Dreamkatcher (2020) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Kerry Harris
Producers: Kerry Harris, Annie Stewart, Christian Taylor, Orian Williams
Writers: Kerry Harris, Dan V. Shea
Date Released: April 27, 2020 (USA)
Radha Mitchell as Gail
Henry Thomas as Luke
Finlay Wojtak-Hissong as Josh
Lin Shaye as Ruth
Jules Willcox as Becky
Joseph Bishara as Night Hag
Duncan Foster-Allen as Noah
J. Christian Ingvordsen as Deputy Sheriff
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Luke (Henry Thomas) brings his girlfriend Gail (Radha Mitchell) and his son Josh (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) to the house where he and his deceased wife used to live. During a hike with Gail, Josh finds Ruth’s (Lin Shaye) store and learns about “spirit traps.” Josh later steals a dreamcatcher in hopes of stopping his bad dreams, but it turns out that the dreamcatcher awakens something evil. Josh starts to become devoured by sinister thoughts – including killing Gail.
Despite death being an important component, the movie does not have a lot of disgusting gore. It shows some scenes that involve blood and an axe, but they are not too graphic. Josh’s dreams may show the image of his mother all bloody and ghastly, but they’re not too gory – you can totally watch the whole scene with your eyes open.
The Grave Review
Lin Shaye has definitely made a name for herself in the horror movie industry, and with that, I noticed that several horror movies would have her in the cast in – I assume – an attempt to have higher ratings. Some of those movies, however, are still not able to give us the kind of horror that we expect. Luckily for Dreamkatcher (2020), it gives us what we expect and more. Shaye was absolutely outstanding, and her talent was paired with good writing and direction. Not only was she a remarkable asset to the story – but the other actors also did a great job in portraying their respective characters.
I’ve seen Henry Thomas in other horror productions, and despite not having a lot of exposure in Dreamkatcher, he did a good job as Josh’s (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) dad. Speaking of Josh, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong also performed well in this movie. It’s not easy being a young character in horror movies, but Wojtak-Hissong gave us the right mix of sweet and peculiar – a mix that not all children in horror movies are able to give. Radha Mitchell, who portrayed Josh’s dad’s girlfriend and had a lot of exposure, also showed us that she deserved that role.
As a horror movie lover, I was ecstatic to see Joseph Bishara’s name in the credits. Just like Shaye, Bishara has made a name for himself in the industry, and it’s truly an honor to see and hear his work again.
One thing I noticed about the movie is the way it uses the technique of having a recurring sound as a sign that something is going to happen. At the start of the movie, before Josh’s mother’s (Jules Willcox) death, we hear snapping twigs. We hear that sound again when Gail and Josh are alone. I take that as some sort of hint about what could happen to Gail – and a clever one at that. The sound of snapping twigs has become an iconic factor in the story.
Going back to Lin Shaye, I think one of her magic is how you can’t know whether her character is good or bad until the story progresses. Once her character makes her intentions clear, her performance becomes even better. That’s why having her in a horror movie is exciting. As for Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, one of my takeaways is this: Kids as antagonists are definitely creepy.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Dreamkatcher (2020) three graves out of five graves.
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