DREAMCATCHER

HOME STEPHEN KING REVIEWS FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies Kelly Parks Review by
Kelly Parks
Dreamcatcher
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
DREAMCATCHER
NOVEL REVIEW
DREAMCATCHER - 2003
Castle Rock / Warner Bros.
Ratings: USA: Rated R

Stephen King…is CURSED! Mwah ha ha ha!

And by that I mean he's been cursed - at least so far - to have his excellent scary novels made into bad movies about half of the time. I say that as a fan. I enjoy his work and two of his novels are in my top ten favorite books of all time (Curious? They are 'SALEM'S LOT and PET SEMETARY). I haven't read DREAMCATCHER, however, so I saw the movie with no preconceptions. Was it scary and cool or is it more evidence of my curse theory?

The movie was directed by Lawrence Kasdan (BODY HEAT) and written for the screen by Mr. Kasdan and William Goldman (MARATHON MAN, THE STEPFORD WIVES, MISERY, THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS), based, of course on the novel by Stephen King.

The story opens as therapist Henry Devlin (Thomas Jane: DEEP BLUE SEA) listens to a very fat patient describe an eating binge. Henry tells the patient that he's eating himself to death because he feels guilty about causing his mother's death, an event Henry proceeds to describe in impossible detail. The patient is freaked out by the telepathic therapy session and runs for the door.

This event makes Henry take a revolver from his desk and place the gun to his head. Only a well-timed phone call stops Henry from ending his life.

The call is from Henry's friend Jonesy (Damian Lewis), something Henry knew before he picked up the phone (WITHOUT caller ID! Spooky!). They discuss an upcoming weekend get together.

Jonesy is a school counselor and exhibits similar psychic abilities in his next counseling session with a student. Who are these guys?

We meet a third friend named Pete (Timothy Olyphant: SCREAM 2), a car salesman who helps a woman find her lost keys by psychic means. He asks her out afterwards but his bizarre talent has left her more frightened than grateful.

Finally, we meet Beaver (Jason Lee: DOGMA) the fourth of this group of guys who've been friends since grade school in Derry, Maine (a town prominent in several Stephen King stories). Beaver calls Jonesy and warns him to be careful, but he doesn't know of what. Shortly afterward Jonesy is in a near fatal car wreck.

All of this is intriguing and well done. You really want to know more about these guys and their odd abilities. The story jumps to a cabin in the woods six months later. Jonesy is almost healed from his injuries and the four buddies have gathered for a weekend of hunting and hiking. They do come across as four old friends, with all their inside jokes and "you remember the time…" stories. It would have been a fun, relaxing weekend if it wasn't for the crashed UFO.

Yeah, you read that right. Now at first it's kinda cool. A lost hunter stumbles up to their cabin. He has an odd infection and a serious gas problem but the source of this problem is something so much like the movie Alien that the characters here actually acknowledge the reference and call the infection "Ripley", after Sigourney Weaver's best known character (although instead of chest explosions these parasites exit through an existing orifice. No, the other one).

Dreamweaver
ACTING!!!

At this point another storyline starts involving crazed Colonel Abraham Kurtz (Morgan Freeman: SE7EN, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS) and his right hand man Captain Owen Underhill (Tom Sizemore: THE RELIC). Colonel Kurtz (that name sounds familiar…) leads a special unit of E.T. hunters, protecting the human race from these diseased invaders. Wow, it sure is incredibly lucky that these interstellar travelers chose to attack us at the moment in history when we just barely had enough technology to hold them off. I mean the odds must be so incredibly, astronomically against such perfect timing that one would be tempted to say it's rather poorly thought out.

Similar questions abound in the later half of this film. Plot points are continually based on flimsy explanations that don't bear close scrutiny. We learn a variety of things about evil aliens and about how the four friends got their powers when they were young boys and saved a retarded boy named Duddits from a group of bullies. Duddits was gifted in other ways and as an adult is played (in what amounts to a cameo) by Donnie Wahlberg (THE SIXTH SENSE).

I did like how the Greys from modern UFO mythology are portrayed as evil. I don't believe in aliens or UFO's but movies that use these ideas and then show the aliens as good and benevolent annoy me. If they were real then they are evil by definition because they experiment on people against their will. Just ask the Nazi's.

But enough about history. Let's talk about a

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
If you had advanced space travel and the kind of quick spreading fungus / bio-weapon shown here, it would be a simple matter to seed the upper atmosphere with it and rain it down all over the Earth (a-la INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS - Feo). The conquest these aliens seem bent on would happen quickly and without firing a shot. Proof, perhaps, that just because someone comes from a culture with more advanced technology doesn’t mean they’re automatically very smart.

And while we're at it, how about a

THE UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT:
To avoid potential spoilers here, go to THE UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT/Dreamcatcher page there, for more info. Beware! The Unfair Racial Cliche Alert has spoilers!

I'd also like to take one further moment to speak directly to Stephen King.

Dreamcatcher Fight
OH GROSS, YOU TWO! THERE WAS NO SOCK ON THE DOOR! WE AGREED ABOUT THE SOCK!

It's presumptuous of me to offer him unasked for advice and his career will be fine whether he listens to me or not, but I'm going to say this anyway: Stephen, you suck at science fiction.

I know you like to dabble in it now and then but you simply don't have the background or the know-how to write about aliens in any decent suspension-of-disbelief kind of way. You're great at horror and thriller and creating memorable characters and most writers will never be as good as you no matter how hard they try, but that doesn't mean you are able to write about anything. To write decent science fiction you have to at least have a clue about the science.

And speaking of science, it's time for me to do some math. Adding up the points for the good first half and then taking away points for the hokey mess in the second half, I come up with a total of two shriek girls for DREAMCATCHER.

BONUS REVIEW: THE ANIMATRIX
By the way, during the previews shown before DREAMCATCHER you’ll see an excellent animated short (in some major theaters) called THE ANIMATRIX: Flight of the Osiris (as in "The Animated Matrix"). This CGI animation takes place in the same universe as THE MATRIX and is sexy, cool and very much worth the price of admission just to see it on the big screen. In fact, here’s my recommendation: Buy a ticket for DREAMCATCHER, see THE ANIMATRIX, then leave the theater and go rent a good movie.

Shriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Bookmark and Share Dreamcatcher (2003) on IMDb

Return to Movies

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

DVD


BOOK


TRIVIA

Stephen King has gone on record concerning DREAMCATCHER (the movie) calling it "A train wreck."

Read Monica O'Rourke's book review of
DREAMCATCHER.

Visit
The Official
Stephen King
Website

 

FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
Willow Blue
from the author of PERPETUAL BULLET.


PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet Paperback
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

ALSO
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
appears in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and copyright 1997 - 2015 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.
I will take you home...