This third chapter of the phenomenally successful horror series marks the return of the original's director, Wes Craven (he had nothing to do with Part II). Craven cowrote Part III's script and served as associate producer; though he didn't direct, his influence is quite apparent.
The film takes place in a small town experiencing a rash of teenage suicides. Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette, younger sister of Rosanna), a teenager plagued by horrible nightmares, tries to slash her wrists. She is admitted to a psychiatric hospital where she is put under the care of Dr. Goldman (Craig Wasson), a young doctor who specializes in treating disturbed teenagers. What is odd is that the teens suffering from nightmares insist that the same figure appears in all their dreams--Freddy Krueger. Produced on a modest $4.5 million budget, NIGHTMARE 3 grossed $8.8 million on its opening weekend, at the time one of the most successful openings in independent distribution history. The film went on to take in more than $40 million, making New Line Cinema one of the most successful independent production companies in Hollywood and paving the way for its transformation into a "minor major" studio in the '90s. Part of this success is no doubt due to the cult status attained by the character of Freddy Krueger. Freddy is an energetic, clever killer with a warped sense of humor who seems to really enjoy tormenting teenagers. As played by the classically trained Robert Englund, Freddy is a vital killer who brings a sense of creepy fun to his demented work moviegoers actually like the guy. The nightmares themselves are another reason for the series' success. Seldom have films explored the nightmare world with such effect, style, and panache. In NIGHTMARE 3, the wizardly special-effects team has created a variety of bizarre images, including a teen who is literally tongue-tied to his bed, a television that turns into Freddy, Freddy's transformation into a marionette, and a huge Freddy head that tries to swallow Kristen whole. leave a comment