Dreamcatcher (2003)


Ebert:1/2 Rolling Stone: TV Guide:

Warning, minor plot points revealed!

Stephen King movies usually fall into one of two categories: "excellent" (The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, Carrie, Misery, etc.) and "horrrible" (Cujo, Thinner, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, etc.)  There are not too many that fall in between.  I would place Dreamcatcher in the "excellent" category.  The reviews for this film have been ridiculously harsh.  It seems like every reviewer in America was in a bad mood last week when they screened this film.  Perhaps the real-life horror of our "Shock and Awe" war campaign against Iraq is more entertaining to some than the fictional horror of a cool and gory alien monster movie?  Whatever the reason, their heart or their shoes, the reviewers hate Dreamcatcher, so ignore their reviews!

Of course if you're squeamish (ie. chicken) about gory, disgusting, alien monster movies you may not want to watch this film.  I loved it but, as we all know, alien monster movies are my bag, baby!  

Dreamcatcher tells the story of four young friends who perform a heroic act - and are changed forever by the uncanny powers they gain in return. Years later, on their annual hunting trip to the Maine woods, they are visited by a blizzard,  "infected" strangers, a "Men in Black" type psychotic military commander hell bent on destroying all those "infected" as well as the cause and vector of the "infection."  They confront an unparalleled horror, and are forced into a fight whose outcome holds the very fate of the world.

Honestly, how can a movie with that story line be bad?  It can't be, and is not!  It's great and fun and scary and exciting and cool.  That's what it is!  

All the actors do a fine job.  Damian Lewis, is relatively unknown as an actor, but does a fabulous job as the main character Gary 'Jonesy' Jones.  His split personality performance is excellent.  Thomas Jane and Jason Lee do a great job as well.  Jason Lee used to be a pro skate-boarder and is often featured in Kevin Smith films so he has the advantage of already being an actor that I really like.  Tom Sizemore, a veteran of Oliver Stone films, does an great job as well.  Donnie Wahlberg is unrecognizable in his role as the mysterious catalyst for the group of friends and does a good job with the role.  And then there's one of America's finest actors - Morgan Freeman.  For this and this alone I agree with the reviewers.  Morgan Freeman is wasted in this movie.  It is not a film for an actor of his caliber.  He does a fine job as always but this is a performance he should probably leave off his resume'.  

The special effects in the movie offer the full spectrum from really good to really bad.  Some of the alien effects are weak but then others are excellent.  My favorite effects sequence is the helicopter assault and my least favorite is the final alien fight at the end of the film.  Stephen King movies with monster effects almost always employ a substandard special effect during the finale (The Stand, It) so I suppose it wasn't really a surprise that this film continued that tradition.  

Dreamcatcher is a good Stephen King movie.  I love the horror sci-fi genre so perhaps my review is biased but the mainstream reviewers are, once again, completely wrong.  Go see Dreamcatcher and have fun.  Cause that's what it's all about.

Fun Fact:  Before Dreamcatcher begins they are screening the short animated film The Animatrix: Final Flight of the OsirisThis alone is worth the price of admission!