Dreamcatcher (2003) Movie Review
Written By: TJ
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Producers: Lawrence Kasdan, Charles Okun, Mark Kasdan
Writers: William Goldman, Lawrence Kasdan
Date Released: March 21, 2003
Morgan Freeman as Col. Abraham Curtis
Damian Lewis as Jonesy
Thomas Jane as Henry
Timothy Olyphant as Pete
Jason Lee as Beaver
Donnie Wahlberg as Duddits
Tom Sizemore as Owen
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Young Henry, Jonesy, Pete, and Beaver saves a strange kid named Duddits from the hands of bullies gaining them their fifth friend at the center of their circle. Duddits makes their friendship stronger by conveying an uncanny power to the group which enables them to communicate telepathically. Twenty years later, the four men reunites for an annual hunting trip when unexpected turn of events began to happen. Now, they are faced with an unparalleled horror including a parasitic alien and the best solution they can see behind the maddening blizzard is to find their fifth friend, Duddits.
Dreamcatcher doesn’t give much gore aside from the disgusting physical appearance of the aliens and some scenes involving them coming out of people’s buttocks. I do commend the effort for the special effects and computer-generated imagery, however as someone who gives attention to detail, you will see minor deficiencies in the editing. The prosthetics and/or makeup are convincing enough to convey the idea that there is swelling and infection on a person. To set expectations, you wouldn’t see mutilated bodies or a carnage. This film is more on the science fiction side rather than its horror genre.
The Grave Review
Alien invasion films are common for a science fiction/horror genre. Given that, any film attempting to have this kind of theme should think about something that would make theirs stand out or even just be different from the generics. Dreamcatcher (2003) did not achieve either of that.
Considering that it’s an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same title, I expected more from the execution of the film. Rather, it was composed of half-baked clichés and a mishmash of redundancy, imitation, and military actions for a save-the-world mumbo jumbo as its ending. The attempt to make it comedic just adds to the genre leakage that the film has already accomplished to portray.
To be fair, the performance of the actors were well-done. If they are doing what they are asked to do, then they did a good job. These actors need to act afraid of something that isn’t really there or isn’t actually fearsome (thus the props for the “alien” or the CGI), but they somehow pulled it off. Other than that, no one really stood out or moved my emotions. I’ve always liked Morgan Freeman as an actor. Seeing him in this film kind of gives me an idea that he’s warning me when he said, “Even I don’t trust my judgment anymore”. Similarly, Damian Lewis played his dual roles well, both as an “alien” and as a normal person.
Since we are talking about emotions, the only thing I felt while watching this film is confusion. Dreamcatcher (2003) started out strong by piquing my interest at psychological approach, thus the telepathy and the use of a huge room as symbolism for Jonesy’s memory storage. As the film goes on, I’m left with a lot of questions but I can’t think of an answer right away because there’s also a lot happening on the film that I need to follow. One of these questions is what does the title have to do with the plot of the film?
Dreamcatcher (2003) tried so hard to put everything on a single film that it ends up accomplishing very little. One important thing that this film has taught me though, is that friendship goes beyond time and race. Whether it’s been decades or whether you’re from another dimension, friendship remains through and through.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Dreamcatcher (2003) one grave out of five graves.
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