Deadly Dreams (1988) Poster


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"I just don't know what's real anymore".
mylimbo9 January 2011
A promising premise, but not all that successful in gelling everything together hampered this twisted, grim little unknown psychological thriller. It's strange and disjointed as the narrative moves back and forth where our main Alex is plagued by visions of his past where as a child he witnessed his mother and father brutally gunned down by a hunter wearing a skinned wolf mask. However what's screwing with his mind, is that he believes he's seeing the hunter for real despite that he's parent's killer shot himself soon after the murders. The plot is made-up of a collection of recurring flashes and bad nightmares, each one more jarring then the first. But these nightmares just seem too real. Is Alex just losing his sanity (as outside his nightmare he's seeing the masked killer) or is there something more devious going on. The slow-winding material is quite knotty, but simply too vague despite the predictably of the circumstances. It's all familiar; soapy dramatics tied amongst a shady web of paranoia and deceit with a twist upon a twist, although one of those revelations comes midway through it. The momentum can be quite bumpy (as some sequences can feel drawn out to only pad out what might have been better suited as a short film or a TV episode for such shows as "The Twilight Zone" or "Tales From the Crypt"), where the suspense only lasts in short bursts (due to the idea of dreams and reality blurring together) and from that the chills / shock tactics come to the forefront. There are solid bunch of performances; Mitchell Anderson is suitably fitting as the neurotic Alex. Juliette Cummins and Thom Babbes are acceptable as his worried girlfriend / and friend. Xander Berkeley keeps a bitter attitude as Alex's older brother. Director Kristine Peterson's sober handling didn't entirely do the production any favours, as while capable it just lacked the liveliness that was needed. "Deadly Dreams" is an interesting, but leadenly flawed low-budget oddity.
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Alex are you taking drugs?
sol20 October 2004
***SPOILERS*** The movie "Deadly Dreams" starts off with a Christmas Eve massacre of Mr. & Mrs. Torme, Geoffery Forward & Gyl Roland, with their terrified ten year-old son Alex, Timothy Austin, running for his life outside the cabin into the woods from the masked killer. The killer turns out to be Norman Perkins, Gary Ainsworth, a disgruntled business partner of Mr. Torme who later turned the gun on himself. Waking up in a cold sweat Alex, Mitchell Anderson, now ten years later still has nightmares about that horrible incident.

"Deadly Dreams" does hold together at first until you realize that after a while you, as well as Alex, can't tell whats a dream and whats reality! That take away a lot from the tension and suspense of the movie.

The wolf-masked killer is seen popping up all over the place with really no real explanation why he's there and why have him put on that ridicules mask! Since were told who he is in the first place? Later we meet Alex's older brother Jack, Xander Berkeley, who seems to be mad at him for not tending to the family business which his parents left him. You wonder why did they leave it to the much younger Alex, who was ten at the time of his parents death, and not his older brother Jack who seemed to be much more competent. On top of all that Alex didn't seem to care if Jack was in charge so why the conflict between the two brothers?

Alex is attending college and does some free lance writing on the side and, with the exception of his nightmares, seems happy with his lot in life. Danny, Tom Babbes, a collage friend of Alex gets him to meet pretty and at the same time mysterious Maggie Kallir, Juliette Cummins, on a dare who we later see is having an affair with Jack. Together their both trying to drive poor Alex insane in order to get his share of the inheritance that was left to him from his parents. There's an even more sinister force involved in the story that doesn't reveal itself until the very last minute or so of the movie.

"Deadly dreams" could have been a really great horror movie but it was so hooked up in it's many dream sequences that they just about wrecked the entire film. The plot holes, mostly due to the dream sequences, were as deep and as many as a mine field in the Western Sahara Desert during the Battle of Al Alamine. Watching the movie I wondered what a top horror film director of the 1980's like Fred Walton or Sam Raimi would have done with the same movie? The improvement in the movies story-line would have been quite noticeable and made more sense.

