Dreamcatcher (2003 film)

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Dreamcatcher
Dreamcatcherposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Dreamcatcher
by Stephen King
Starring
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography John Seale
Edited by Carol Littleton
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • March 21, 2003 (2003-03-21)
Running time
134 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$68 million [2]
Box office$75.7 million [3]

Dreamcatcher is a 2003 American science fiction horror film based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William Goldman, the film stars Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis and Timothy Olyphant as four friends who encounter an invasion of parasitic aliens. Also starring Morgan Freeman, Tom Sizemore and Donnie Wahlberg.

Science fiction film film genre

Science fiction film is a genre that uses rtdspeculative, fictional science-based depictions of phenomena that are not fully accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial lifeforms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception and time travel, along with futuristic elements such as spacecraft, robots, cyborgs, interstellar travel or other technologies. Science fiction films have often been used to focus on political or social issues, and to explore philosophical issues like the human condition. In many cases, tropes derived from written science fiction may be used by filmmakers ignorant of or at best indifferent to the standards of scientific plausibility and plot logic to which written science fiction is traditionally held.

Horror film film genre

A horror film is a film that seeks to elicit fear for entertainment purposes. Initially inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley, horror has existed as a film genre for more than a century. The macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may also overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction, and thriller genres.

Stephen King American author

Stephen Edwin King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 58 novels and six non-fiction books. He has written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.

Contents

Dreamcatcher was released on March 21, 2003. The film received negative reviews and was a box office bomb, grossing $75.7 million against a $68 million budget. [2]

Plot

Jonesy, Beaver, Pete, and Henry are four friends on an annual hunting trip in Maine. As children, they all acquired telepathic powers which they call "the line" after saving a boy with disabilities named Douglas "Duddits" Cavell from bullies and befriending him.

Telepathy Fictional/magical phenomenon

Telepathy is the purported vicarious transmission of information from one person to another without using any known human sensory channels or physical interaction. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Frederic W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the earlier expression thought-transference.

One night, Jonesy sees Duddits beckoning him to cross the street, but as he does so Jonesy is hit by a car. His injuries heal with mysterious speed and six months later he is able to make it for the group's annual trip. Jonesy rescues a man lost in the forest named Rick McCarthy. He is very ill, so Jonesy and Beaver let him rest and recover inside their cabin. Suddenly, all the forest animals run past their cabin in the same direction; it is implied fear is the motivation as predator and prey flee together, followed by two military helicopters that announce the area is now quarantined. Jonesy and Beaver return to the cabin to find a trail of blood from the bedroom to the bathroom, where Rick is sitting semi-catatonic on the toilet, which is now covered in blood. Rick is pushed off the toilet, falling, dead, into the tub as a three-foot long lamprey like creature writhes and screams in the toilet. Beaver attempts to trap the creature under the toilet lid, but he succumbs to his OCD to pick up a toothpick, allowing the creature to break out and kill him. Jonesy tries to escape but is confronted by a large alien called Mr. Gray, who possesses Jonesy's body and emits a red-dust around the entire cabin.

Lamprey order of vertebrates, the lampreys

Lampreys are an ancient extant lineage of jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes, placed in the superclass Cyclostomata. The adult lamprey may be characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. The common name "lamprey" is probably derived from Latin lampetra, which may mean "stone licker", though the etymology is uncertain. The plural form lamprey is sometimes seen.

Spirit possession is a term for the belief that animas, aliens, demons, gods, or spirits can take control of a human body. The concept of spirit possession exists in many religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Haitian Vodou, Wicca, Hinduism, Islam and Southeast Asian and African traditions. In a 1969 study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, spirit possession beliefs were found to exist in 74 percent of a sample of 488 societies in all parts of the world. Depending on the cultural context in which it is found, possession may be considered voluntary or involuntary and may be considered to have beneficial or detrimental effects on the host. Within possession cults, the belief that one is possessed by spirits is more common among women than men.

Nearby, Henry and Pete crash their SUV to avoid running over a frostbitten woman from Rick's original hunting party. Henry walks for help while Pete stays with the woman. She dies and also excretes a worm, which Pete barely manages to kill. Mr. Gray tricks and kidnaps Pete, but Jonesy telepathically warns Henry to stay hidden. Henry returns to the cabin to find Beaver dead and the worm that killed him laying a group of eggs. To kill all of the alien larvae, he sets fire to the cabin.

Meanwhile, an elite military unit specializing in extraterrestrials, led by the slightly unhinged Colonel Abraham Curtis, seeks to contain everyone exposed to the aliens. Col. Curtis is planning to retire after this operation and will pass command, along with a pearl-handled stainless-steel .45 pistol, to Captain Owen Underhill, his trusted friend and second in command. The two lead an air-strike into a large forest clearing where the aliens' spaceship has crash-landed. The aliens use telepathy to ask for mercy, but the helicopters massacre most of the aliens with mini-guns and missiles. The alien ship self-destructs, destroying the remaining aliens and two helicopters.

