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Friday, March 7 12:00 AM EST

Trailer Review: Dreamcatcher

By Brian Briggs


Starring Morgan Freeman
Jason Lee
Director Lawrence Kasdan
Official Site Link
US Opening March 21, 2003
Rated R
Genre Sci-Fi/Horror
Trailer Clichés Evil sensing animals, broken door handle.
Explosions 1
Weapons Hunting rifle, helicopters, assault rifle, missiles, something behind the door.
Voice Over Yes
"In a world where..." "A circle of friendship, a web of mystery..."
Spoilage Factor 45%
Geek Factor 20% (alien invasion)
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? Yes

A trailer shouldn't be a mini-version of the movie with only the obvious ending missing. A trailer should give a sense of what the movie is about, tease us with enough details that we want to see some more, but not give away what look like important surprises. I think the trailer for Dreamcatcher succeeds on all counts.

A snowy evening in a hunting cabin, four amigos toasting an old friend with three names who's not there. Since this trailer is based on a Stephen King novel, we can assume that the hunting cabin in which they are drinking is in Maine.

That's the last we see of these friends having a good time. Cut to a snow-covered, majestic pine forest. We're led to believe that Jonesy is involved in a rollover involving what appears to be a frozen body sitting in the middle of the road. This is based on a King story, remember?

Next, all the animals in the forest, who always can sense danger better than humans (in movies anyway), are running away from something. The voiceover tells us it's an alien invasion.

Morgan Freeman and the army are called in to contain this invasion, but I'm not sure if that makes the situation better or worse. "Nothing gets out of their perimeter alive," he says. He also laments, "The idea of slaughtering Americans just turns my stomach." Is there some group you'd take pleasure in slaughtering?.

Now our buddies are trapped on the outside by the American-slaughtering army and hunted on the inside by an alien that can take possession of their minds and bodies. Time to get a new dreamcatcher.

Heeeeeeere's Jonesy

In what could be the only case of the trailer revealing too much, we get a brief glimpse of what might be the alien. A giant, face-sucking leech that can steal your soul, but the scene passes so quickly that it might've just been Courtney Love.

The trailer avoids the quick-cut ending. Instead Morgan Freeman intones, "Come with me Owen, I'll show you things you wished you'd never seen." From the looks of the trailer, I don't think he's talking about this movie.

Conclusion on Trailer: Enough plot is revealed that we know what happens, but the out-of-sequence delivery makes us unsure that we've seen it all. I'm left wondering: Is the Freeman character good or evil? Are any of these friends going to make it out alive? That's the mark of a quality trailer. Watch it.

Conclusion on Movie: Looks like it could follow in the footsteps of another excellent Stephen King based horror flick, Misery.

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