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Articles of Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street Parts 3, 4 and 5

A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 3: The Dream Warriors

Kristen is having bad dreams, dreams of children jumping rope and a poem: “One, two Freddy’s coming for you.” This is the beginning of terror. The last of the children of the parents that torched Freddy years ago are all now in the psych ward and unable to deal with Freddy haunting them in their dreams. Joey cannot speak, Taryn is an ex addict, Kincaid is a tough kid with behavioral problems, Phillip is a talented sculptor who it is implied has attempted to kill himself previously, Jennifer is a wannabe actress and Will is confined to a wheelchair. Here they meet Nancy from the first film. She and Dr. Neil are the only ones who belive these kids are being killed one by one by Freddy. As Nancy helps Kristen and the kids become “dream warriors” to fight Freddy, Dr. Neil tracks down the truth that Freddy is the son of a nun who comes to them as a ghost and tells them he is the son of 100 maniacs who raped her in the asylum she worked in. This led to Freddy growing up as a demented and disturbed person. Nancy’s father and Dr. Neil try to help Nancy and the kids stop Freddy once and for all. 

Part 3 had many great cameos including Laurence Fishburne as a nurse at the hospital, Zsa Zsa Gabor as her self, and of course Heather Langenkamp returns as Nancy and John Saxson as her father. Patricia Arquette makes her feature film debut as Kristen the hero of the film. Wes Craven returned to Elm St as well as one of the writers and producers. This film is where New Line started throwing more money at the Elm St films because Freddy had become an icon. He appeared in everything from lunch boxes to trading cards to Halloween costumes. This film was also the storyline for the Commodore 64 PC game, a kind of roleplaying Nightmare game.  

The humor side of the films started in Part 3 as well, and by the sixth film Freddy was a joke. Love it or hate it, this film had some of the best special effects and one-liners including one that Robert Englund is asked to repeat a lot: “Welcome to prime time, bitch.” The best shot in the whole film is when the giant Freddy snake tries to eat Kristen from the legs up. It’s a great albeit obvious sexual innuendo. I would skip Part 2 and start with this film; it’s the third best in the series. Rating: 9/10


A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 4 : The Dream Master

In the second part of the dream trilogy, Kristen, Joey, Kincaid (the survivors of the last film) get released from the hospital. They all begin having bad dreams again. Because of this, Freddy finds the strength to return. He is now more powerful than before and uses the souls of his victims to gain entry into more childrens’ dreams.  Kristen’s mom betrays her and forces her to fall asleep, allowing Freddy to kill her.  Before she dies she passes her ability to enter other people’s dreams to her new friend Alice, the new hero of the series. Alice tries one by one to get her friends to listen to her in order to stop Freddy from killing them.  After her boyfriend Dan is almost killed by Freddy, Alice takes the fight to Freddy’s world.
 
Part 4 continues Kristen’s story from the previous film. In this film she is now played by pop star Tuesday Night. Patricia Arquette at this point had become too popular as a film star to return to the Nightmare franchise, much like Johnny Depp before her. The new hero Alice, like Nancy and Kristen before her, has a two-film character arc which is very unusual for a horror franchise. This film was the highest-grossing Nightmare film at this point (years later Freddy vs Jason would top it). Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood also came out this summer, so this was the real “Freddy vs Jason” as Freddy beat Jason to the tune of $49 million to $19 million. On a personal note, this was the first Nightmare movie I had ever seen and it still stands the test of time. As with Part 3, Freddy was very silly, but still scary. The special effects are fantastic and some of the characters carry over to Part 5. This was also the first time Robert Englund was on Good Morning America to promote the film series. Rating 9/10

 

 

 A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 5: The Dream Child

Part 5 continues the storyline of Alice in the final part of the Dream Trilogy. Her boyfriend Dan dies in a car accident and she learns she is pregnant with his child. Alice has the ability to control her dreams (an ability she gained from Kristen from Part 4) as to not bring back Freddy. The only problem is when the baby starts to develop, it dreams and this baby can’t help but enter his mother’s dreams and dream of Freddy.  Freddy uses this as a chance to return once more. While Alice tried to save her child, her best friend seeks out the ghost of Amanda Krueger (Freddy’s mom), the only person who can save Alice’s child.

Part 5 did not do as well as the last installment and was a rehash of a storyline involving Freddy’s mom again.  In Part 3 we already got the ghost who helps everyone; it was not needed a second time around. Robert Englund is great as Freddy, but once again you can see the overly humorous side of the whole thing. It gets very “slapsticky” and weird at times. Hats off to the production team as we once again get a great look into the dream world that Freddy lives in. The grossest part is the Freddy baby that tries to be born — it’s sick and twisted at the same time.  If you’re looking for a bunch of great horror comedies the last few entries in the franchise can’t be beat in a twisted, sick kind of way.  Rating: 7/10

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