Dreamcatcher (2003)

(In theaters, March 2003) Take a large blender, stuff in as many Stephen King novels you can, set everything to puree and let it spin. Then let the result rot for a few weeks and you’ll have the main elements of Dreamcatcher. The saving grace of the film is how it manages to polish a trash B-movie script that teeters on the edge of parody and -somehow- transform it in a horror film that looks as if it can fool some of the audience in thinking it’s actually any good. Gleefully mixing psychic powers, childhood friendships, evil aliens, explosive parasites, nutty soldiers and a large dose of phallic imagery, Dreamcatcher plays a lot like a drunken send-up of the Stephen King oeuvre. Alas, it never even seems to realize how ludicrous it is: Director Lawrence Kasadan puts a professional gloss over the whole production that visually sets it apart from most of the B-movie schlock out there. There are plenty of gory moments, CGI critters and yucky scenes, so all will not be lost for horror fans. But others may wince at the dialogue, the literal representations of elements so familiar to King’s symbolism and the atrocious ending. Dreamcatcher is seldom dull, but it’s even more rarely satisfying. Morgan Freeman is wasted, but his eyebrows turn in a memorable performance. In some ways, this film will be remembered –as a train wreck of a movie, a gloriously gonzo mishmash of ill-fitting parts and a liberal rip-offs of other works. It’s a bad film, but a spectacularly bad one.

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