With input from the original’s creator, Wes Craven [who also co-wrote the screen story with Bruce Wagner], 3 shifts its focus away from the homely neighborhood horror to a setting of seven nightmare-plagued teens under the care of medicos Priscilla Pointer (instantly hissable) and Craig Wasson (decidedly miscast).
Heather Langenkamp, young heroine of the first film in the series, returns as an intern assigned to the ward. She’s been using an experimental dream-inhibiting drug to keep her wits about her and proposes using it on the kids.
While everyone is stewing in their juices, pic is mainly focused on the violent special effects outbursts of Freddy Krueger (ably limned under heavy makeup by Robert Englund), the child murderer’s demon spirit who seeks revenge on Langenkamp and the other Elm St kids for the sins of their parents.
Debuting director Chuck Russell elicits poor performances from most of his thesps, making it difficult to differentiate between pic’s comic relief and unintended howlers.