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For other projects of the same name, see A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (disambiguation).

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a 1987 horror-fantasy film, and the sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. It is the third film in the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series.

The film received mostly positive reviews and is considered by many to be one of the best A Nightmare on Elm Street films in the franchise. It was directed by Chuck Russell, written by original creator Wes Craven and co-written by Bruce Wagner, and starred Craig Wasson, Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, and Patricia Arquette in her first role.



Kristen Parker is in her room making a newspaper house. It appears that she has been working on it really late into the night, even after midnight came. She worked while eating Maxwell house Coffee grams and drinking Diet Coke, as well as listening to really loud music. While Kristen was doing her work, her mother, Elaine Parker, came in and turned off the cassette player, as the loud music could have awoken the entire neighborhood. When she asks her mother on why she is staying up late, as it is already pass 1 AM, Kristen tells her that she was told to wait for her. As she lay in bed, she looks up at the newspaper model house she had made before falling asleep. It is revealed that she is making a model of the Elm Street House.

In a dream, Kristen finds herself and her bed in front of the Elm Street House. In front of the house are three children playing jump rope, while two children played ball with each other and one child riding a tricycle. Kristen gets out of the bed and walks toward the house, the girl on the tricycle greets her and asks for her name. When Kristen introduces herself and asks her on what is her name, the girl didn't respond. When she went inside in the house, Kristen proceeded to follow her, calling out to the girl to not go in there.

Upon going down into the house's basement, she finds the little girl there. When Kristen attempts to get her out of there, a furnace suddenly lights up and its revealed that there are skulls inside while screams can be heard. When the girl tells Kristen that 'daddy's home', the latter immediately carries her off her tricycle and tries to look for a way out of the house as someone is now chasing her. When the floor suddenly turned into a gooey substance that stops Kristen from escaping, the person chasing her is revealed to be Freddy Krueger. As she desperately tries to escape with the girl, Freddy tries to slash her with his glove, but Kristen managed to escape in the nick of time. While running through the corridor, she ends up in a room filled with dead teenagers hung from nooses. When the little girl tells her to put her down because she's hurting him, Kristen screams in horror when she saw that the girl is now a decomposed corpse until she appears to wake up in her room before going into her bathroom.

When she tries to turn on the water, the sink faucet suddenly restrains her while the door automatically closes. Kristen then suddenly sees Freddy Krueger in the bathroom mirror as he laughs evilly. While she tried to free herself, another faucet began to sprout blades before becoming a bony-like hand with the blades on the fingertips. Freddy then controls it to slash Kristen's wrist before she woke up. When Elaine came into the room, having heard her daughter screaming, she finds a now-awake Kristen with her right wrist cut and a razor in her hands, which makes it appear to be an attempted suicide. Upon seeing the cut that Freddy had made on her wrist, Kristen passes out.

Believing to be suicidal, Kristen is taken by her mother to the Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital for observation. While Elaine tells the nurse of her daughter's 'apparent instability', Dr. Neil Gordon, a psychiatrist working at the facility, was called in to deal with Kristen, who, while screaming, is going out of control. While the orderly tries to restrain her, Dr. Neil Gordon attempts to sedate Kristen, but the latter loses control and knocks the psychiatrist to the floor before grabbing a scalpel to defend herself. She then used it to slash the arm of Max Daniels, another orderly. While Neil Gordon tries to calm Kristen, she began to sing Freddy Krueger's jump rope rhyme when Nancy Thompson, who is now a therapist, enters the room and completes the last verse. Upon being asked on where she heard the song, Kristen immediately feels a bond with Nancy and hugs her.

Later, while having a walk with Dr. Gordon outside the hospital, Nancy asks him on the surviving children of Elm Street and the psychiatrist tells her that they are survivors in a way and that they have sleep disorder while some have nearly narcolepsy. He also revealed that they seem to share a group delusion on a boogeyman (Freddy Krueger), which left them traumatized to the point that they'll do anything not to fall asleep. Sitting down together, Neil Gordon tells Nancy that they lost a child a month ago. That child had cut off his own eyelids with razors so that he'll stay wake, which ended up costing him his own life. Gordon then praised Nancy for successfully calming Kristen down and Nancy tells him that she had some of that experience with better nightmares. As she is leaving, he reminds her to check in with Max Daniels for the tour around the facility. After Nancy left, Dr. Gordon suddenly saw a mysterious nun garbed in white but she disappeared soon after.