Jonesy retraces his memories of the area while watching Mr. Gray use his body. Mr. Gray tries to coerce Pete into cooperating but bites him in half when he refuses. Jonesy realizes that Mr. Gray possessed him, not by chance, but to access past memories of Duddits which he needs. Henry arrives at the fenced-in concentration camp only to realize that Col. Curtis plans to kill all of those quarantined. Henry convinces Underhill to prevent this by going over Curtis' head and having him relieved. Later, Henry uses Underhill's gun as a phone to contact Jonesy mentally.

Henry and Underhill break out of the camp and head to Duddits' home. Duddits, who is dying of leukemia, informs them Mr. Gray is headed for the Quabbin Reservoir to seed the water with alien larvae. Curtis, realizing the danger looming to the entire planet, leaves the camp in his armed helicopter and tracks down Henry, Underhill, and Duddits via a micro-chip in the pistol. At the reservoir, Underhill is mortally wounded and dies shortly after he shoots Curtis down.

Quabbin Reservoir Massachusetts reservoir which serves the Boston area

The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts, and was built between 1930 and 1939. Today, along with the Wachusett Reservoir, it is the primary water supply for Boston, some 65 miles (105 km) to the east as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. It also supplies water to three towns west of the reservoir and acts as backup supply for three others. It has an aggregate capacity of 412 billion US gallons (1,560 GL) and an area of 38.6 square miles (99.9 km2).

In the reservoir's pump house, Henry uses Underhill's machine gun to kill Mr. Gray's worm but cannot decide if Jonesy is possessed. Duddits confronts Mr. Gray, who finally exits Jonesy's body. The two struggle as Duddits reveals himself to also be an alien of a different race. Both aliens explode in a cloud of red-dust which briefly resembles a dreamcatcher. Jonesy, now himself again, steps on the final alien larva before it can escape and contaminate the reservoir.

In some Native American cultures, a dreamcatcher or dream catcher is a handmade willow hoop, on which is woven a net or web. The dreamcatcher may also include sacred items such as certain feathers or beads. Traditionally they are often hung over cradles as protection. It originates in Ojibwe culture as the "spider web charm", a hoop with woven string or sinew meant to replicate a spider's web, used as a protective charm for infants.

Cast

Production

Dreamcatcher was filmed around Prince George, British Columbia.

Release

Box office

With a box-office gross of $33,685,268 in the North American domestic market, Dreamcatcher earned only half of its estimated $68 million production budget, barely surpassing it worldwide with $75,715,436. The film is considered a flop. [4]

In a 2012 interview, during a promotional tour for his film Darling Companion , Kasdan admitted that the commercial failure of Dreamcatcher left him "Wounded careerwise...But not so much personally. I've been personally wounded by other movies, where I'd written it, and thought, 'Oh, God, the world's not interested in what I'm interested in.' With Dreamcatcher, the career was hurt. I was planning to do The Risk Pool with Tom Hanks. I had written the script from a great book by Richard Russo (Nobody's Fool). And it didn't happen. Then another one didn't happen. Meanwhile, two years have passed here, two have passed there. That's how you're wounded." [5]

Critical reception

The film received negative reviews from critics, earning a 29% rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes based on 180 reviews. [6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale. [7]

Mick LaSalle's review for the San Francisco Chronicle summed up the film as "a likeable disaster." [8] Richard Roeper commented that "not since Death to Smoochy have so many talented people made such a mess of things." [9]

Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars out of a possible 4, writing: '"Dreamcatcher" begins as the intriguing story of friends who share a telepathic gift, and ends as a monster movie of stunning awfulness. What went wrong?" Ebert thought Jonesy's Memory Warehouse was a highlight, and intriguing enough to be the focus of a film, though Dreamcatcher neglects the concept to instead emphasize gore. [10]

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References

  1. "DREAMCATCHER (15)". British Board of Film Classification . 24 March 2003. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Dreamcatcher (2003) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  3. "Dreamcatcher at Box Office Mojo" . Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  4. "Dreamcatcher (2003)". Box Office Mojo . IMDb. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  5. LA Weekly Archived 10 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Dreamcatcher". Rotten Tomatoes . Flixster . Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  7. "Cinemascore". CinemaScore . Archived from the original on 20 December 2018.
  8. LaSalle, Mick (24 June 2011). "Touched by an alien / 'Dreamcatcher' wrestles with emotions, monsters". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  9. Roeper, Richard. Rotten Tomatoes https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/dreamcatcher/ . Retrieved 27 January 2017.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. Ebert, Roger. "Dreamcatcher Movie Review & Film Summary (2003) - Roger Ebert". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 17 March 2017.