Every genre has cliches, but how well do the Nighmare on Elm St films follow the slasher film rules?
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) the third of the Freddy Kruger films.
The following analysis may contain spoilers for
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
"God damn it, Kristen, you ruin everything! Every time I bring a man home you spoil it! You know what your shrink says? You're just trying to get a little attention!" ~ Elaine Parker.
1a. Warnings will not be believed...
i. Source - Teens.
ii. Dismissable - They're sent to a mental hospital.
iii. Authorities - Their parents put them there and the staff don't listen to them.
iv. Crazy - They've been sent to a mental hospital
1b. Happened before - This is the third film in the series.
1c. General eeriness - Yes.
Sex & Nudity
"Do you like my body, Joey?" ~ Marcie.
2a. Nudity -
i. Female Nudity - Marcie, the nurse, but only in Joey's dream
ii. Male Nudity - None
iii. Nudity Equals Death - No
iv. Public vs Private Nudity - N/A
2b. Sex -
i. Death - For Joey almost sex (in a dream) equaled captured/coma
ii. Random Sex - Joey and dream Marcie
iii. Relationship Sex - Nil
iv. Rape - Nil
Death will be a punishment for...
"You won't make any progress until you recognize your dreams for what they are." ~ Dr. Elizabeth Simms.
"And what are they?" ~ Nancy Thompson.
"The by-products of guilt. Psychological scars stemming from moral conflicts and overt sexuality." ~ Dr. Elizabeth Simms.
3a. Sex - Elaine Parker and guest (possibility implied) - not endangered. Joey and Marcie (nearly, in dream only) - Joey captured/coma
3b. Nudity - Dream Marcie only
3c. Drinking - Elaine Parker and guest (not endangered). Lt Thompson has become a drunk (he dies)
3d. Drugs - Former drug-user, Taryn. Lorenzo (not clear if he's using access to drugs or just using them to take advantage of Taryn)
3e. Hitchhiking - Doesn't happen.
3f. Other Criminal Behaviour - Nil.
3g. Being annoying/being cowardly/being a sleazy guy - Elaine Parker (bad mother), Lorenzo.
3h. Being a bystander - Nil.
People will die when they go…
"Ain't gonna dream no more, no more. Ain't gonna dream no more. All night long I sing this song. Ain't gonna dream no more." ~ Roland Kincaid.
4a. Down to the Basement - Room
4b. Upstairs - Phillip (but under Freddy's control)
4c. For a Shower - N/A
4d. Into old sheds or out buildings - Freddy's boiler room
4e. Running off to the “safety” of the forest - N/A
4f. Anywhere alone - Room
4g. Anywhere Remote, Isolated or Confined - N.A
4h. Any Old, Abandoned or Presumably Haunted Buildings - Freddy's boiler room, abandoned church
The Order of Death
"It's now or never. I'm not gonna kid you, this is as dangerous as it gets. If you die in this dream it's for real. Nobody has to go in that doesn't want to." ~ Nancy Thompson.
5a. The First Person on Screen - Kristen Parker (final girl - survives)
5b. The Black Man dies First - Max is endangered. Kincaid survives
5c. The Stoner - Possibly Lorenzo (survives). Recovering drug user Taryn (dies)
5d. The Bimbo - Elaine Parker, Marcie the nurse (but only in Joey's dream)
5e. The Nerdy/Funny Guy - Joey, Will.
5f. Macho jerks - Lorenzo (not endangered). Lt Thompson (killed)
5g. The Strong Female Character - Kristen Parker, Nancy Thompson, Jennifer, Taryn
5h. The Protector - Nancy Thompson (dies), Neil Gordon (survives)
5i. The Sensitive Guy - Kincaid survives
5j. Children and Animals - N/A
5k. The Final Girl - Kirsten Parker
- (9) Phillip [?]
- (10) Jennifer [G]
- (11) Taryn [G]
- (12) Will [E]
- (13) Lt Thompson [F]
- (14) Nancy Thompson [H]
Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…
"It's a door." ~ Nancy Thompson.
