A doctor treats a sick aborigine, who had defied a tribal taboo and visited a sacred cave. The doctor soon finds herself having disturbing dreams and finds herself involved in a 200-year-old mystery.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Dignam ...
Professor Bernard Thornton
Penny Cook ...
Cathy Thornton
...
Geoff
Laurence Clifford ...
Najira
Kristina Nehm ...
Warindji
Patrick Frost ...
Dr. Graham
...
Dr. Richards
Peter Merrill ...
Archaeologist (as Peter Merril)
Deborah Little ...
Admissions Officer
Leo Taylor ...
Alf
Marcella Russo ...
Young Nurse
Kathryn Fisher ...
Sister (as Kathy Fisher)
Gary Goodwin ...
Policeman
Frank Casper ...
Priest
Geoff Smith ...
Undertaker
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Storyline

A doctor treats a sick aborigine, who had defied a tribal taboo and visited a sacred cave. The doctor soon finds herself having disturbing dreams and finds herself involved in a 200-year-old mystery.

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A burial ground is unearthed, a girl dies, an ancient curse lives on. See more »


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Release Date:

13 January 1990 (Japan)  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 2,200,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The Australian DVD sleeve notes for this film state that this movie is "in the tradition of The Last Wave (1977)", which like The Dreaming (1988), also filmed in South Australia. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intense horror film.
14 October 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Cathy Thornton (Penny Cook) is a hard working doctor whose life is thrown for a loop when her archaeologist father Bernard (Arthur Dignam) unleashes a curse by going on a particular dig. Several months after the dig has taken place, a group of young aborigines try to pilfer artifacts from a university, believing the artifacts belong to them. One of them is mortally wounded during the attempt, and after Cathy has attended to the girl in the hospital, she becomes plagued by nightmares of savage dudes who resemble vikings and wield weapons that look like hockey sticks.

"The Dreaming" is not for those genre addicts who prefer really meaty and straightforward narratives. This story of exploitation and mistreatment of indigenous people is more like a waking nightmare captured on film, with lots and lots of genuinely spooky atmosphere. If potential viewers are so inclined, they'll simply go with the flow and enjoy the unrelenting doom and gloom. Things do get violent but never especially gory. The antagonists are definitely quite creepy and malevolent. The acting is quite solid from our three main performers. Cook is appealing enough for one to feel some sympathy watching what she goes through. Dignam (of the cult hit "Strange Behaviour") is effective as the dad, and Gary Sweet rounds out the star trio by playing Cathy's concerned & perplexed companion. John Noble of the "Lord of the Rings" franchise and the TV series 'Fringe' makes his film debut as Dr. Richards. The images are often striking and distressing, and everything is beautifully photographed (by David Foreman) on scenic locations and the music score by Frank Strangio is wonderfully sinister.

Recommended to fans of the weird and the obscure.

Seven out of 10.


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