no talk of Krueger's mother having been a nun or Freddy being "the bastard son of a hundred maniacs," and both Joey and Kincaid are killed. The deaths in this script were much more grotesque, with Krueger not as talkative and more vulgar.




The film had a wide release of 1,343 making $8.9 million its opening weekend. Domestically, the film grossed $44.8 million, making it the third highest grossing Nightmare movie.


Unlike its predecessor which received mainly negative reviews, the third installment to the Nightmare series generally received more positive reviews. The film has garnered an average score of 69% 'fresh' on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 32 professional reviews.[2]


The theme song of the movie, Dream Warriors, was written and performed by the American heavy metal band Dokken. The success of the single led to the following sequels to include a heavy metal song in its soundtrack.

In the original VHS release of the film, during the opening sequence, a hard rock instrumental version of the song Quiet Cool is playing. The original version of that song, performed by Joe Lamont, was written for the movie with the same name in 1986. When Dream Warriors was released on DVD, the song that was on the original theatrical release, Into the Fire by Dokken, was reinserted.


External links


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