The material in the film "Deadly Dreams" was far better then most stories that were made into horror/suspense films back then and the movie should have been far better then it ended up being. If only all those confusing and annoying dream-sequences were cut out of it.
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Interesting horror/thriller that could have been good...
Lovechild_7710 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie could have been a quite good thriller have it not been for the rather dull first hour and a very inept conclusion. But the ending is not totally predictable as one other writer wrote because the movie begins like a thriller but ends like a horror.

Acting is quite good and shines up in a few places. A lurking fear is felt through the whole movie but there should really have been a better punch in the shock department. It's like the director couldn't decide if he would do a psychological thriller or a horror/slasher.

Young Alex parents was murdered during Christmas eve by a business competitor who shot himself after that, or so we are told after about one hour into the movie. This is a rather cheap trick to make the viewer wonder if Alex is imagine the murderer's appearance or if he's real. It is also probably a trick to make the movie longer. You see, Alex is not only dreaming about the killer, he also hallucinates seeing him. This could have been done much more exciting, because the mask the killer wears is frightening. Problem is that Alex really sees the killer, and therefore is not mentally ill. This is where the script lacks because it becomes unrealistic and clumsy staged. Later in the movie we are introduced to his brother though, who at first seems rather caring about Alex but later we find out about his real intentions. A triangle-drama is suddenly appearing and the whole thing finally becomes rather laughable.

Well, the premise is good. I mean it's naturally that a kid who has his parents killed in front of his eyes and then told by the killer to run or be shot works up a tendency for mental illness and becomes unstable. Any kid would have become traumatized by that. If the movie had been done by a more skilled director who could work with the story in a more exciting way and made the movie run at a faster pace, this would probably have been really interesting I think. Now it's only a rather dull mishmash.
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* * out of 4.
brandonsites198111 September 2002
Young man who lost almost his entire family in a hunting trip several years ago by a serial killer is haunted by visions of the killer and then eventually reality and dreams cross over as he begins to see the killer in real life even though his brother assures him that there is no way that the killer is after him. Brief film with a wicked twist of an ending and a few chilling scenes, features lack luster direction and performances. This film could have been so much more given the premise.

Rated R; Nudity, Violence, Sexual Situations, and Profanity.
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Deadly Dull
Tikkin28 May 2006
Deadly Dreams is yet another snooze-fest trying to pass itself off as a horror flick. The acting is fine, you even get to see some breasts, but that's about it. The plot involves the main character having dreams about a killer, and soon these dreams start to become reality. The film is really about revenge, and all is revealed in the 'twist' ending. There was potential in Deadly Dreams, it could have been a nifty backwoods slasher if they had tried - the hunting mask would have looked cool as a slasher mask. Sadly the potential doesn't seem to have been realised because Deadly Dreams is just a chore to watch. There is minimal blood, tedious dialogue, lifeless characters, and only one half-decent death scene which is at the end.

Don't bother seeking it out - it's REALLY not worth it.
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Cool little thriller
Woodyanders13 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Alex Torme (a solid and sympathetic performance by Mitchell Anderson) suffers from horrific nightmares from the time he witnessed a hunter in a wolf mask murder his mother and father in front of him as a little boy. Things perk up after Alex meets and falls for the sassy Maggie Kallir (a nicely spunky portrayal by Juliette Cummins), but Alex is still plagued by deadly dreams.

