More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
2.44

Awesome: 6.78%
Worth A Look: 18.08%
Average: 25.42%
Pretty Bad: 11.86%
Total Crap37.85%

12 reviews, 105 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Search for Weng Weng, The by Jay Seaver

Creep (2014) by Jay Seaver

Kundo: Age of the Rampant by Jay Seaver

Guardian (2014) by Jay Seaver

As Above, So Below by Jay Seaver

November Man, The by Jay Seaver

Hana-Dama: The Origins by Jay Seaver

Creeping Garden, The by Jay Seaver

Seventh Code by Jay Seaver

Me and You by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed


Dreamcatcher
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Brian McKay

"Some intriguing ideas, but a bit of a mess - just like the novel"
3 stars

Well, I have to hand it to Director Kasdan and writer Goldman for trying. Stephen King's DREAMCATCHER is certainly not the easiest sort of thing to adapt to the big screen. There are just far too many elements that King manages to pull off on the printed page with his quirky and unique style, but which stammer and clunk to a halt on film.

God, my head hurts already trying to think up a brief, but concise, plot synopsis for this sometimes gripping but generally bloated story. Deep breath, here goes.

Four grown men (played by Thomas Jane, Damien Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, and Jason Lee) have been friends since childhood. The main thing that binds them together is a "gift" they share - a mixed bag of limited psychic abilities and telepathy. They recieved this gift from a young boy with Downs syndrome named Douglas (but who pronounces his name "Duddits"), who they rescued from the local town bullies as children. Why they would have these powers transferred to them by this young man is never clearly explained in the book, and is explained ludicrously at the end of the film.

Twenty years after befriending Duddits, the four friends take a hunting trip up to their cabin in the woods. Before they can even bag their first deer, weird shit starts going down. All the animals flee in terror, because (repeat with me) THE ANIMALS ALWAYS KNOW FIRST! God I'm sick of this trite horror film convention - although I begrudgingly admit that the scene with the deer fleeing along side of the bears and the bunny rabbits is pretty cool.

Shortly thereafter, armed helicopters start flying overhead with warnings of "quarantine" and "infection". People are being rounded up, having become infected with a reddish alien skin fungus. The four friends become caught up in some bad mojo that involves a psychotic general (Morgan Freeman, horribly miscast), An alien crash-landing, a parasitic alien infection, and some lovely little creatures known in the film's common vernacular as "shit weasels". These little back-door buddies like to enter through the exit, then take over their hosts. They are fairly vile and repulsive creatures, and the scenes involving them can be rather unnerving.

It's hard to say at what point that Dreamcatcher goes wrong. It could be the corny dialogue exchanged between the four friends, which read okay on the page but sounds stilted and awkward when actually spoken by human beings. Jason Lee (who, sadly, still hasn't broken his streak of mediocre to bad movies here) manages to make the best of it by pulling out some laughs with lines like "This is a real fuckaroo". For the most part, though, it just doesn't work. Neither does trying to develop all of these characters and provide them with ample back-history, save for a few flashbacks in the tired (and yes, I meant to say tired) but true Stand by Me formula.

Another reason the film fails is that there is no way to effectively portray the internalized struggle between the character of Jonesey (Damian Lewis) and the alien parasite that has taken over his body. Why does the fucking alien talk with a clipped British accent that makes him sound about as menacing as Jeeves the butler? Why couldn't Jonesey have just talked to himself in a normal tone? Or perhaps the filmmakers thought that the average audience member would be too stupid to discern who was holding up which side of the conversation? (and considering the fact that Bringing Down the House has held the top box office spot for the past three weeks, maybe they're right). It just doesn't work, and neither does the visualization of Jonesey's "Memory Warehouse", a place where his memories are externalized as boxes full of files, and where his psyche hides out from the alien aggressor that has taken over his body. Again, this was a fairly cool concept on the page, but it just doesn't carry weight on the screen. The explanation of the whole "Memory Warehouse" idea will either seem too hamfisted, or prove too cerebral for the average audience member to grasp (indeed, it was at this point that the teenagers started fleeing the theater in droves, having obviously shown up only for the Matrix short).

Still, these flaws aside, Dreamcatcher manages to carry some momentum and deliver up a few laughs and scares before the whole thing starts to cave in on itself. The four leads try to make their characters work with hit and miss results. Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman looks ridiculous with his white-dyed hair and eyebrows, and the dialogue he spouts, while occasionally amusing, generally seems flat or silly. Tom Sizemore contributes little as his second in command with a conscience, and is swayed to go against his maniacal commander all too quickly.

But the worst thing of all is the ending. It remained a fairly faithful, if equally jumbled, adaptation up to that point. Then it turned into some kind of preposterous alien wrestlemania match. What the fuck were these guys thinking?

