Friday, March 5, 2021

Dreamcatcher Review: A Modern Slasher That Merges Techno And Terror

Lou Ferrigno Jr.	...	Colton Zachary Gordon	Zachary Gordon	...	Jake Adrienne Wilkinson	Adrienne Wilkinson	...	Josephine Niki Koss	Niki Koss	...	Pierce Travis Burns	Travis Burns	...	Dylan Elizabeth Posey	Elizabeth Posey	...	Ivy Blaine Kern III	Blaine Kern III	...	Hunter Olivia Sui	Olivia Sui	...	Raye Krystal Vayda	Krystal Vayda	...	Victoria Ben J. Pierce	Ben J. Pierce	...	Scott Al Calderon	Al Calderon	...	Zeke Nazanin Mandi	Nazanin Mandi	...	Kya Bijon Hill	Bijon Hill	...	Young Assistant Jaime Gallagher	Jaime Gallagher	...	Lady Macdeath Emrhys Cooper	Emrhys Cooper	...	Brecken

Release date: March 5, 2021
Running time: 106 minutes
Starring: Niki Koss (“Famous in Love,” My Stepdaughter), Zachary Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, “Good Trouble”), Travis Burns (“Neighbours,” Sunrise in Heaven), Blaine Kern III (The Perfect Date, Happy Death Day franchise) Olivia Sui ( “Smosh,” “The Big What If”), Emrhys Cooper (Mamma Mia!, Person of Interest), Elizabeth Posey (”Euphoria”), Nazanin Mandi (“How to Make a Reality Star”), Adrienne Wilkinson (“Star Trek: Renegades,” “Xena: Warrior Princess”) and Lou Ferrigno Jr (“S.W.A.T.,” “9-1-1”)
Written and Directed By: Jacob Johnston

Dylan, known to his fans as DJ Dreamcatcher, is on the brink of global stardom. Everything changes the night of Cataclysm, an underground music festival, where two estranged sisters and their friends meet Dylan. After a drug fueled gruesome event, things begin to spiral into a 48-hour whirlwind of violence and mayhem. 

Kareena Clark	...	VIP Hostess Ryan Powers	Ryan Powers		 Julia Fae	Julia Fae	...	Bre Henriett Novak	Henriett Novak	...	Attractive Bartender Jay Sincere	Jay Sincere	...	Dylan's Bodyguard Grace Rizzo	Grace Rizzo	...	Eve Thomas Bert	Thomas Bert	...	Alex
Dreamcatcher has a brutal opening that makes sure you know that this is a horror movie through and through.  It has a slasher opening that introduces you to the villain and some of the music festival aspects of the movie.  And like any good slasher film, Dreamcatcher assembles a group of individuals to try to survive and mostly fail.  But the group that it assembles are fun to watch.  The main chemistry between Jake (Gordon) and Pierce (Koss) is a lot of fun to see, especially at the start; seeing their push and pull makes for an enjoyable opening sequence.  But when additional characters get added, the group doesn't mesh as well as I was hoping.  The characters are all fine, but it didn't feel like they came together as a cohesive unit, and it doesn't help that they spend a lot of these moments in smaller groups.  

And Dreamcatcher does have good horror elements that ratchet up the tension throughout.  A lot of the film involves the friends dealing with increasingly unsettling occurrences that have a wonderful, creepy vibe to them.  You see the slasher show up in a lot of places simultaneously, and its abilities seem like magic at some points.  And Dreamcatcher uses these dreamlike effects to make sure you never quite know if the characters are awake or asleep.  And some of these sequences include interesting effects that really let you know that you are somewhere out of this world.  And speaking of effects, Dreamcatcher does a good job focusing on practical effects instead of CG, ensuring that you don't break immersion with something that looks off.  And the setting of Dreamcatcher helps keep you engaged as well.  Some of it set in a rave, which is an interesting place to have a killer roaming free.  This rave has music, lights, and lots of people letting go.  And speaking of the music, a movie about a DJ wouldn't be complete without a solid soundtrack, and the electronic music in Dreamcatcher both helps keep the story moving and also serves ratchet up the tension when needed.  There are great songs playing during the rave scenes and some otherworldly songs playing during the more abstract dream sequences.  

But Dreamcatcher does have a few flaws, though none of them really kill your buzz.  The film has some interesting writing, but several lines just fell flat for me.  And the story is enough to get the scenario going, but it didn't really make sense after hearing the whole explanation.  It felt like a convenient way to wrap up the scenario without really needing to explain what was going on.  And the film takes place mostly at night in a large rave, which can lead to a lack of variety in the setting.  But overall, the film is a high energy and entertaining slasher with many modern touches.  And, which is always key in an indie film, it has a high production value that feels like a larger budget movie.  The rave scenes and effects were smartly done so you don't necessarily think you are watching a movie that was watching the budget.  So for a killer escape, Dreamcatcher could be just what you need. 

Dreamcatcher is a modern slasher film with a pumping techno soundtrack, great setting, and a villain that will get you whether you are awake or asleep.

Rent it.

Kristifor Cvijetic	...	co-producer / line producer Jaime Gallagher	...	co-producer Jacques Kurdian	...	executive producer Scott Martin	...	executive producer Jack Sheehan	...	executive producer Michael Thomas Slifkin	...	executive producer Brandon Michael Vayda	...	producer Krystal Vayda	...	producer      Directed by  Jacob Johnston	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Jacob Johnston
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Dreamcatcher is available digitally and on demand on March 5, 2021.

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