DREAMCATCHER (2021) Reviews and overview [updated: be warned]

   

‘Get ready for a killer night out’

Dreamcatcher is a 2021 American horror film about two sisters and their friends, who become entrenched in a 48 hour whirlwind of violence – which began after a traumatic experience at an underground dance music festival.

Written and directed by Jacob Johnston, making his feature debut, the movie stars Niki Koss, Zachary Gordon, Travis Burns, Blaine Kern III, Olivia Sui, Emrhys Cooper, Elizabeth Posey, Nazanin Mandi, Adrienne Wilkinson and Lou Ferrigno Jr.

Plot:

Dylan, known to his fans as DJ Dreamcatcher, is on the brink of global stardom. Everything changes the night of Cataclysm, an underground dance 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…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Though Dreamcatcher snuck in a few plot points that targeted female empowerment, coddled millennials and cancel culture, none of it was really expanded upon past some throwaway lines. The cast didn’t have much to work with, and I found that all of the characters were just vapid character types. No one was particularly enthralling…” Bulletproof Action

“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.” Common Sense Media

“The pacing is so poor that I became more engrossed in how long was left than the actual story. The lack of engagement partly is due to you feeling no connection to the leads. There is no substance to any of their backstories, meaning we’re left with some pretty one-dimensional characters.” Cult Faction

“The entire enterprise is ludicrous, protracted, and patience-testing. Dreamcatcher sort of harkens back to cheesy 1990s Kevin Williamson fare, without the production values, game actors, wit, or most crucially, scares. You’ll be too busy being annoyed at the headache-inducing incomprehensibility of it all to be frightened.” Film Threat

“From the beginning, I found this 2021 Dreamcatcher movie somewhat intriguing. However, this changed all too quickly as the very dialogue-heavy movie went on and on… without any slasher moments for far too long. I mean, this is supposedly a horror movie in the slasher and mystery subgenres.” Heaven of Horror

“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.” Horror Buzz

” …Dreamcatcher is weirdly talky and often sluggishly paced as a result. It is like a group therapy session broke out during a horror movie. Maybe it would be nice that these characters are so in touch with their feelings, if they were not so wafer-thin and annoying.” J.B. Spins

“The first act of Dreamcatcher catches the viewer in a thumping bassline of deceit and drugs, but once the high wears off, the second act comes off as slow and disconnected from the opening and closing segments. A couple of the characters have some depth, but the delivery feels strained, mostly due to the pacing.” Killer Horror Critic

” …everyone is let down by writer/director Jacob Johnston’s confounding screenplay that changes the rules at whim and has so much eye-rolling dialogue you should watch the film with your head titled back just in case yours fall out unexpectedly.” The MN Movie Man

“The characters in Dreamcatcher run the gamut from unlikeable to downright loathsome. Scene after scene of Pierce, Jake, and Ivy airing their petty grievances wear out fast. Dreamcatcher lacks even one character for the audience to latch onto as a surrogate. This ends up making the horror shallow and meaningless.” UK Film Review

“Maybe if the film had been more concerned with delivering scares instead of trying to be profound, Dreamcatcher would have been a shorter, and more satisfying film. Instead, it blunts the edge of its thrills with muddled attempts to make points and fails as a thriller or a drama. It is, to quote Ivy quoting Shakespeare, “Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.” Voices from the Balcony

Dreamcatcher is more than a run-of-the-mill slasher, but a look at the dark side of the entertainment industry, notably the music industry. The killer brings a sense of mystery and the finale is quite jaw-dropping.” World Film Geek

Release:

Dreamcatcher will be released by Samuel Goldwyn theatrically in select locations, On-Digital and On-Demand on March 5, 2021.

Director Jacob Johnson’s statement:

Dreamcatcher is an amalgamation of unfiltered passion and creativity. The cast and crew bonded like family – and the result was an incomparable chemistry that, I believe, enhances the experience from a typified, independent film. I only get to tell this story once – and I wanted it to be thrilling and poignant, progressive and innovative — we must not forget that the second enemy of creativity, after having ‘good taste’, is being safe.”

Cast and characters:

Travis Burns … Dylan
Lou Ferrigno Jr. … Colton
Zachary Gordon … Jake
Adrienne Wilkinson … Josephine
Nazanin Mandi … Kya
Niki Koss … Pierce
Olivia Sui … Raye
Elizabeth Posey … Ivy
Blaine Kern III … Hunter
Krystal Vayda … Victoria
Ben J. Pierce … Scott
Al Calderon … Zeke
Ryan Powers
Jaime Gallagher … Lady Macdeath
Emrhys Cooper … Brecken
Kareena Clark … VIP Hostess
Henriett Novak … Attractive Bartender
Julia Fae … Bre
Bijon Hill … Young Assistant
Jay Sincere … Dylan’s Bodyguard
Grace Rizzo … Eve
Thomas Bert … Alex

Technical details:

108 minutes

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

Nearly every character is shallow, judgemental and vile. The Twitter-speak they spout is presumably meant to be a meaningful commentary on 21st-century contemporary culture; unfortunately, this just makes them unreal and shows how vapid the overall approach is here. The filmmakers seem to have forgotten they were making a horror film. And it’s an overlong one at that.