Some ideas are better left on the page, which is usually the case when it comes to King's novels. There were some fairly entertaining moments here and there, but it was doomed from the start by the inherent weaknesses of the source material. While I don't wish I'd walked out after seeing the MATRIX short, FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS, I am more than a bit disappointed that the high point of the DREAMCATCHER viewing experience came and went before the film's opening credits.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7336&reviewer=258
originally posted: 03/23/03 21:28:27
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

6/04/12 kriz scooby doo, the library and the people .. well those are just like in the book. 3 stars
4/18/11 nb decent movie. 5 stars
12/21/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Read the novel 2 stars
12/18/10 PAUL SHORTT UNINTERESTING SILLY HORROR 1 stars
6/19/09 Jess O The book is far better. It lacks the cheesy crap (See: ending of film), and explains more 4 stars
1/17/09 Shaun Wallner Very Stupid! 1 stars
7/30/08 chris f not a bad mvoie worth watching 4 stars
12/02/07 Leestu From a great book (really, it is) this could have been so much better. 4 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Stephen King adaption, that's like 'Alien'. But still, it's fun. 3 stars
11/05/06 Ronin I have to read the book. If people say it's much better than the movie... 3 stars
8/19/06 Michele the end of the book was better 3 stars
7/17/06 mark shit-the novel was one of King's best-but the movie...well you go see it 2 stars
3/31/06 Dorothy Drake I Loved it!! 5 stars
12/14/05 deadfishrman after the book it was pretty cool 4 stars
11/26/05 shell bell An ok movie, but nothing like the book 3 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Horrible. Why Jason Lee? Why? 1 stars
9/24/05 Blutarsky Say what? Were you high? C'mon admit it. You were. 1 stars
8/11/05 ES I'm so torn, part of me wants to love it the other thinks it was really bad 3 stars
7/10/05 susee nothin much in it..even to say y it sucked big time 1 stars
6/09/05 Darth Pigeon i liked the movie alot 4 stars
2/09/05 nannette ryan The movie was ok. It is a movie you would curl up with on a Sunday afternoon. 3 stars
2/01/05 Steve Newman Sad as I am I enjoyed - now to buy the book 4 stars
1/30/05 Littlepurch Good cast, lots of potential, promising start... so what the HELL happened?! 2 stars
1/14/05 Al Guy Wasn't awful, just not that good. 3 stars
11/08/04 lucas very very bad! 2 stars
10/29/04 Mark Louis Baumgart What a godawful piece of shit. Blame King, blame Martians, but it's worse than a root canal 1 stars
10/20/04 bridget williams The movie was good> I thought stephen king wrote it 5 stars
8/24/04 American Slasher Goddess Starts off good, then about 30 mins in, it totally falls apart. 1 stars
8/05/04 H.P. Lovecraft How DARE anyone connect this absurd geasy fart of a movie with my name! 1 stars
8/01/04 psychotic black dwarf jack-O says Lovecraft + Carpenter...add Clive Barker to account for shit-weasels & bingo! 1 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz ok 3 stars
7/11/04 Vince This tries to cram too many ideas, but still an enjoyable flick 4 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva What insanity made them change the ending 3 stars
4/26/04 Lord Jiggy Lame, sad, feeble. Waste of everyone's time, including the viewer. 1 stars
3/20/04 Jack-pyschO-Lantern More like the callobration of H.P. Lovecraft & John Carpenter, rather than Stephen King 3 stars
3/19/04 Cary Gordon Lost any impact it might have had in book form. Ending sucked most! 1 stars
3/17/04 alex I liked it 4 stars
3/17/04 HorrorMovieFan Anyone notice the Pennywise Lives sign in the sewer pipe. That might mean an IT 2 is around 2 stars
3/06/04 zaw waste of time 1 stars
2/27/04 Whatevr When I first saw this movie, I thought I lost 10 IQ points. 1 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge I'm sorry but Diddits rocked. Aliens coming out of peoples asses, Scooby Doo and worms. wee 4 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Unworthy of the book it destroyed Duddits 3 stars
1/31/04 Dr.Lecter Inbred dung beetles with Tourette's could make a better movie than this cinematic rimjob 1 stars
1/26/04 American Slasher Goddess Watchable stuff. 3 stars
1/23/04 pooh my pants bin man! duno i live in a bin i aint seen it 1 stars
1/20/04 Kristen Heinously stupid. the gun started ringing OMG aliens out of asses 1 stars
1/19/04 Lightbeing I have seen the movie yesterday. It SUCKS big time. No horror at all, more humor. 1 stars
1/17/04 J The beginning and the bathroom scene is cool! The rest is crap! ** out 4 3 stars
1/14/04 Bastian Loved it 4 stars
1/05/04 tricky dick this is the worst form of public entertainment since christians were fed to the lions!!! 1 stars
1/02/04 Jack You will not believe how bad this movie is. It makes no sense. The ending is shit. 1 stars
