In Dreams (1999) / Thriller-Fantasy
MPAA Rated: R for violence/terror and language
Running Time: 100 min.
Cast: Annette Bening, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Guilfoyle
Director: Neil Jordan
Screenplay: Bruce Robinson, Neil Jordan (based on the novel, "Doll's Eyes", by Bari Wood)
Review published February 15, 1999
A psychic New England writer (Bening, Mars Attacks!) becomes haunted by dreams of upcoming murders by a serial killer who is hunting down little girls. It hits close to home when her own daughter becomes his next victim. Things get even worse when she realizes that not only are her dreams becoming reality, but that the killer is controlling them, making her see all of the gruesome details of his deeds. No one believes her and even throw her in a looney bin, where she is powerless to stop him from killing even more.
Two hours of grueling root canal without an anesthetic would be more enjoyable than this unbelievable overwrought trauma-fest. No words can express the vast regret I feel in having ever seen this vile and totally unredeemable film by Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire, The Crying Game).
Granted, the movie features quality actors, with Bening in particular giving a terrific performance, even if she's otherwise unappealing. Jordan definitely delivers in the directing department, with some viscerally haunting images. But the subject matter is so putrid that it was never going to be watchable, no matter what the quality of the talent.
I cannot believe this film was ever green-lit by Dreamworks and do not understand how any of the participants wanted to be part of such a depressing and disgusting horror flick like this. If slaughtered children, dogs eating human faces, and people stabbing and torturing each other is your idea of entertainment, you may have a grand old time with this one. The 99.9% of the rest of humanity would be far better off saving your money, two hours of your life, and whatever good mood you may be in before watching this film.
So abominably depressing, it may be responsible for a surge in the amount of people swinging from the rafters across the country. Guaranteed to sap you of your will to live.
©1999 Vince Leo