With “Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Warriors” celebrating its anniversary on the 27th, I thought it’d be fun to list my five favorite Dream Warriors of the “Nightmare” movie series. Although the writers generally stopped exploring the concept of Dream Warriors after part three, other writers have generally run with the idea of victims using their dreams to fight Freddy and there have been many more dream warriors that have faced Freddy. Most have fallen under the wrath of his powers, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t given the dream master a hard time and some aggravation.
If you’ve ever seen the series “Freddy’s Nightmares” (Trust me, don’t, it’s awful), then it’s verified in various episodes that Freddy Krueger isn’t the only dream demon out there. In fact he’s one of many, and there are other types of demons that can haunt our dreams and our subconscious. In either case, I was thinking about the slew of horror movie monsters out there introduced since Krueger hit the movies in the eighties and wondered what other boogey men could perhaps be a part of Freddy’s world, or from his lineage. Here are five monsters that I think could be related to Freddy Krueger.
Surely, “I Am Nancy” isn’t one of the best documentaries ever made, but it will definitely go down as one of the most unique. How often do documentaries focus on the final girls of horror movies? “I Am Nancy” is that documentary about Heather Langenkamp who ended up playing one of the best final girls: Nancy Thompson. But unlike people like Jamie Lee Curtis and Neve Campbell, actress Heather Langenkamp’s fate as a performer was much different. Rather than become a big star, Langenkamp slowly slid in to obscurity as the film’s villain Robert Englund became an icon of pop culture and film history.
If you’re still convinced that you’ve read everything to do with “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” then tune in to “Never Sleep Again,” and you might find a surprise or two. As a jaded horror geek convinced he’d heard it all, “Never Sleep Again” spared many a shocking anecdote about the making of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and its entire legacy. From its sequels, spin off, and misguided but notable cultural influence, “Never Sleep Again” never misses a beat and promises something entirely new for the horror fan interested in a refresher course in Freddy Krueger. After being on DVD since 2010, Image Entertainment releases the acclaimed and award winning documentary on Blu-Ray for folks anxious to indulge in Krueger on Blu.
FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH
Jason Craig, James Kuhoric
“New Nightmare” is the final installment of the series and something of a meta-movie that pre-dates Craven’s wildly overrated “Scream” series. Rather than deconstruct the slasher film, Craven deconstructs the “Nightmare” series once and for all studying the over saturation of Krueger on the masses of pop culture fanatics and dares to ponder on the notion that the “Nightmare” movies may have actually done more harm than good. Basing most of the film on reality (including the stalker sub-plot), “New Nightmare” breaks down and disavows the series opting instead to depict them as fiction that have taken on a life of their own in the midst of the pop culture overload.
“Dream Child” is admittedly one of my favorite of the Nightmare sequels. While it doesn’t do much to further the lore like “Dream Master,” either, it does strike me as something of an entertaining installment in the series. Even years after watching it on network television time and time again, it still holds up very well to scrutiny. The premise is actually very creative this time around. Though it’s still a cheap excuse to keep the series moving, it’s quite innovative. Freddy has been revived once again and this is through the dreams of Alice. He revives his mother who gives birth to Freddy yet again, and Freddy is able to take on his true form as an adult. He knows something Alice doesn’t.
“Freddy’s Dead” is what you would call absolute zero for the franchise and god help me if it isn’t one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures. This is the film that my dad took my brother and I to decades ago and we experienced it in its full 3D glory, loving every single solitary second of it. This is the moment when Freddy Krueger finally dropped all pretense and became a demonic Scud Farkus, a clown prince of the dream world who resorted to cartoon tricks and treats to murder his victims rather than revel in the evil of it all. It’s a shame too because this is technically the final entry in the series and rather than play to the Craven crowds and deliver us a helping of frightening Freddy, we’re instead given funny Freddy. I use the term funny loosely, of course.