A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a 1987 American fantasy slasher film directed by Chuck Russell. The story was developed by Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner and is the third installment in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and stars Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Larry Fishburne, Priscilla Pointer, Craig Wasson, and Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. The film's plot centers around a group of young adults who have been committed to a psychiatric hospital where Nancy Thompson (Langenkamp), whose parents helped to kill Krueger, works. Krueger, an undead, supernatural serial killer who can murder people through their dreams, seeks to slaughter the teenagers, as they are the last remaining children of the parents who burned him to death.
In 1987, two years after the events of the previous film, teenager Kristen Parker dreams Freddy Krueger is chasing her. He attacks her in her bathroom after she thinks she already awoke, making it look like she slit her wrist in the real world.
Believing Kristen to be suicidal, her mother admits her to Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, where she is placed under the care of Dr. Neil Gordon. At the hospital, Kristen fights the orderlies who try to sedate her because she fears falling asleep. The new intern therapist, Nancy Thompson, calms her down and befriends her by reciting part of Freddy's nursery rhyme. Nancy is introduced to the rest of Dr. Gordon's patients: Phillip, a habitual sleepwalker; Kincaid, a tough kid from the streets who is prone to violence; Jennifer, a hopeful television actress prone to cigarette burns; Will, who uses a wheelchair due to a prior suicide attempt; Taryn, a recovering drug addict; and Joey, the youngest, who is too traumatized to speak. One night, Freddy attacks Kristen in her dreams, but she unwittingly pulls Nancy into her dream, allowing them to escape.
Kristen reveals that she has been able to pull people into her dreams since she was young. Over the next two nights, Freddy throws Phillip off a roof and kills Jennifer by smashing her head into a television. In their next group session, Nancy reveals to the remaining patients that they are 'the last of the Elm Street kids', the surviving children of those who banded together and burned Krueger to death many years ago. Both Nancy and Neil encourage them to try group hypnosis so that they can experience a shared dream and discover their dream powers. In the dream, Joey wanders off and is captured by Freddy, leaving him comatose in the real world; Nancy and Neil are relieved of duty. A nun, Sister Mary Helena, tells Neil that Freddy is the son of a young woman on the hospital staff who was accidentally locked in a room with hundreds of mental patients who raped her continually, and that the only way to stop him is to lay his bones to rest.
He and Nancy ask her father, officer Donald Thompson, where the bones are hidden, but he is uncooperative. Nancy rushes back to the hospital when she learns that Kristen has been sedated. Neil stays behind to convince Donald to help them. Nancy and the others again engage in group hypnosis to reunite with Kristen but are all separated by Freddy. Taryn and Will are killed by Freddy while Kristen, Nancy, and Kincaid find one another. The trio rescue Joey but are unable to defeat Freddy because he has become too powerful due to the souls he has absorbed. Sensing that his remains have been found, Freddy appropriates his own skeleton and kills Donald before incapacitating Neil. Freddy returns to attack the others but Joey uses his dream power voice to repel him. Donald tells Nancy that he is crossing over but he is revealed to be Freddy and stabs Nancy in the stomach, and tosses her aside. Freddy, believing that Nancy is dead, comes upon Kristen in order to kill her but a still-alive Nancy stabs him with his own glove. Neil manages to recover and purifies Freddy's bones, killing him. After Nancy dies, Kristen manages to awaken everyone and return them to the real world. During Nancy's funeral, Neil finds Amanda Krueger's tombstone and discovers that she is Sister Mary Helena. That evening, he goes to sleep with the Malaysian doll Nancy gave him and Kristen's papier-mâché house nearby, and suddenly Kristen's house lights up from the inside, suggesting that Freddy is not completely defeated.
Before it was decided what script would be used for the film's story, both John Saxon and Robert Englund wrote their own scripts for a third Nightmare film; in Saxon's script called How the Nightmare on Elm Street All Began, which would have been a prequel story, Freddy would ultimately turn out to have been innocent, or at least set up for the murders by Charles Manson, who along with his followers would have been the main culprit of the murders; Freddy would be forced by the mob of angry parents to make a confession of the crimes, which would enrage them further. After they lynch Freddy, he comes back to avenge his wrongful death by targeting the parent's children. In Englund's treatment called Freddy's Funhouse, the protagonist would have been Tina Gray's older sister, who would have been in college by the time Tina was murdered, and ends up coming back to Springwood to investigate how she died. In the script, Freddy had claimed the 1428 Elm Street house for his own in the dreamworld, setting up booby traps like Nancy did against him. According to Englund, part of it later ended up being used in the pilot episode of Freddy's Nightmares after the script had been lying around unused for a few years.