Meanwhile, Max is giving Nancy a tour of the entire facility and reveals to her an office on which she could use for the time being. He then brings her to a room where she is introduced to Phillip Anderson, a patient who is nicknamed "The Walker" for his sleepwalking but he can make marionettes out of different materials. Max then introduced Nancy to Phillip's roommate Roland Kincaid, who is often isolated from others due to his temper. While Max continues to escort Nancy around, another patient named Joey Crusel, who is mute, silently looks on until he notices a blond-haired nurse, to which he develops a crush on.

Visiting Elaine Parker, Nancy asks her if Kristen has been acting differently or if anything strange is seen, the former responds that her daughter is always strange and has been taken to thousands of psychiatrists before handing Nancy some papers. When the latter, who is also a graduate student researching dreams, asks her if Kristen always have nightmares, Elaine believes that what she is asking is a joke, but Nancy states that she is serious which annoys Elaine, who refuses to give her an answer. When Nancy goes upstairs to get Kristen's stuff, she discovers the model house, which is unfinished, in Kristen's room.

Meanwhile, in his house, Dr. Neil Gordon is at his computer doing research when he found information on Hypnocil, which is classified as effective for managing psychotic disorders. In addition, it can cause a person who is sedated with it to not dream while they sleep. Despite these effects, the experimental drug has not yet been approved upon by the FDA. Back in the psychiatric hospital, Kristen, in her room, is sketching the model house she was working on last night when she falls asleep. Suddenly, the door opens the tricycle that belonged to the little girl from earlier automatically came into the room leaving behind tracks of blood before it starts melting as if it appeared to have been under intense heat. While cries of children are heard, Kristen steps out of her hospital; room until the door closes in front of her. It is then revealed that she is back in the old Elm Street house. Unable to open the door, Kristen finds herself back in the house and walks into the dining room where the dining table appears to look set for dinner with a suckling pig in the middle. The roasted pig then suddenly moved, which startles Kristen.

Going into the library, the lights automatically turned on and something began to crawl through the floor and onto the walls before stopping. Freddy Krueger then emerges from below Kristen as a snake-like creature and attempts to eat her. When Kristen screams out to Nancy, this caused the latter to wake up in her home. When she hears Kristen screaming again, Nancy believes that she is just hearing voices in her head and attempts to go back to sleep only to be pulled into the Dream World. Upon seeing Kristen in danger, a horrified Nancy stabs Freddy with a shard of glass, unaware that it is really him. When Freddy saw Nancy, he immediately recognized her. Shocked upon seeing Freddy, Nancy takes Kristen out of the room before slamming the door. She was able to repel Freddy long enough for Kristen to bring themselves back to the physical world. Nancy then wakes up back in her house and discovers a cut on her left hand.

Taking the model house with her, Nancy visits Kristen and reveals that the house the model is designed on is where she used to live and Kristen in turn reveals that it is what she is dreaming about. When Nancy asks her if she has done that before along with pulling someone into her dreams, Kristen claims that it happened when she was four or five and that when she had a nightmare it always brought her father in and that her dreams always got better when he would think that those were his dreams the next day. When an amused Nancy asks Kristen on when it happened and the latter states that it was when she was little before revealing that her parents got divorced and she thought that she had just imagined it after a while. When Kristen asks her that the person (Freddy) she saw in her dreams is real, Nancy answers that he is real.

