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In Dreams (1999)
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Review Date: January 14, 1999
Director: Neil Jordan
Writer: Neil Jordan and Bruce Robinson
Producers: Stephen Woolley
Actors:
Annette Bening as Claire Cooper
Aidan Quinn as Paul Cooper
Plot:
Woman prophesizes grisly visions in her dreams which ultimately transfer into real-life fatal occurrences. She believes that a serial killer is raping her mind, and dropping these dreams into her head. Eventually, the woman psychologically deteriorates into a basket-case, but keeps fighting to maintain her weak grasp on reality, and discover the truth behind her unbelievable psychic apparitions.
Critique:
I had a dream about this film. I dreamt that it would be a muddled psychological mess, pureed into several sparks of slick style, incoherent and unbelievable plotting, and a deja-vu feeling of a deja-vu. I felt as though the movie would be unoriginal in many ways, including its standard ending, which would be close to laughable. I felt as though the first 25 minutes of the film would set a decent tone with some original camera work, and a nice creepy mood, but that the second half of the movie would just fall apart, and adhere to the blueprint of all other standard bogeyman movies. I also dreamt that Robert Downey Jr. would barely make an appearance in the film, despite his mug showing up all over the trailers, and float through his role without an ounce of dedication to the art of original character. The dream continued with visions of a movie that seemed to have the potential to break through all the standard serial killer movie barriers, but did nothing less that run through an uninspired story line, with a fast-cut editing knife, flashbacks, and a host of symbolism slapped in for amusement. The apparitions that I had, also failed to fully explain any of the real motives or methods used by the serial killer, consequently disallowing me from understanding, or even appreciating his character on any well-developed level.

The dream also allowed me to somewhat appreciate fellow movie critic Gene Siskel's constant rants on the over-abundance of serial killer movies in Hollywood, in that I am also getting sick and tired of seeing the same subject done to death, without any unique or creative perspective. Rule #1: If you reaaaaally insist on making a serial killer movie, please make sure that it ain't a retread of a dozen better ones. All in all, the dream ended on a somber note that remarked upon the film's lack of novelty, casual use of child murders as a prop for a badly developed script, some very cool style, and an overly typical ending which explained very little about the actual mind of the killer, or his capacity to make unreal things happen. It was only then that the house lights went on, the credit crawl began its march upscreen, and I realized that none of it was a dream after all. I clicked and clicked my heels, but I was nowhere to go. It was my reality, and my chump change wasted on this piece of cinematic repetitiveness, which turned out to be more of a nightmare than any state of dream.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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