Wes Craven has said, about the direction that he and Bruce Wagner wanted to take the franchise in, that \"we decided that it could no longer be one person fighting Freddy. It had to be a group, because the souls of Freddy's victims have made Freddy stronger\". He also called Heather Langenkamp to ask her if he may include her character Nancy in the script, which she agreed to. In interviews with cast and crew in the DVD extras, it is revealed that the original idea for the film centered around the kids separately traveling to a specific location to die by suicide. Later it would be discovered that the common link between the youths was that they dreamed of Freddy Krueger. Since suicide was a taboo social issue, the storyline was abandoned. Some aspects of the idea remained in the film.
In Craven and Wagner's original script, the characters were somewhat different from what was eventually filmed. Nancy was not a dream expert nor any kind of mental health professional. Kristen (named Kirsten in this script) only stayed in the institution for a short while, she had a father and her mother was named Alice. Neil's last name was Guinness and his character was much younger. Dr. Simms' last name was Maddalena, Taryn was African-American, Joey was the one who built the model of a house and had trouble getting around (although he did not use a wheelchair), and Philip was a thirteen-year-old. Will's name was originally Laredo, he had long hair, did not use a wheelchair, and was the one who made the clay puppets. This script also described the ranch house where Krueger was born and that is the house that shows up in the kids' dreams rather than the Elm Street house. Wes Craven specifies the house in his original script to be \"an architectural portal to [Freddy's dreamscape]. It is virtually a limitless world of the human psyche in all of its dimensions ... So you can enter this other world through the house or dreams or madness or hallucinations or special psychic states that various people have\".
On Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, director Chuck Russell states that Craven's original script was darker and more profane, while Rachel Talalay thought that the script seemed like a \"20 million dollar script\". Discussing the more humorous elements in the film, Russell stated, \"I looked at what [series creator] Wes Craven did and said, 'This is absolutely great and terrifying.' But I felt that by the time I came along on 3, the way to go was to make the whole idea of dreams and nightmares into a carnival and go further into the dreams and make Freddy Krueger more outrageous and add more of an element of dark humor. That worked and the series went in that direction from then on.\"
Lisa Wilcox and Lezlie Deane, who would later be cast as Alice Johnson and Tracy respectively in the following installments, have both reported to have had auditions for roles in Dream Warriors previously. Patricia Arquette was close to being recast early into the shooting, but Chuck Russell intervened and had her stay. According to producer Sara Risher, the role that the producers spent the most time interviewing and auditioning for was Marcie (Stacy Alden), the \"sexy nurse\" who seemingly seduces Joey in his dream but turns out to be Freddy. Nurse Marcie, while seducing Joey, was originally supposed to turn into a \"She-Freddy\", with Alden wearing Freddy's mask; Roy H. Wagner had second thoughts about this after seeing how \"She-Freddy\" looked like in practice, stating that \"Freddy with breasts, it was too off-kilter\". The concept of \"She-Freddy\" was substituted with having the nurse shoot prehensile tongues at Joey to trap him and then be switched with Englund-Freddy.
The film has an approval rating of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 38 reviews; the average rating is 6.8/10. The consensus reads, \"A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors offers an imaginative and surprisingly satisfying rebound for a franchise already starting to succumb to sequelitis.\" Variety wrote that Russell's poor direction makes the film's intended and unintended humor difficult to differentiate. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated it one and a half out of four stars; he liked the production values but said that it \"never generated any sympathy for its characters.\" Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, \"The film's dream sequences are ingenious, and they feature some remarkable nightmare images and special effects.\" Although he criticizes Langenkamp's acting, Kim Newman wrote in Empire that the \"film delivers amazing scenes in spades, bringing to life the sort of bizarre images which used to be found only on comic book covers\". 59ce067264