HellsRider’s review published on Letterboxd:
Now this is what I am talking about! Taking place 6 years after the events of the first film, the movie opens with Kristen, played by Patricia Arquette, who experiences a nightmare thanks to Freddy Krueger. So much so that when the mother barges into her room, she sees that Kristen has slashed her wrist. Fearing that Kristen is having suicidal thoughts, the mother sends her to a psychiatric hospital where we meet the other kids. We find out that the other kids have been having similar nightmares and are deemed "survivors" and after another outburst from Kristen we see Nancy, from the first film, returning as an intern at the hospital. From here, we explore the threat becoming bigger, find out more about Freddy, and introduce a few elements that would stay with franchise going forward all the while Freddy messing with the kids one by one.
This is a welcome course correction from the second film and is the best of the first three films so far. Its more imaginative, despite some effects not looking great these days (see the skeleton fight at the end as an example), seeing Nancy again was great and going back to Freddy being a generational killer was interesting and finding out more about Freddy was good. We find out more about who he is from a mysterious nun who, as the film goes on, you can kinda figure out who she really is and provides a solution that may defeat Freddy once and for all. The threat of Freddy is becoming more noticeable as the psychiatrist, Neil, wants to help the kids and is helped by Nancy. The kids were also cool to follow as each of them have their own story and was easy to root for them. The movie introduces the idea of dream powers which can be used to combat Freddy which relate to a specific aspect for the kids like the kid that cannot walk wanting to walk or another kid wanting super strength as well as the drug hypnocil which would stay with the franchise and is used as another means to combat Freddy.
The movie goes by pretty quickly and is tight overall. Freddy does become more of the quippy Freddy most fans remember him by (What a rush) and him killing Zsa Zsa Gabor was funny in how they did that. As a result of this change, Robert Englund does a fantastic job again and makes Freddy more of a threat. His scares in the film are far more effective here like pulling out the veins of one of the kids so they are used as puppet strings or the famous TV kill. Its all good stuff that ties well with the first film to the point that it feels like the end of the story even if the movie ends with a somewhat cliffhanger as slasher films tended to do back then. Very much worth checking out!