The third entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series benefits from a bigger budget, a widened scope, and the participation of some notable talent. Wes Craven returned to work on the screenplay, joined in the long run by Frank Darabont, Bruce Wagner, and Chuck Russell, whose direction brings a new slickness to the series. In future entries, this would prove a problem, but ANOES 3 benefits, its bigger special-effects budget allowing it to push the series closer to outright surrealism than ever before. The film's memorable collection of damaged characters helps as well, with Robert Englund's bogeyman operating as an objective correlative to their already abundant fears. Not counting the post-modern coda of Wes Craven's New Nightmare, this is hands down the best Nightmare movie after the original. It would also set a pattern for each of its successors to follow (to lesser effect), with each new entry assembling a similar band of intrepid, troubled teens and revealing a little more of Freddy's origins before assigning him a less-than-final end.