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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Dreamcatcher (2003)



Reviews and Comments

Dreamcatcher is a film adaptation of a Stephen King novel. The only other thing many of you want from a critic is this: no, it's not a very faithful adaptation of the story. But the changes retain the feel of a King story. For King fans that do not require a purely faithful adaptation and who don't mind the inescapable condensation that comes with filming a novel, Dreamcatcher is probably your thing.

That leaves the rest of us. I'm pretty on the fence with this movie, and I'm not even entirely sure why. I had seen a lot of negative reviews going in, but I liked most of this film and found much of it to be, if not scary, suspenseful. Director Lawrence Kasdan balances tension and plot turns nicely; the film sort of falls into a pattern of following suspense scenes involving the unknown with expository scenes explaining things. It seems to work. One thing I liked is that the plot never devolves into a standard creature feature, where, once all the characters realize what threat is out there, they spend the next hour running away from it. We're always learning something new. The game is always changing, right up to the end.

But, I dunno. When the credits started rolling, something didn't taste right. Despite the film's excellence of craft, I was wondering exactly what had been accomplished. Some suspense and creativity, sure, and sometimes that's all I need from a movie. I guess Dreamcatcher is so assaulting with noise, gore, and slimy CGI beasties that it should have achieved more to justify it.