Starring: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, et al.
Director: Lawrence Kasdan

Format: Colour, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby

DVD Features: TV spot(s), Original ending and four other lifted scenes, three documentaries: an interview with Stephen King, the visual effects, and production, Widescreen anamorphic format


This is the first big budget Stephen King movie in a long time. (Quick, what was the previous one?)

To be honest King's horror material is better suited to B-movies, but here it is given the A-treatment with lavish special effects and Morgan Freeman. Unfortunately it is a derivative affair that would seem over familiar to anyone who has seen The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Also, as soon as the alien invader plot kicks in (it starts promisingly involving a mystery about boyhood friends with shared telepathic gift) Dreamcatcher becomes a rather predictable by the numbers movie. Also, it's quite gory and features some fart jokes which simply do not work out. So if you're easily offended or squeamish, stay far and away.

Things I have learned from watching this movie: alien body snatchers have a swish upper class British accent. (Just what is it with that in any case? Isn't it bad enough that most villains in American movies are usually Eurotrash-types, a trend started by the very Germanic Hans in Die Hard, now alien monsters also sound non-American . . .)

THE DISC: Of most interest on the DVD are the deleted scenes (or ?lifted? scenes as the menus call them) and the original ending. While it obvious why the original ending was dropped (it is even more anticlimactic than the one used), it would have been nice to have some kind of director's commentary on why particular scenes were used and others weren't.

And whether these scenes appeared in King's book. Well, not having read the book, I was curious about whether King actually wrote the book this poorly or whether it was the film-makers? fault.

The short (eight minutes or so) special effects featurette is also interesting in that it shows one where CGI was used and where it wasn't. You'd be surprised.

The interview with Stephen King is also interesting although one would have liked to know how his opinion of his books did change ? and how he feels about particular titles today. (In the interview King states that reading his own novels years later feels as if he's reading someone else's work.)

WORTH IT? Perhaps not the worst Stephen King adaptation, Dreamcatcher could have been quite interesting, but doesn't deliver. Hands up those of you who would have preferred a solid sci-fi piece about how a group of boyhood friends sharing a telepathic gift cope and survive instead of a bog-standard alien invasion movie?

RECOMMENDATION: Skip it and rather check out Tremors instead . . .



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