Arrow in the Head

Arrow in the Head


Home - News - Reviews - Interviews - Mistresses - Horror Talk - Quizzes - Links - Movie Malls
Trailers - Screensavers - Scripts - Wallpapers - Who is The Arrow - Contact The Arrow

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (1987)
 Directed by: Chuck Russell
 Starring: Heather Langenkamp/Nancy
Craig Wasson/Neil
Patricia Arquette/Kristen
Jennifer Rubin/Taryn


Freddy’s (Englund) still kickin and this time he’s after the last of the Elm Street children. That’s until his old nemesis Nancy (Langenkamp) walks in to help the hunted youth and defeat the dream buffoon.


Freddy steps into the spotlight along with the visual effects. This film takes the concept of the original and stretches it a tad further for the better and for the worse. The effects are bigger and crazier (loved the Freddy snake), the stalk scenes are replaced with fight scenes, the dreams are more fantasy oriented and so are the kills. The problem with the new direction is that Freddy is no longer the frightening devil stalking in the shadows, now he’s the goofy tour guide, the one liner spitting host, Freddy takes center stage and it’s not for the better if you’re a horror fan. Most of the kills are very cruel but not scary ( I could of went without the kid turning into a wizard, that was too cheesy for me). This marks the series hint into mainstream. I mean Part 4-5-6 are almost family flicks. .

Putting my disappointment of the series’ entry into fantasy/camp aside I will give credit where credit is due. This film is pretty slick. It has a very large cast and gives every character enough time to develop. All the kids are credible troubled teens and that helps. The film continues the story set up by the first one: we learn more about Freddy’s origins, Lt Thomson (Saxon) comes back and so does Nancy (Langenkamp). The film is a roller coaster ride of effects and imagination that rarely quits. The visuals are quite impressive, it doesn’t get much better than that human puppet… This flick gets it both ways, it has a strong story and is also great eye candy.

But all that fun has a price. That price is the soul of Freddy Krueger. The man of horror fans dreams becomes the man of everybody’s dreams…now that’s scary…


Heather Langenkamp (Nancy) gives her weakest performance of the series. She just felt off. Craig Wasson (Neil) does good and survives his scenes with Langenkamp, that’s talent. Patricia Arquette (Kristen) is introduced to movie fans around the world, she does fine. Ken Sagoes (Kincaid) plays one of those characters you’ll love or hate, he likes calling Freddy a pussy and yells a lot. Rodney Eastman (Joey) doesn’t have many lines but his character always shines through. Jennifer Rubin (Taryn) rocks the house and gets to sport a funky mohawk. Bradley Gregg (Phillip) is very kool and I was sorry to see him go so fast. Penelope Sudrow (Jen) is very sympathetic as the wannabe actress, I liked her, where is she now? John Saxon (Donald) shows up again and I adored every second he was onscreen…love that guy. A pre fame Laurence Fishburne makes an appearance…solid as ever.


Some tasty stuff here. My favs being the human puppet being strung along by his veins (bloody) and of course the giant Freddy snake (wow). I will say that the living skeleton effect is very weak.

T & A:

Some blonde nurse honors us with a pair of boobs that deserve to be molded and be put on display in a museum…god I love women…


Chuck Russell does good with his first film. Lots of mood, smooth camera movements and a great use of sound. This entry is also less dark in tone than the previous two…is that good?


A wonderful score by Angelo Badalamenti and some hard rock courtesy of Dokken.


Freddy’s not totally pop yet but this flick opens the door. The film still paints many creepy images but Freddy is without a doubt less scary. He has more one-liners, is less in the shadows and he’s slowly becoming the hero. At least the flick has a mean streak and funny one-liners: Welcome To Prime Time Bitch. The series should have ended here, this flick wraps everything up. But cash registers called loud and Freddy answered.


The scene in which Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson) is thrown into the grave and partially buried by the skeleton of Freddy is a tribute to Body Double, in which Wasson's character is similarly buried alive.

When the clay puppet face turns into Freddy's, special-effects man Doug Beswick used stop-motion animation. Filming began with a clay Freddy face that was made plainer in each frame. The result was then run backwards, and that is what appears in the final cut of the film.

The movie on TV that Jennifer watches before she dies is Critters.

Discuss this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD

Top 100 Horror Sites

The Way The Arrow Points...

 I’d BUTCHER my family to see this again
 HANG me but I dug it a lot
 An ok way to KILL two hours
 Just sling an ARROW in my head and let me die in peace

Crawl back to the Arrow in the Head Homestead...

© John Fallon  All Right Reserved