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The Dreaming is a pretty obscure film of probably limited appeal to most, but it exerts a certain weird grip and is pretty watchable and interesting. It concerns a curse spawned when whalers attack some Aborigines and unleashed when archaeologists uncover some old artifacts. From here a young woman dies mysteriously and the doctor investigating is drawn into the mystery. Penny Cook does pretty well as the heroine, Dr Cathy Thornton and is suitably disturbed yet tenacious in her search for answers. She provides a sort of realistic core to the film, someone to follow as things get strange. Gerry Sweet does OK as her concerned husband and Arthur Dignam is fine as her distant, selfish father. I enjoyed this more than most seem to have done, its true that there are a lot of dreams and visions, that there is no gore really and that the film does not adequately explain itself. It does however have a good handful of arrestingly strange moments, one or two chills and a certain curious fascination to it. I liked the sense of mythology behind it and a lot of the imagery. There's also beautiful scenery and some very cool direction, an early scene at a hospital is particularly fine. All in all, this will most likely go over a lot of heads and simply appear pointless or boring to even more, but I'd recommend it to devoted fans of low budget head scratchers like myself.
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
"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.
This film is one of the most impressive films ive ever bought for less than
£3. It really shocks on all levels then spirals towards an incredibly tense
finale which will leave you wishing to take stock of what is important to
you in life.
And theres a bit where an X-ray starts screaming. Genius.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hi. This whole review is a giant SPOILER and you should read it before
waste ninety minutes of your life on this beautifully photographed yet
tedious piece of story telling.
A bunch of Canadian whalers, at sea far too long without a hockey game to sate their blood-lust, land on Australia and kill all the Aborigines with sharpened hockey sticks and thus tainting the Dreamtime, which is the time of heroes, as you well know.
Skip ahead 400 years and an Australian archaeologist opens up a tomb that had sealed the demon spirits of the hockey players of the damned. Their spirits escape out and take over the body of the archaeologist, though he probably doesn't know it. And he becomes obsessed with trying to find the Hockey Stick of Thor.
Then other artifacts in the demon tomb are placed in a museum where decedents of the slaughtered Aborigines come to steal them. Or steals them back, as the political case may be. Then a very pretty girl who never speaks but cries very well sprays a fire hydrant at the museum's rent-a-cops, thus releasing the wrath of the tainted Dreamtime upon herself.
She is then taken to the hospital where a very pretty blonde doctor works on her. Then there's a few good bits that are worth seeing so skip ahead to the funeral of the blonde doctor's mother where we discover that she is the daughter of the Canadian hockey playing whaler possessed archaeologist.
The doctor has a few more hallucinations so she follows her da to the Island of the Dead, which is really more boring then it sounds. She finds her da chopping wood, because, I guess the actor didn't smoke and they needed him to be engaged in some activity when the doctor finds him. Then she delivers the best line in the whole movie:
I don't know. Its...lots of peculiar things have been going on and I don't understand them I've been seeing things and I haven't been seeing things and I've been seeing things and I...drawings and pictures and I don't understand and I'm scared and I don't know what to do because I don't understand what's going on.
And da tries to comfort her before he goes off and discovers the hockey stick of Thor, or whatever god or gods Canadian hockey playing whalers worship(ed). Then da really becomes possessed, just like in Thor comic books, and he kill everyone on the Island of the Dead in the most boring and tedious way imaginable. Except for his daughter, who he tries to rape.
There. Now you can watch a different awful movie. Or put in South Park again. You know you want to.
The Dreaming is a very boring and uneventful Australian
horror/thriller. The whole film is basically loads of dream-like
sequences which a woman has, as she attempts to uncover what lies
behind it all. There is one good scene where an x-ray of a skull starts
moving about and screaming, but other than everything is boring. There
is no gore or suspense, the acting is limp, and the rather obvious
conclusion is pathetic.
Don't even bother trying to seek this out, there are tons of more interesting films out there, even the really low budget ones.
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