Director Kristine Peterson relates the engrossing story at a snappy pace, ably crafts an eerie and intriguing enigmatic atmosphere, and generates a good deal of tension. The smart and taut script by Thom Babbles delivers a dandy surprise twist at the end; Babbles also acquits himself well in a sizable supporting role as Alex's wisecracking best buddy Danny. Xander Berkeley likewise excels as Alex's bitter and overbearing older brother Jack. Popping up in nifty small parts are Duane Whitaker as vicious psycho Norman Perkins, Troy Evans as a gruff sheriff, and Stacey Travis as a friendly librarian. Moreover, there's a satisfying smattering of sex and violence as well as some tasty distaff nudity courtesy of ravishing redhead Mrs. Cummins. Zoran Hochstatter's glossy cinematography provides a snazzy stylish look. Todd Boekelheide's shivery score hits the spine-tingling spot. Worth a watch.
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Total bore.
HumanoidOfFlesh4 September 2001
Since no one has reviewed "Deadly Dreams",I will.The story goes like that:The Torme family takes a weekend picnic in a secluded forest.Little do they realize that they're marked for death by a deranged hunter.The murderer kills off each one,except for the son,Alex.Ten years after massacre,Alex finds himself haunted with the vision of a man in a hunter's clothing...His dreams begin to blend into reality.Each successive nightmare brings him closer and closer to the spectre-until Alex is convinced that the killer is real-and hunting Alex.His friends and remaining family offer him no support.Alex fears his sanity is slipping further away.Then murders begin to happen in the real world...OK,so the premise is quite interesting,but "Deadly Dreams" is completely unscary and deadly dull.The acting is very average,and the action moves incredibly slowly.To be fair,the scene of massacre is pretty nerve-wracking,and the killer wears creepy mask of the deer.Watch this one,only if you have time to waste.
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* * out of 4
Bleeding-Skull13 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
*This review applies to the Virgin video which is UNCUT.

From the director of the highly acclaimed "Body Chemistry," comes a frightening excursion into terror. Alex is caught in a web of distrust between his brother, his best friend, a beautiful stranger and the renewed dreams of the slaughter of his family.

Brief film with a wicked twist of an ending and a few chilling scenes, features lack luster direction and performances. This film could have been so much more given the premise.

But of course, it is slightly cut in one part near the end that made no sense in the ending. Of course, I've seen this go up for about 200 bucks on eBay because that movie was popular back then, not anymore because people hate this one. So I waited until I could get the Virgin Video.

Rated R for Violence, Nudity, Profanity and Sexual Situations.
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Deadly Dreams
bujinbudoka10 January 2006
This movie is as its title says....Dreams....ugggghhhh....

The movie is so confusing at times you never know when the dreams are real or not. The movie generally revolves around a man who was in the house with his parents the night they were murdered by a hunter in (I'm guessing) a wolf's head mask.

The movie moves along at all the velocity of a golf cart, with no real twists or turns. There is the underlying story of the main characters both in love with the same woman, who's playing both sides in order to get ahead (can you say gold-digger?) I'll give it a 3 out of 10, because it does have some nice nude scenes, with a very cool ending despite its slow story. However if you are looking for a great horror film, look away at another one instead.
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Backlash00711 December 2002
Deadly Dreams has mastered the art of...boring someone to death! The title says it all: dreams. The entire first hour of the film is nothing but a series of bad dreams. Over and over again. It really gets monotonous; Nothing real ever happens. The characters are dumb, most of the action that did take place just seemed to be filler stuff, and apparently everyone carries a rifle with them at all times. Not to mention that it's all totally PREDICTABLE. The entire time I was watching it, I just wanted it to end. Don't expect too much going into this one. As a matter of fact, don't even bother.
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Old, Predictable Formula
CMRKeyboadist28 January 2007
I remember the first time ever noticing Deadly Dreams. I was working in a Video Warehouse years ago and noticed the cover. Something about it caught my eye. It wasn't until years later that I would come to sit down and actually watch this movie.

Deadly Dreams plays off like an episode of Tales From the Crypt. It just runs 35 minutes too long. The storyline starts out with a family on Christmas Eve. Two parents and their son Alex wait for the oldest son to come to the house. When they receive a knock on the door, it isn't the oldest son but a man with a rifle who guns down the two parents. 10 years later Alex is 20 years old and often has horrible nightmares of the man who killed his parents murdering him. Alex and his brother both gained a hefty inheritance from the death of their Father and it looks like someone might be trying to get their hands on it.

For a movie that runs 79 minutes it certainly is very slow. We don't get anything new out of the storyline as Tales From the Crypt did have a story very similar to this one in one of the old comic books. At least the acting was decent in this film and the last ten minutes are interesting. Other then that, I was falling asleep at times.

This movie might be good for one viewing on a boring Sunday afternoon. Other than that, I would rather watch something else. 5/10
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