During a group session, which also includes Phillip and Kincaid, the two meets the other Elm Street children. This includes Will Stanton, a teenage boy who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, Jennifer Caulfield, a teenage girl who is suicidal in behavior, and Taryn White, another teenage girl with an addiction to drugs. During the session, Phillip states that their host, Dr. Elizabeth Simms, claimed that their group dreams are group psychosis, which is sort of like mass hysteria. Since people were unimpressed by their dreams, in which they dreamed of the same person Kristen saw, they began making minimal progress with maximum method. Dr. Simms dismisses the dreams as nothing but byproducts of guilt and psychological scars that stems from moral conflict and overt sexuality, which further annoys Carlos.

the psychiatrist assigned to the children, at first is apprehensive about Nancy's presence. He tells her that he believes the children are suffering from a group delusion and will go to any extremes not to sleep. In a talk with her, he accidentally discovered that Nancy is taking a drug known as Hypnocil. Later research shows that it is an experimental drug that is not yet approved by the FDA and is used to suppress dreams.

A series of events happened the following day; Nancy learns more about Kristen's ability to pull people into her dreams. She is then introduced to the kids through a group session. Having dinner together, Nancy requests that Neil prescribe Hypnocil to the patients, but he refuses. Meanwhile, Freddy controls Phillip like a puppet using his tendons, and severs them with his claw, causing him to fall out the window, making it appear as a suicide.

At the group session the following day, Simms has decided that all patient rooms will be locked and that their will be a policy of evening sedation going forward. Kincaid protests and "earns" himself a night in the quiet room. Neil is so rattled by what happens that he convinces Simms to start prescribing Hypnocil, which they attempt to get the next day.

Later that evening, Jennifer convinces Max to let her stay awake and watch TV. She falls asleep and Freddy's arms and head come out of the TV. He grabs Jennifer and tells her "This is it, Jennifer- your big break in TV! Welcome to prime time, bitch!". He then pulls her into the TV screen, killing her.

While attending Jennifer's funeral, Neil notices a nun walking by the gravestones. Upon reaching her, she gives her name as Sister Mary Helena. Upon telling the sister that his faith is science, the nun tells him it is a sad choice. She tells him the only way to save the children is to put the unclean spirit to rest. Before he can ask her any questions, Nancy appears and the nun is gone.

Neil is confused by all the strange events going on, so Nancy decides to tell him about Freddy. Nancy, Neil, Kincaid, Taryn, Will, Joey, and Kristen do a group hypnosis, and all enter the dream world simultaneously in which Kincaid, Taryn, Will, and Kristen all have special powers. Joey sneaks off after a nurse whom he has a crush on, who turns out to be Freddy in disguise. He traps him above a flaming pit, leaving him in a coma unable to awake from his nightmare.

The cause of Joey's coma is believed by Simms and Dr. Carver, the dean of medicine of Westin Hills, to be the Hypnocil, and Nancy and Neil are subsequently relieved of duty. Although originally promising to listen to the children, Simms has an immediate falling out with Kristen and sedates her and isolates her in the quiet room.

Neil once again sees Sister Mary Helena going to the abandoned part of the hospital.




The sister tells him the story of why the hospital wing was shut down. A nun was locked in with inmates in an insane asylum and raped hundreds of times by the inmates. She was eventually rescued and gave birth to Freddy, whom the sister refers to as "The bastard son of a hundred maniacs." She tells Neil to put Freddy's bones to rest on holy ground. Nancy's father, Donald Thompson, now an alcoholic, is the only one who knows where they are. Neil and Nancy go to Little Nemo's. Upon confronting him, Donald continues to not believe that Freddy Krueger survived his physical death and refuses to show Nancy and Neil where the bones are. Nancy receives a call from the Dream Warriors (Taryn, Will, and Kincaid) saying that Kristen is going to be sedated and placed into the quiet room. Neil tells Nancy to go protect the kids while he stays behind to speak to Donald.

Neil finally convinces Donald to show him where the bones are hidden by physically threatening him. He picks up some holy water and a crucifix at a church, and they go to Penny Bros. Auto Salvage where they find Freddy's bones and begin to dig a grave. Donald tries to escape several times, but Neil makes him stay for the funeral.

