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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Tom Sizemore
Director: Lawrence Kasdan

Horror, gore, violence, aliens and lots of blood – DREAMCATCHER is the latest movie to be made based on a Steven King novel.

Four friends meet up every year in a log cabin in the woods. While two of the group go off for supplies the remaining pair get a houseguest, a man apparently lost and seemingly unwell with a large lump in his stomach. Soon the man starts bleeding everywhere and out pops an alien creature who proceeds to create havoc and cause as much bloodshed as possible enhanced for the camera by a snowy white landscape – red blood on white snow equals very gory viewing.

The other two guys out getting supplies also meet a stranger with a similar problem hence more blood in the snow. Now the four friends have something in common – a fifth friend who has given them all the ability to communicate by telepathy, a tool, which they now realise they were given to fight the invading aliens.

Also fighting the invading aliens, and apparently having done so for a number of years, is Colonel Curtis (Morgan Freeman) and his elite army unit. Their mission is to wipe out invading aliens and any living thing that may have come into contact with them.

There is a lot more detail going on in DREAMCATCHER than I want to go into here, in fact the film gets quite complicated at times but unfortunately the detail gets lost in an excuse to throw as much blood around as possible. The kind of demanding sci-fi audience that want complex, layered, three-dimensional storylines will hate the often clunky two-dimensional dialogue and although the alien special effects are very good the film gives the impression it’s a very expensively made B-movie. Conversely the elements of the audience who don’t mind the simplistic lines thrown around at will, and who are satisfied with a simple blood and guts horror will be straining to understand exactly what is going on in some scenes.

Also the film is like two movies stuck together both in style and it feels like it in length so a lot of patience is required but with little and predictable reward. I’m sure Steven King fans will flock to see this if only to see what’s been done with the story on the big screen but personally I would wait until it’s on TV and you see everything else on offer. Alternatively wait a few years and DREAMCATCHER could just become a cult classic on the B-movie festival type circuit.

2 out of 6 stars
But wait… there is a reason to catch this at your local first run multiplex. The theatrical release of DREAMCATCHER is showing with an eleven minute short called FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS, which is part of THE ANIMATRIX and being shown to get audiences primed for the two MATRIX sequels being released in 2003.