11. Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street was an odd beast, a potent R-rated fusion of horror and fantasy which left countless teens unable to sleep after its 1984 debut. Of course, the requisite cheap sequel was immediately cranked out, sans Craven, and summarily laughed out of multiplexes.
Turning Freddy into a more humorous and fantastical creation, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge suffered with an inconsistent tone and a potentially fascinating but poorly realized homoerotic subtext. Turning Robert Englund’s villain into a franchise carrying threat rather than a laughing stock was quickly becoming a tall order.
Enter horror maestro Chuck Russell. Best known for the gruesome remake of The Blob (as well as, bizarrely, Jim Carrey vehicle The Mask), the director took full advantage of Freddy Krueger’s reality-warping abilities. The result was an inventive sequel which gave the villain a fittingly tragic, fleshed-out backstory as well as showcasing some extraordinary special effects.
Bringing to life chilling creations such as a human marionette piloted by his veins and a television addict consumed by a sentient set, the movie broadened the franchise’s mythology and provided fuel for a string of sequels, as well as countless nightmares the world over.