A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 (1987)


Plot: Survivors of undead serial killer Freddy Krueger - who stalks his victims in their dreams - learn to take control of their own dreams in order to fight back.

You'll notice that the production values are significantly higher in just the title sequence than the previous 2 movies. It's of Patricia Arquette making a paper mache house of 1428 Elm, chasing raw instant coffee with Diet Coke, and listening to Dokken. She did nod off ever so briefly, so you can assume she's probably dreaming now. It's 1 in the morning, and her mom just got in. She's got a guest. A dude with a big ol' hog, I'm assuming. Then Kristen actually falls asleep, waking up at 1428 Elm, which is now dilapidated and boarded up. You got creepy kids, getting stuck running in place, a boiler room, a chase scene, dead bodies, and skeletons. Yep, it's ANOES. She wakes up and then...THE KNOBS OF THE SINK PLAY PEA-KNUCKLES WITH HER! Then the other knob grows Freddy claws and slices her, but in reality she wakes up to find she slit her wrist with a razor. She's taken to Westin Hills, a mental facility. There's been a rash of teen suicides/attempts in Springwood lately, and Kristen seems to be another number in the stat book.


In one tracking shot, we're introduced to almost all of the main cast. It's not like...Goodfellas or anything, but we do meet the good doctor Neil Gordon, the strung out Taryn White, the cigarette/burn obsessed Jennifer Caulfield, the cool orderly Max Daniels (played by Larry Fishburne), free spirited Phillip Anderson, the angry Roland Kincaid, and not so friendly Dr. Elizabeth Simms. You get only a glimpse of all of them, but enough to get the general idea of their characters. Very effective. When Kristen freaks out over the attempt to sedate her, NANCY shows up OUTTA NOWHERE to calm her down. After the events of the first movie, she's been doing research in dreams and sleep, and is interning at Westin Hills. Neil explains that the group of kids seem to be having a "group delusion" of a shared boogeyman. One kid even cut his eyelids off to stay awake.

Nancy goes to meet the kids. She meets Phillip first, who shows great skill in making puppets and is there due to a sleep walking issue. He also makes a suicide joke right off the bat about why they won't let him carve his puppets out of wood. Kincaid's attitude issues are reinforced, and we meet Joey, a mute.

Meanwhile, Kristen continues to have nightmares and again ends up in Nancy's house. Shit is getting weird in that house. Rotting pigs and whatnot. That bark. The blue tint of the dreams has carried over from the first movie, which was mostly absent in the second, although pretty much everything about that movie is unrelated to the rest of the series. Then, OUTTA NOWHERE, a giant Freddy snake pops out of the ground to try to eat her. Like Tremors. But even more sexual. She calls out for Nancy, and Nancy somehow hears her and is able to fall into the dream. "YOU!" That puppet is fucking dope. Great effects in this movie. 


Nancy and Kristen talk about what happened the next day. Kristen has had the ability to pull people into her dreams since her childhood. A group meeting has Nancy meet the whole group. The new kid we meet is Will Stanton, a nerd who is paralyzed after a botched suicide attempt. Kincaid points out that Tarya was a druggie, which is not shocking considering her first appearance. Jennifer wants to be on TV, but has scars from her addiction to burning herself. Now, all of these kids were dreaming about Freddy before they even met, but Dr. Simms thinks it is just their guilt about their issues and sexuality. "Great. Now it's my dick that's killing me." Will is a LEGIT ass nerd, playing some DnD knock off. When it is lights out, he and Joey go on shifts to make sure no one fucking dies. That's how serious shit is at Westin Hills.


Nancy and Neil going on what might be a date. Nancy wants Neil to prescribe Hypnocil, an experimental psychoactive drug that suppresses dreams, to the group. She's been taking it herself. Neil won't prescribe that kind of drug to suicidal teenagers. This movie is fucking dark. Later that night, one of Phillip's dolls comes to life as Freddy. That dope ass stop motion animation. And, weirdly, the doll has the blades come out of its fingers, which is I think the only reference to ANOES 2 in the rest of the series. You see, Phil is known for his sleep walking, so Kincaid doesn't think it is weird that he's up and walking, but in the dream world, Freddy is controlling him like a marionette...BY HIS GOD DAM VEINS. It's arguably the most brutal thing in the entire series. Freddy leads him to a tower, where he cuts the veins, making it look like Phillip had a sleep walking accident. 


The next group meeting, naturally, is focused around this. Dr. Simms declares that from now on, all doors will be locked, and the whole group will be sedated at night. Kincaid does not respond well to this. "Fuck you! YOU sit down! Nobody gonna put me to sleep!" Neil decides to prescribe Hypnocil to the group. Simms agrees only after Neil threatens to resign and takes full responsibility.  

