The return of Wes Craven to writing duties on the third installment of the ultra-successful Elm Street series made this film almost as good as the first, and established Freddy Krueger as the horror icon of the 1980s. This was a massive hit when it came out, and actually featured two major (future) major stars in its cast line-up, including Patricia Arquette (playing the lead damsel in distress) and Laurence Fishburne (as an orderly in a mental ward)
Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy in the first film, returns to give advice to the latest crop of teens going up against Krueger (Englund), the spirit who kills kids by entering their dreams. The kids are housed in a mental institution. Once again, writer Craven hints that Krueger may just be a symbol for the demons that afflict all young people. Most of these kids come from dysfunctional homes. Nancy tries to convince her father (John Saxon) to help her combat the spirit of Krueger, whom he helped kill many years ago.
Excellent dream sequences, great make up, a stop-motion animation sequence at Freddy's grave, a suspenseful plot and good performances made this a near classic. Director Russell got his start from this movie, and went on to helm big-budget movies such as "Eraser" with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The next film in the franchise was also a big hit, although Arquette didn't return to reprise her role.