By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Awful, gory serial killer movie set in music world.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie seems to want to talk about the pitfalls of fame and the power that comes with it, but it's too enamored of fame to do any kind of meaningful deconstruction.
Positive Role Models
All of the characters are shallow and empty.
Violence & Scariness
Blood and gore, blood spurts. Masked killer smashes a woman's head, stomps on her face. Killer stabs woman. Woman stabs herself with knife. Killer strangles man with shower curtain. Characters hit with crowbar. More stabbing. Gun and shooting. Character hit with gun. Creepy imagery during "spirit quest," with a person pushing thumb into flesh. Blood running from mouths as couple kisses. Mysterious figure beaten with a baseball bat. Horror movie on TV. Woman slaps man on face. Shoving.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Underwear-clad characters kiss; one says "I wanna f--k." More kissing. Shirtless males. One character mentions a casual sexual relationship with another ("no commitment"). Mention of birth control. Women in skimpy outfits. Mention of chlamydia. Mention of "finger banging."
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Frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "c--k," "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "d--k," "puss," "goddamn," "piss," "circle-jerking," "porn," "slut," and "Jesus" (used as exclamation), "swear to God," "for the love of God," and "oh my God."
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Products & Purchases
Mentions of Trader Joe's and Target. Mention of SpongeBob.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters take hallucinogenic pills and experience a "spirit quest." Cocaine snorting. Character drinks a glass of wine; she says "I like to stay perpetually buzzed." Drinking in club. Some characters get very drunk. Brief cigarette smoking. Mentions of speed and peyote.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dreamcatcher is a horror movie about a masked killer on the loose amidst the world of DJs and underground music. It's poorly made, frustratingly shallow, and not scary. But it does have blood, gore, and lots of murder victims. People are shot, stabbed, strangled with a shower curtain, and hit with a crowbar. A woman's face is stomped in. There are creepy images during a "spirit quest," and people kiss with blood running from their mouths. Other scenes show kissing, too, as well as characters in their underwear, women in skimpy outfits, shirtless males, and sex-related dialogue. Language includes many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus many other words. Characters take hallucinogenic pills, snort cocaine, and drink/get very drunk (a character says she likes to stay "perpetually buzzed"). Other drugs are mentioned.
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
In DREAMCATCHER, a woman is shown being killed by a masked figure. We then meet Pierce (Niki Koss) and Jake (Zachary Gordon), best friends since childhood, as they watch horror movies on a Friday night. Pierce's sister, Ivy (Elizabeth Posey), and her friend Brecken (Emrhys Cooper) arrive, and Ivy has tickets to a huge underground music festival called Cataclysm, where 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, the killer comes back into the picture.
Is It Any Good?
Shallow and all surface, this not-scary, nonsensical, and far too long "horror" movie offers nothing new and seems to have been made by people whose chief interest was posing for the camera. Not to be confused with the 2003 Stephen King adaptation of the same name, this Dreamcatcher is a slog that's filled from top to bottom with incomprehensible shaky-cam cinematography and strange dialogue (both overwritten and underwritten) that 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 that feel lifted from innumerable other movies, including a character divulging sensitive information on the phone when her back is turned to another character, who 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 start dying. Overall, Dreamcatcher seems to have been an attempt to merge a serial killer story with the music industry while offering some kind of message about the price of fame, but it ends up being more about a distasteful lust for fame.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Dreamcatcher's violence. How did it make you feel? Could the story have been told without it?
How is sex depicted? Why is Pierce determined to have meaningless flings rather than a real relationship? What values are imparted?
Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of scary movies? Why do people sometimes like to be afraid?
What does the movie have to say about fame? What are the plusses and minuses? Why do you think people want to be famous?
How are alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs depicted? Are they glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?
- On DVD or streaming: March 5, 2021
- Cast: Niki Koss, Zachary Gordon, Elizabeth Posey
- Director: Jacob Johnston
- Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Films
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 108 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: October 8, 2022
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