A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors


A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Critics Consensus

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors offers an imaginative and surprisingly satisfying rebound for a franchise already starting to succumb to sequelitis.



Total Count: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 304,031
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Movie Info

The best of the Elm Street sequels, this creepy, surreal fantasy features terrific effects, a fine young cast, and an air of grim fatalism that sets it apart from its giggly successors. Patricia Arquette stars as Kristen, whose nightmare leads to a slashed wrist which looks suspiciously like a suicide attempt. She is placed in a hospital psychiatric ward with a group of six other troubled teens who all dream about the same horribly burned man (Robert Englund) trying to kill them. Perhaps the most unusual thing about this picture, however, is the unexpected depth of sadness running through it. There are some achingly sweet moments in this otherwise frightening film which, though not disruptive, are impossible to analyze. The first and most bizarre of these is Heather Langenkamp's entrance, which inexplicably causes most viewers to get misty-eyed, and there are several similar scenes throughout the film. One answer can be found in the sensitive direction of Chuck Russell, who emphasizes the tragedy and utter hopelessness in these kids' lives and manages to wring some unexpectedly perceptive turns from his cast. This is a film in which a great deal of care was obviously lavished on individual scenes (the sets are outstanding) and performances. The results are well worth repeated viewings, and prove that sequels don't necessarily have to be inferior films. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi


Robert Englund
as Freddy Krueger
Patricia Arquette
as Kristen Parker
Heather Langenkamp
as Nancy Thompson
Priscilla Pointer
as Dr. Elizabeth Simms
Craig Wasson
as Dr. Neil Goldman
Brooke Bundy
as Elaine Parker
Ken Sagoes
as Kincaid
James Carroll
as Neurosurgeon
Kristin Clayton
as Little Girl
Jack Shea
as Priest at Funeral
Michael Rougas
as Priest in Church
John Saxon
as Lt. John Thompson
Dick Cavett
as Himself
Paul Kent
as Dr. Carver
Melanie Doctors
as Girl in Cemetery
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Critic Reviews for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (9)

Audience Reviews for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

  • May 10, 2016
    A good third part after the second wasn't the sequel the first deserved but this one follows on from the first and cuts out number two completely, The story was yet again a good idea and a good way to carry on the series without it feeling repetitive, It was pretty well acted but it lacked scares and some bits were too silly, It's better than it sounds and worth a watch to anyone who enjoyed the first two.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2016
    Next best after the original.
    Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2015
    I remember wanting to see this film, back when I saw Nightmare 2, because it was the only film in the main Elm Street series that had anything remotely resembling positive reviews. This film definitely brings things back to basics with Freddy simply haunting the 'teens'' dreams and how they choose to fight Freddy in their dreams rather than Freddy, like in Nightmare 2, using the main character as a vessel for him to come to the real world, which was against the character's original intentions. Wes Craven, along with Frank Darabont, Bruce Wagner and Chuck Russell, came back to write this movie so that, definitely, helped to put things back on track and the film tries, perhaps not as successfully as in the original film, to make Freddy a terrifying figure. Again, it doesn't always work perfectly, I think the nature of it being the third movie in a horror franchise didn't do it any favors, because how do you make this character, already established, into something that's fresh and terrifying again. They certainly tried to, and in a way it worked, but, like I mentioned, not nearly as effectively as the original film. Another thing that surprised me about this film, and perhaps the most surprising thing about this, is the fact that this was a really tame when it comes to blood and gore. There was this pretty cool scene at the beginning that was the coolest death I've seen in a horror film in a long time. Like there was this guy that was a puppet master and his death, obviously, involved what he does. So he essentially became a living puppet, with string, slicing his arms and legs open and then sticking from out of his hands and feet, with Freddy as the puppet master. The visual was actually really fucking cool. But it's also about as gruesome as the film gets. There's a decapitation scene that happens off-camera and then Freddy brings the dismembered it, belonging to Kristen's mother, into frame where the head then proceeds to berate Kristen for something. That's, honestly, about as violent as the film gets. And, you know what, it actually kind of works because the surrealist scenes involving Freddy Krueger are cool. I mean the acting isn't exactly what one would call great, at least from Heather Langenkamp, who seems even worse than she normally was. It's not awful, outside of Heather, and they do offer some interesting backstory into Freddy's origin, at least from what led to his birth. So that was cool. Overall, while the film probably hasn't aged as well as the original Elm Street, I thought that this was a good sequel, the best in the franchise. And that's even including the reboot, A New Nightmare, though I wouldn't include it as part of the original franchise. It's something completely different. But, anyway, the point is that this film isn't exactly as creative or inventive as A New Nightmare, but as far as being a solid horror movie, this one works better than the reboot. It's a solid film. It's not perfect and it doesn't age as well as one would expect, but all in all, it's a perfectly solid horror movie. I'd recommend it if it ever came on Netflix, as I DVR'd this. But, yes, it's a solid horror movie and probably as good as the Elm Street sequels would ever get.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 26, 2015
    Dream Warriors thankfully saved the entire franchise by doing one-up with the efforts given by the first sequel, Freddy's Revenge and sees the original "Final Girl" Nancy return to the story and brings actual relevant plot back to the promising franchise. No where near as good as number 1, its less scary but still quite interesting.
    Harry W Super Reviewer

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