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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


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Dreamcatcher
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by Scott Weinberg

"Gah! What happened!?!?"
2 stars

I should have seen it coming: a book I liked, a filmmaker I've always admired, a screenwriter I consider a God, a studio sometimes willing to support something new, and a cast of also-rans that can make or break a genre flick. And wouldn't you know it? Flick's a freakin' turkey! Argh!

I feel no shame in admitting that I adore the "old" Stephen King; the one who churned out book after book about haunted toasters, flammable preteens and automotive exorcisms. Of King's other work, there's the Dark Tower series (a compendium of twisted genius that I pray never earns a Hollywood Greenlight) and there's his new-age touchy-feely navel gazing nostalagizing. (Just made up a new word. Cool.)

King's Dreamcatcher was a half-and-half melange of both divisions; there's goopy gore and nefarious goings-on to titillate the horror mavens - plus there's that now-wearisome Stand By Me / Hearts in Atlantis / It "childhood friendships are quite literally magical even 25 years later" schpiel that's become King's trademark.

And what often works in print can thud miserably on a movie screen. Case in point: 'Story A' of Lawrence Kasdan's Dreamcatcher. Story A is a flashback tale of four young buddies who rescue a keening retarded boy from the clutches of bullies wielding poop. (Just for the sake of clarity, we'll call Story B the modern-day aliens-in-the-woods stuff, and Story C the wholly disposal Government Reaction to Alien Invasion the Audience Is Never Shown.) The old-fasioned kids (and their present-day incarnations) communicate in a series of corny old in-joke slang; this is meant to make them seem like endearingly old friends. What actually happens is this: audience members cringe at dialogue that hits their ears like broken glass.

Story B does indeed contain a few moments of goopy gloriousness that should have devoted Gorehounds briefly perking up in their seats - but if you happen to wake up and see anything onscreen that's NOT taking place inside a log cabin - feel free to fall back asleep.

But a few moments of wonderfully gory carnage (something that Larry Kasdan clearly knows very little about) aside, there's very little of intentional entertainment worth recalling. Morgan Freeman delivers arguably his worst performance EVER as a gruff military man destined to assassinate a hundred 'infected' Americans; Tom Sizemore seems neutered and lobotomized; Thomas Jane proves once and for all that he'll never have leading man chops; Jason Lee (saddled with awful prop specs) manages a few mild chuckles before his dispatch.

Proof positive that there's never a "sure thing" where upcoming movies are concerned, Dreamcatcher probably won't rank among my worst of the year. (A slick visual sensibility and a few alien attacks do count for something after all.) But if I were to come up with a list for the year's Most Disappointing Movies, I doubt any flick could bump this one from the #1 spot.

Perhaps it was the source material after all. Stephen King can write whatever he freakin' wants at this point in his career. Maybe in the future he could do Schmaltz in one book and Horror in another. I'd still read both, but I like my Horror Stuff undiluted by nostalgic glad-handing and forced Motown.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7336&reviewer=128
originally posted: 03/23/03 18:58:48
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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!
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USA
  21-Mar-2003 (R)
  DVD: 08-Feb-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-Apr-2003 (MA)




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