Amblin Entertainment 35th Anniversary: In Dreams

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In Dreams is a 1999 psychological thriller film directed by Neil Jordan. It stars Annette Bening as a New England illustrator who begins experiencing visions of a missing child who turns out to be her own daughter; through her dreams, she begins having psychic connections to a serial killer responsible for the murder of her daughter and several other local children.

Claire Cooper (Annette Bening), has been having psychic visions all of her life, though she’s never been clear of what they mean. Now an adult, she lives an idyllic, small-town life in a Massachusetts farmhouse with her airline-pilot husband Paul (Aidan Quinn) and her young daughter Rebecca (Katie Sagona), while Claire illustrates children’s books. A psychopath (Robert Downey Jr.) has been kidnapping young girls in their area, and one is currently missing. Claire has a recurring dream about the killer walking with a girl through an apple orchard. Paul tells police detective Jack Kay (Paul Guilfoyle), who doesn’t believe him, as the girl’s body had been found at the bottom of the lake. Claire’s vision was actually a premonition, starting a chain of events that would create a two-way link to the killer. The key to the mystery is the lake itself, of which Claire dreams, created when the old town of Northfield was flooded to make a reservoir. As her psychiatrist Dr. Silverman (Stephen Rea) does not understand her now waking dreams, Claire alone must now lose herself to the visions. She must relive the killer’s memories to find his identity and location. Director Neil Jordan has explored the nature of dreams in a more Freudian manner in his Company of Wolves.

Man, everybody was trying to be a modern day Alfred Hitchcock back in the late 1990s now weren’t they? First, Gus Van Sant made that shit for shit remake of Psycho, later this same year, M. Night Shymalan made the very successful The Sixth Sense and then you had this movie.

Wow, what a mess of a movie this is. This is an example of a cast who’s too good for what is given to them here. This whole movie is so predictably lazy and it tries to scare you with the cheapest of jumpscares and lackluster thrills that it’s not even funny, it’s embarrassing.

The acting in this is also so wooden and staccato, Annette Benning is wasted in this and her acting in this is on the level of a bad Lifetime movie and this is Annette Benning. Robert Downey Jr. is trying to create this psychotic stalker character but he just comes off like a third rate Norman Bates from Psycho…in fact, he looks like a straight up copy of Norman Bates from Psycho, that’s how lazy this movie gets.

And there’s also those clichés you can expect in most bad horror films that clearly show that nobody who was working on this wanted to make a good movie and wanted to make a quick cashgrab.

In Dreams is the perfect example of a downright awful horror movie, a bad cliché riddled script, lazy direction, horrendous acting, cheap thrills and lousy jumpscares, it’s a mess of a movie, there is nothing engaging or exciting about this movie whatsoever. Maybe this movie should’ve stayed a dream in the mind of Neil Jordan.

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