The 1980s were dominated (in the horror genre) by the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. Halloween sequels were also present, albeit to a lesser extent. Of these, I was always partial to the Friday the 13th series. It featured the right balance of terror, seriousness and humor. Halloween was often too far on the serious side, and Elm Street was, well, pretty silly most of the time. My favorite of the Freddy Krueger series is today's featured film.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
The third installment in the series of films where the ghost of a disfigured man murders people in their dreams (and, consequently, in real life) finds us at the Westin Hills mental institute. We follow Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) there, after her mother believes her to be suicidal. The institute is full of teenagers who just happen to be the offspring of the folks who killed Freddy Krueger.
The strong-willed teenagers, led by Kristen (who also seems to kinda sorta maybe have special powers) decide to band together and fight Freddy in their dreams. This makes it perhaps the most kick-ass of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and where the sub-title Dream Warriors comes from. Also thrown-in for good measure is Nancy Thompson, the main protagonist from the first Elm Street movie. In a way, she passes the torch on to Kristen in this film.
Dream Warriors is a lot of fun. It has characters that you kind of grow attached to. Freddy is (as always) in good form. The setting, storytelling and direction are all solid. If you only ever watch one Nightmare on Elm Street movie (and, believe me, there are a plethora to choose from), make it this one.