"But, it doesn't go anywhere." ~ Roland Kincaid.
"Yes, it does." ~ Kristen Parker.
...Anything. But especially:
6a. Communications devices - N/A
6b. Lighting - N/A
6c. Vehicular Transport - N/A
6d. Your Own Legs - N/A
6e. The Authorities - Yes, those in charge of the mental hospital
6f. Weapons - N/A
6g. Escape Routes - N/A
The Final Girl
"I used to live in this house." ~ Nancy Thompson.
"That's just a house I dream about." ~ Kristen Parker.
There are three possibilities for the "final girl" in this film. Kirsten Parker, Neil Gordon and Nancy Thompsons.
- Nancy Thompson, the final girl of the original film returns. She is involved in (but not directly responsible for Freddy's killing.) However, she is barely ever the focus of the film, has already done her growing, and is killed at the end. She's more a protector character.
- Neil Gordon the psychiatrist is another contentor. Although male, he is the one who finally kills Freddy, and has a lot of story focus, being the curious character who learns how to kill Freddy. He never enters the dreams, however, and is thus only really endangered at the end, and is another protector.
- Kirsten Parker, is the initial focus of the film and has the power that bring others into the dreams. She, however, doesn't little growing, she does rush at Freddy once in the final battle, but still appears weak. But she is the surviving female and not a protector, so...
7a. Final - One of...
7b. Girl - Yes.
i. Uni-sex name - No
ii. Masculine dressing - Only vaguely
iii. Flat-chested - No
iv. Short-haired - No
7d. Well Drawn -
i. Intelligent - Maybe
ii. Curious & vigilant - Yes
iii. Talented - Artist. Able to pull people into dreams
iv. Has a dark past - No
v. Have/gain inner strength - Mildly if at all
7e. Virginal & innocent - Nothing shown onscreen
7f. Will be reborn - No
The Killer has a Connection to…
"He wears a dirty brown hat. He's horribly burned. He has razors on his right hand." ~ Nancy Thompson.
"Who is he?" ~ Taryn.
"His name is Freddy Krueger. He was a child murderer before he died, and after he died he became something worse." ~ Nancy Thompson.
8a. The Location - Not on Elm St this time, but Freddy's place of death and the place is body was hidden are featured.
8b. The Final Girl - Connected via Freddy being killed by her parents.
8c. The Protector - Connected via Freddy being killed by her parents. Has a history of being attacked by Freddy.
8d. The Other Victims - Connected via Freddy being killed by her parents.
8e. Femininity - No.
8f. A Specific Look - Yes.
8g. A Specific Weapon - Razor blade glove, anything that comes to hand.
8h. The Camera - No.
Evil Never Dies
"Only one thing can save the children now. The unquiet spirit must be laid to rest..." ~ Sister Mary Helena.
9a. You Always Have to Kill the Bad Guy Twice - Nancy thinks that Joey's scream killed Freddy. It didn't.
9b. Even then the Bad Guy lives on - A light comes on in the model of Nancy's house at the end.
9c. Evil is Immortal - That's the concept of the series. Then again, good Freddy's mother appears as a ghost, too.
The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic
"Six years ago, he killed my friends. He almost killed me." ~ Nancy Thompson.
10a. They will follow the rules more - About the same
10b. They will be more formulaic - Certainly more than the second film, which tried going in a slightly different direction
10c. There will be more T&A - More than the first, more female nudity than the second
10d. There will be more and bigger deaths of the victims - Bigger
10e. The killer’s death will be bigger - One more death. Some quite big
10f. The killer will be less realistic - Freddy started that way
"I couldn't go without telling you how sorry I am for all the things I've done. I love you so much. I'll always love you." ~ Lt Thompson.
The following rules are followed: 1, 8, 9, 10.
The following rules are partially followed: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.
The following rules are mostly not applicable: 6.