Upon arriving at the hospital, Max refuses to let Nancy see Kristen. However, Nancy does convince him to let her say goodbye to the other kids. Nancy takes them to another room and they have a second hypnosis session to begin the final fight. Kincaid, Taryn and Will enter the dream world with Nancy, but are immediately separated. Taryn, who uses switchblades in the dream world, attacks Freddy, but he turns his fingers into syringes filled with massive amounts heroin and injects them into Taryn, killing her. He then sends a spiked wheelchair after Will, who in the real world is in a wheelchair, but can walk and use magic in the dream world. Will destroys the spiked chair with his magic and zaps Freddy, but he is unaffected and stabs Will dead. Nancy, Kristen, and Kincaid rescue Joey from the flaming pit. They attack Freddy, but he proved to be stronger than before. He reveals that when he kills his victims, he takes their souls and holds them captive inside him, giving him strength. In the middle of the battle, Freddy vanishes.

As Neil and Donald are about to bury Freddy's remains, the latter takes control of them and attacks Neil. Donald finally believes that Freddy came back after his physical death and tries to kill him again, but Freddy stabs him and throws him up against a piece of metal, killing him. He then throws Neil into the grave but does not bother to finish him off and he re-enters the dream world.

Back in the dream world, Freddy creates a room full of mirror images of himself. The images begin to pull the remaining dream warriors in until Joey discovers his dream power and shatters the mirrors. Nancy believes this to be the end of Freddy. Suddenly, Donald Thompson appears and apologizes to Nancy for not believing her and for causing all of this trouble. As Nancy hugs him, Donald reveals himself to be Freddy and gravely wounds Nancy, much to his joy, as he finally got his revenge for his defeat two years ago. Kristen, in a fit of rage fights Freddy but is overpowered. However, Nancy stabs him back with his own glove before he can kill Kristen. Meanwhile, Neil, despite his wounds, managed to throw Freddy's bones into the grave, pours holy water on them and places the crucifix onto the skull, causing Freddy to disappear in a flash of light. Shortly after, Nancy succumbs to her wound and dies in Kristen's arms. While mourning her death, Kristen states that she will dream Nancy into a wonderful dream forever.

At Nancy's funeral, Neil discovers that Sister Mary Helena was really the spirit of Amanda Krueger, Freddy's mother.


Box Office

The film released theatrically in the United States by New Line Cinema in February 1987. It opened in 1,343 theaters, grossing $8.9 million and debuting at number 1 during its opening weekend. It eventually made $44,793,222 at the domestic box office, making it both the highest grossing film for the studio that year and the 24th highest grossing film of 1987. It is the third highest grossing of the original Nightmare movies after Freddy vs. Jason and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, and the fourth highest grossing film of the series after the release of 2010 remake.

Critical Reception

The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics and audiences. It has garnered an average score of 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 32 professional reviews. It is almost unanimously considered by critics to be the best Nightmare film after the original, but still received some negative reviews from critics because of the comedic themes present in the film; director Chuck Russell said in an interview he felt it needed to be taken down a different path, making Freddy fun to keep the audience entertained instead of being dark and scary over and over again. Roger Ebert gave the film 1 and a half stars out of 4.

In Queensland, Australia, Dream Warriors was banned by the then Bjelke-Petersen government due to its drug references, particularly the scene where Freddy's glove becomes a number of syringes as he injects his victim with a heroin overdose. In 1990, the newly elected Goss government abolished the Queensland Film Board of Review. Consequently, Dream Warriors became available to Queenslanders through normal market channels rather than just through sympathetic video rental stores.

Film Awards

1988 Saturn Awards Best Horror Film (Nomination)

1988 Saturn Awards Best Make-up (Nomination)

1988 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor – Robert Englund (Nomination)

International Fantasy Film Award Best Film – Chuck Russell (Nomination)

Critics Awards: Special Mention – Chuck Russell (Won)


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.


  • Kristen making the model of the house at 1428 Elm Street resembles the scene of Freddy making his glove in the first film.
  • This third movie was filmed from 15th October to November 1986.
  • Freddy's famous line was improvised, originally, when Freddy kills Jennifer, he was only going to say, "This is it Jennifer, your big break in TV." but Robert England came up with, "Welcome to Prime Time Bitch!"


External links