When making a film there are very common pitfalls to be avoided if someone wants their film to be remembered as anything more than a waste of time. Characters, more than anything else can be a make it or break it situation for the film especially if the audience is asked to sympathize or worry about them. Then there is a clear and concise narrative that keeps the audience invested, whether that is just with a good story or set pieces that keep the audience following along. Finally, if you are a slasher that is carrying your film on a costume or kills alone, they better be good because you are competing with 50 years of films that have perfected it. Dreamcatcher is a miserable slog of a film that fails in all three of these categories and only exists as a tired empty shell of the standard slasher film.
Like every other Friday Jake and Pierce were watching horror movies together, he was squirming in his seat as usual, while she was watching transfixed. That was until Pierce’s estranged sister showed up with tickets to the legendary concert that was going on that night. What starts off as a fun night turns into a fight and Pierce walking away from her friends and directly into Dilian, better known as DJ Dreamcatcher. Some flirtatious conversation and some mind-altering drugs later, this becomes a night none of them are going to be able to forget.
To say that the characters of Dreamcatcher are unlikeable would imply that they have any character to begin with. These are tired caricatures that we have seen time and time again and when they aren’t being basic, they are making decisions and reacting in completely illogical ways. Not a single character to care about or sympathize with leaves this a barren film that then has to rely on the plot, which is unfortunate.
While the plot is simple, a group of friends go to an event and something goes awry, this is a plot that has been done with great success in the past. Where things get messy is after the inciting incident, the film loses all traction and just meanders its way until it is over. No surprises, no fancy filmmaking, and nothing unique to raise this above a paint by numbers slasher, and Dreamcatcher just follows the formula to a tee while somehow having fewer kills than would be expected making it even less interesting.
So what is left in a movie when the characters are uninteresting and forgettable, and the story is as basic as they come? One could hope that maybe the kills would be memorable or the killer has a unique appearance, but Dreamcatcher is devoid of it all. What remains at the end of its 110 minute run time is an emptiness that one can only feel from having wasted their time on something they will not remember in a month.
3 out of 10