Now, we have two different orderly stories. Max finds Jennifer watching TV past bed time, but lets her keep watching because she doesn't want to sleep after what happened to Phillip. He's a softie and genuinely cares about the kids. Then, there is the scumbag dude, who tries to get former junkie Taryn high after she takes a shower in exchange for fucking. Shortly after, Jennifer dozes while watching the Dick Cavett show. His guest is Zsa Zsa Gabor. Freddy pops out of the TV and slams her fucking head into the screen. "Welcome to prime time, bitch!" 


Neil keeps seeing this nun. He finally talks to her at Jennifer's funeral. She says some mysterious shit about abominations to God and and burying bodies. Later, Neil and Nancy hang out again and Nancy shows him her Malaysian dream doll. Shout out to Glen. They call a group meeting without Dr. Simms. Nancy explains who Freddy is and what he does. Nancy says the events of ANOES 1 happened 6 years ago, which I think puts this 2 years after part 2. Maybe. The timeline is all fucked. They go into a group psychosis, where the remaining kids show they all have special talents only in their dreams. Well, except for Joey, who manages to get into a sexy position with one of the nurses. Maybe that's his dream power. Turns out it was just Freddy fucking with him. SWERVE! The rest of the group is stuck in the room as Freddy starts to change it into a boiler room. Dr. Simms walks in and ends up saving the day, inadvertently. The head of the facility fires Neil and Nancy for the incident. To be fair, that seems pretty reasonable considering there have been 2 suicides, and now a kid is in a coma after Neil prescribed some wacky drug that Nancy suggested to him. They haven't had a lot of success. 

Neil ends up chasing down that nun again, this time in one of the shut down wings. The nun tells a story about a young woman getting raped HUNDREDS OF TIMES over a holiday weekend. She was pregnant, and her name was AMANDA KRUEGER. Her child was the bastard son of a hundred maniacs. The nun says that to defeat Freddy, you must find his remains and lay him to rest in hallowed grounds. How mysterious. Only one man knows where those remains are, and it's time he starts talking.

Nancy and Neil find Nancy's dad in a bar. Much like mom, dad has also become a drunk. A drunk in his officer uniform. Well, he's not a cop anymore. He's a security guard, now. Apparently, this was the first time Nancy had seen her dad since the events of the first movie, and he's not really willing to go along with any of this shit. Neil confronts Nancy's dad face to face, and ends up getting him to find Freddy's bones. They make a pit stop at a church, where Neil steals holy water and a crucifix. 

Kristen had a shit fit and was sedated. Nancy gets the remaining kids in group and they join her. Kristen then wakes up back at the start of the movie. What a shitty dream this has been. "I said, where's the fuckin' bourbon?" Oh shit, she's still in a dream! Freddy in a tux is so silly, yet amazing. She's stuck in the house again. Taryn is back in that alley where she got high. Freddy's hands turn into drug filled syringes, and her former injection sites OPEN UP BEGGING FOR THE DRUGS. He give them to her. Then, Will gets threatened with a spiky wheel chair. Will turns into the Wizard Master, but Freddy immediately stabs him in the chest. Lol. "Sorry, kid. I don't believe in fairy tales."


So now we're down to Nancy, Kristen, Kincaid, and Joey, who is still trapped in a coma. They head down into what is essentially Hell's boiler room to get Joey. Here, we get a taste of Freddy's fighting that would show up in FvJ. My man does a kip up! He's also just being nasty, getting stabbed in the stomach, then putting that mess in his mouth. You nasty, Fred. Smh.


In the real world, Freddy's SKELETON comes back to life. It kills Nancy's dad, then attempts to bury Neil alive after beating him with a shovel. There's really nothing that explains how this could happen, but Freddy did say that the souls of the children have made him stronger than ever, so that's probably enough justification. 


Freddy traps Nancy, Kristen, and Kincaid in a hall of mirrors. It's Joey's voice that saves them. Nancy's dad reunites with her for the last time. OH SHIT. IT WAS FREDDY! SWERVE! He stabbed her in the gut! She's gonna die! But she stabs Freddy in the gut with his own glove. Neil recovers enough to throw holy water and a crucifix on Freddy's bones, which kills him in the dream world. Neil sees the nun at Nancy's funeral, only to be led to the nun's tombstone. SHE WAS FREDDY'S MOTHER! MAMA MIA! The movie ends with Neil sleeping, having Nancy's Malaysian dream doll, and Kristin's Popsicle stick house of Nancy's house. Then the light comes on in the house. THE END.


There is a reason this is usually called the best movie of the series. It's dope as fuck. Really set the formula for the next few movies, and did everything as well as you possibly could. You get to meet all of the characters in the first 10 minutes, understand their quirks in their first appearances, have what will kill them set up, and have the story moving at a brisk pace. Then you get to see all the dream powers in one scene, all of which get pay offs later in the film. What's most impressive is how many characters there are, yet the story never feels like it is getting bogged down, and everyone gets screen time and development. It's very well written and paced.

Also, the effects are tremendous. Excellent puppet and mechanical work. It also ends with the dopest hair metal song ever written for a horror movie.