Sci-Fi Thriller
Dir: Lawrence Kasdan
Star: Thomas Jane, Damian Lewis, Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Lee
Cert / Year: 15 - R / 2003
Format: DVD R2

A group of four boys decide to investigate a disused warehouse and find a boy, Duddits, stripped to his underwear being persecuted by three older boys. The four friends stand up to the bullies and force them to leave. In return for helping him, Duddits gives each of the boys a ‘special’ psychic gift and telepathic powers forming a strong bond between them. Things start to get interesting when, some 20 years later, one of the group has a near fatal road accident. When they get together for their annual meeting in an isolated forest cabin, they know there is trouble brewing when a storm hits and they see all the animals moving as one through the forest....

Yet another Stephen King book adapted for the big screen, but does it live up to Misery, Needful Things and Carrie, or does it deserve to be thrown into the scrap pile with It and the Tommy Knockers?

Dreamcatcher is a watchable film that is entertaining but nothing special. The story is jam-packed with ‘interesting angles’ including a storm, an isolated cabin, psychic abilities, aliens and covert military forces, but maybe there are a little too many for just one film so it loses its identity. However, this does mean that there is something for everyone, suspense, horror and action.

There are a few pointless elements to the film, including the dreamcatcher itself. The dreamcatcher appears to symbolise the unity of the group of lads, including Duddits, but plays no other significant role, and the same can be said for the constant references to "SSDD", fairly pointless really. They don’t detract from the story though, so no harm done.

If you are a bit squeamish, make sure you have been to the toilet before watching this film. The toilet is central to one of the most gruesome scenes of the film with a lot of anal-action the line between alien invasion and anal invasion is blurred at times, so be warned. That said, the horror element of the film will not be scary to the more hardened horror fan. I liked the way that they referred to the alien infection as "Ripley", as a huge tip of the hat to the Alien movies, maybe naming one of the characters 'Jonesy' (the cat in the films) was also another nostalgic acknowledgment.

There are some very interesting visual representations of Jonesy’s mind, including a memory warehouse with its own incinerator for excess memories, and there are some excellent special effects / CGI, especially the attack on the alien ship. The aliens are not over-the-top and are more believable for it. Overall the film flows well although perhaps the ‘flatulent man’ scenes could have been trimmed.

Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) is excellent as Jonesy / Mr Gray showing great versatility in his dual role. There are also some good performances by Morgan Freeman, as a psychologically unstable commander of an alien-fighting covert military team, and Thomas Jane (Deep Blue Sea), as Henry. An interesting performance from emaciated odd bod Donnie Wahlberg, who is almost unrecognisable as a former "New Kid on The Block" and Mark Wahlberg’s elder brother.

Dreamcatcher is never going to be classic film, but it is entertaining. Not as good as Misery but much better than It!


Evil Slips Through


In the movies, when people wake up together in the morning, they immediately start kissing,
nuzzling and going at it, but what they never do is get up first, take a leak and brush their goddamn
teeth, which I don't think I'm alone in feeling is pretty much necessary when you wake up.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Picture 2.40 Widescreen Good crisp transfer
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Good mix but not pushed
Features Decent enough animated menu
'Dream Writer' - typically strange interview with Stephen King
'Dream Weavers' - Visual effects featurette
Lifted / Deleted scenes and original ending
Verdict Nothing really impressive or great value here

Rating: 2 out of 5

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