Thursday, October 11, 2018

In My Dreams I am the Wizard Master.

Nightmare on Elm St 3: Dream Warriors (1987) introduces a new element that was the key to keeping the series fresh. That element was adding  characters who possessed their own unique dream skills. Right away it made the protagonists more memorable. Too often slasher films are accused of having faceless teenagers whose only existence is to wander around and get mowed down by a killer. Even though we didn’t get deep characters in the later Nightmare films, they did give us a quick sketch  and just a little bit about their internal lives. Will (Ira Heiden) was a good example. Although he used a wheelchair in his waking life, in his dream life he could walk and he envisioned himself as a wizard from the very role-playing games he used to escape from his day-to-day problems. There was nothing astoundingly original about him, but compared to drunk teenager #37 who goes partying in the woods only to get decapitated, it’s was a big step-up.

It expanded the whole concept of the Nightmare films in a more creative direction. The story isn't limited to only creating visual and dramatic interest through Freddy's twisted dreamscapes, but the heroes get to also do so when they express their inner selves visually through their powers. It creates a sense of play with the viewer too. The question is no longer just, 'How would I survive?' it also becomes, 'What would my dream power be?'

So what would your dream power be?

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