Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Niki Koss, Zachary Gordon, Elizabeth Posey, Travis Burns, Blaine Kern III, Olivia Sui, Emrhys Cooper, Nazanin Mandi, Adrienne Wilkinson, Lou Ferrigno Jr.
Written by: Jacob Johnston
Directed by: Jacob Johnston
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 108
Date: 03/05/2021
IMDB

Dreamcatcher (2021)

1 Star (out of 4)

Thick Spin

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Shallow and all surface, the not-scary, inert, nonsensical, and far too long "horror" movie Dreamcatcher offers nothing new and seems to have been made by people whose chief interest was posing for the camera.

To start, a woman is killed by a masked figure. Then we meet Pierce (Niki Koss) and Jake (Zachary Gordon), best friends since childhood, watching horror movies on a Friday night. Pierce's sister Ivy (Elizabeth Posey) and her friend Brecken (Emrhys Cooper) arrive, and Ivy is sporting tickets to a huge underground music festival, Cataclysm," where the rising star DJ Dreamcatcher (Travis Burns) will be playing.

At the festival, Pierce meets the star (real name Dylan) and gets an invite to his dressing room, where he gives her a hallucinogenic drug. This results in a tragic accident, and Dylan's agent Josephine (Adrienne Wilkinson) offers to pay them all off if they stay quiet. But even as they try to figure out what to do, that killer comes back into the picture.

Not to be confused with the 2003 Stephen King movie adaptation of the same name, this Dreamcatcher is a slog, filled from top to bottom with incomprehensible shaky-cam cinematography and weird dialogue (both overwritten and underwritten) calls attention to itself with lines like "I can feel the fracturing beneath my skin" or "I tripped into some bushes" (one character's explanation of mysterious cuts and bruises).

Attempts to quote Shakespeare and a reference to Faust can't make up for dumb moments lifted from innumerable other movies, including a character divulging sensitive information on the phone while her back is turned, and another character comes up behind her and hears it. The actors seem game, but they don't have much to do when the characters can't even muster up a little sadness or mourning when their friends begin dying.

Overall, Dreamcatcher seems to have been an attempt to merge a serial killer story with the music industry, and some kind of message about the price of fame, but it ends up being more about a distasteful lust for fame.

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