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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right

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Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors
DIRECTED BY CHUCK RUSSELL
RELEASED: 1987

Why's it so good? Despite the fact that A Nightmare On Elm Street had been his fevered brainchild, Wes Craven hadn't been involved with Jack Sholder's disappointed, muddled and slightly homoerotic sequel, Freddy's Revenge. When that underperformed, New Line asked Craven back as screenwriter. He brought on young turk Frank Darabont, who further expanded on the surreal potential of a Dreamworld by pitting Robert Englund's razor-fingered maniac against a group of kids with astonishing dream powers, and Chuck Russell to provide inventively gory direction.

Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors
How does it stack up to the original? Perhaps the most purely enjoyable Nightmare movie, The Dream Warriors crafted a cast of likeable young heroes (led by a young Patricia Arquette) and pitted them against Krueger in a series of cartoonish and nightmarish sequences. If there's a criticism, it's that it's here where the Nightmare series began to treat Freddy as a walking gag dispenser, and the death scenes as excuses to show off effects.

Glaring error: When Freddy's skeleton is exhumed, it's wearing the razor-glove. But in the first film, Nancy's mother clearly shows that she took the glove off his corpse and stashed it in their Elm Street house.


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 27 MONTHS


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