12/19/03 KingNeutron Worst movie of 2003 for me. 0 stars. Demanded my money back. 1 stars
12/09/03 Suzee Yanez It wasn't that bad. If you can follow it, it is fairly interesting. Un urm ill urld. 3 stars
12/08/03 lilcutie an okay film 3 stars
11/23/03 Julie Swenson HORRIBLE!!! HORRIBLE!!! Even MORE horrible than horrible. A Root-Canal of a Movie!! 1 stars
11/23/03 J I saw it. Only the beginning its but the rest is crap. ** out of **** 3 stars
11/12/03 Phil M. Aficionado Fell asleep. But the movie was a nightmare anyway, no big deal to snooze 2 stars
10/20/03 Horrific Honestly, this is the worst goddamn movie I've seen in some time. Makes NO sense whatever. 1 stars
10/19/03 Lord Jiggy Not as bad as most claimed, decent actors working hard with little support from script. 3 stars
10/17/03 Toadvine Its like Cujo. Except the dog is a shit worm. 3 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant Does for taking shits what taking shits does for taking shits. 1 stars
10/07/03 KingNeutron Sucked all ass. I walked out after an hour and demanded my money back. 1 stars
10/03/03 Timmy GREAT 5 stars
10/02/03 othree lack luster, cliche, was better left in print 2 stars
10/01/03 Mickey With A C Sucks!Sucks!Sucks!Sucks!Sucks!Sucks! 1 stars
9/23/03 Ricky Good movie 5 stars
9/18/03 Noacat I unevquiocally hate this movie and all those associated with it. 1 stars
8/20/03 james good actors + s. king = FUCKING TERRIBLE 1 stars
6/14/03 Alice This is a real teaser. Pretends to be good in the beginning and then totaly rips you off !! 2 stars
5/27/03 Rocky pretty good 3 stars
5/23/03 Danni Not bad, but final flight of the osiris is better 3 stars
5/23/03 The Lurchprong Splitter The coherent 30% of it is good but too interspersed with the rest. Morgan Freeman wasted. 2 stars
5/03/03 Mopsa I enjoyed myself very much. The boys were all great! 4 stars
4/29/03 scott great 5 stars
4/20/03 Rataro oh my god, does this movie suck 1 stars
4/20/03 scream grear 5 stars
4/17/03 KingNeutron Sucked so bad I walked out after an hour and demanded a refund!! 1 stars
4/12/03 John Bale For Steven King fans, accurate version of book, except for nutbag ending. 4 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon This film is a real fuckaroo. . . which is bad. 2 stars
4/09/03 Mohamad Faisal This is a horrible movie...not! This is an excellent movie...not! You decide... 3 stars
4/08/03 Ponce This is by far the worst movie ever made, & Damian Lewis was absolutely motherfucking awful 1 stars
4/07/03 Jon I always like Morgan Freeman in movies, but he SUCKED in this one. Previews outdid movie =( 2 stars
4/07/03 Marjorie Damian Lewis was great! 5 stars
4/06/03 Duffins Donut somewhere in the middle of these ratings youll find the truth. imo it was too far fetched 2 stars
4/04/03 Ben Hollenbeck Acting, Dialogue, Story, Direction...all over-blown and horrible 1 stars
4/02/03 Elizabeth Hinojosa Too long, and I agree, miscasted. 2 stars
3/31/03 joe this reviewer is an idiot and so are all you awesome and worth a look people...horrible! 1 stars
3/31/03 Earl Dittman, Wireless Magazine Finally...a movie I didn't like! 1 stars
3/31/03 MrChri5 whats wrong with everyone? This is a very good movie but could be better. 4 stars
3/31/03 Jon Not as bad as some think it is, but not masterpiece either... 3 stars
3/30/03 HE grerat 5 stars
3/27/03 Obi Wan What happened? Started great, then flopped and where's the real ending? 3 stars
3/26/03 me Bob Grey: audience members would be too stupid 5 stars
3/25/03 Chicago Wolf Loved the movie especially because I did not read the book 5 stars
3/25/03 Blake great 5 stars
3/24/03 Caiphn Seemed pretty rushed. What a terrible ending. Could have been better. Freeman bad idea. 3 stars
3/24/03 Kefka Too many holes, and it didn't seem realistic (if you know what i mean) 2 stars
3/24/03 Cameron Slick An incoherent overlong creature feature 3 stars
3/23/03 scigamer Even Dreamcatcher can't compete with the god awful Daredevil as the worst this year 1 stars
3/23/03 scigamer Even Dreamcatcher can't compete with the god awful Daredevil as the worst this year 1 stars
3/23/03 JewBoy69 This movie is ass-dribble. Everyone in the theatre was laughing out loud at how bad it was! 1 stars
3/23/03 .Choadushouse. I loved the first hour. It had my mouth open in AWE. But the last hour SUCKED/lacked... 4 stars
3/23/03 Gravy fell apart in the last 30 min., worst ending EVER! Where's the bacon? 2 stars
3/22/03 Vicious Damian Lewis is really good, but the rest is odd without being noteworthy. 3 stars
3/20/03 Eric Holy good god!!! This movie was amazing. I laughed almost the entire time. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  21-Mar-2003 (R)
  DVD: 08-Feb-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-Apr-2003 (MA)




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2014, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast