This film is often cited as being the best (and some say only) good sequel to Freddy’s Nightmare on Elm Street saga, and I can definitely agree. Not only is this a solid sequel, but it stands up on its own as a good slasher film.
Dream Warriors follows a group of teenage patients as they literally fight with their dreams. Nancy, the victim in the original film, is back, but all grown up and a practicing therapist. She knows what these kids are going through, and just how real their “fantasies” are, and decides to risk it all to help end their nightmares on Freddy Krueger. Freddy responds with a new plan: instead of killing them himself, he’ll just drive the teens to suicide, which doesn’t help Nancy’s credibility one bit.
Frankly, Krueger doesn’t drive Dream Warriors, and it takes about 20 minutes before he even really shows up. What this does is force the audience to get to know the characters, which are all likable kids with a bad situation on their hands. This helps the film succeed because it gives the audience someone to root for, and some substance to hang their hats on. This is something that the rest of the series will fail to do.
Though I find that Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) becomes more stiff and fake as an actress as she matures, she does a good enough job to carry the story. Something this series always does well is the special effects, and Dream Warriors follows suit. There are definitely moments of disgust in this film, as there should be, and I love it for it.
Dream Warriors is not as good a movie as the original, but it’s sure better than the other sequels, and one of the last ones to keep Freddy an evil force instead of a wisecracking clown.