Claire Cooper dreams strange things from time to time. One night, she dreams about a little girl being taken away by a stranger, right in her neighbourhood. When her own daughter Rebecca is... See full summary »
When a 'Single White Female' places an ad in the press for a similar woman to rent a room (to replace the boyfriend she's just left), all the applicants seem weird. Then along comes a level... See full summary »
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
When Nicole met David; handsome, charming, affectionate, he was everything. It seemed perfect, but soon she sees that David has a darker side. And his adoration turns to obsession, their dream into a nightmare, and her love into fear.
Claire Cooper dreams strange things from time to time. One night, she dreams about a little girl being taken away by a stranger, right in her neighbourhood. When her own daughter Rebecca is kidnapped and murdered only a little later, Claire is sure about the chilling truth that her and the killer's mind are connected to each other in dreams. But nobody believes her being able to foresee the killer's next steps, as she could with her own daughter. In addition, the nervous breakdown she suffers gets her into a mental facility after a suicide attempt. And here, locked away in a padded cell, she dreams of her husband being murdered... Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Mental Institution scenes were filmed at the Northampton State Hospital, an actual asylum in Northampton, Massachussets, which was abandoned at the time. See more »
The First six minutes of the film while 'Aidan Quinn' and Annette Bening are at the bedroom doorway discussing her first dream about the missing girl, a black boom microphone can be clearly seen above them following each of their dialogue from behind the door header. See more »
[Helping daughter rehearse lines from Snow White while walking through trees by lake]
[In sing-song voice]
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of us all?
[Skipping through trees by lake]
[In sing-song voice]
You're the fairest in this hall but Snow WHITE is THE...
Come on Rebecca, forget it's a play. Just, say it like you're saying it to me.
Snow White's the fairest of them all.
[...] See more »
So what are we to make of Neil Jordan's 'In Dreams' and the wide and varied responses to it?
The film bombed just about everywhere in the world and yet looking through the user's comments on this website there are those who passionately adore it and those who passionately detest it.
I fall into the first camp.
For a start, it's a psychological horror movie that is genuinely scary and emotionally draining in a way that few films are these days.
Okay, the plot stretches belief but then again, I give you almost every mainstream horror movie made.
Compare it with the Sixth Sense which is equally far fetched but much less demanding.
You will see Jordan has turned out a much darker, more disturbing, more meaningful and more interesting multi-layered film.
Also, it has the advantage of not having Bruce Willis in it, turning in the sort of wooden performance he trotted out in The Sixth Sense.
In Dreams just stretches its audience.
Jordan and fellow scriptwriter, Bruce Robinson cleverly play with their audience's perceptions of their main character.
Is Claire genuinely going through these horrific experiences or is she going mad?
There is also a terrible cruel streak running through the film - especially in its treatment of its heroine and her family - which is so unusual and refreshing for a Hollywood film (perhaps this is the main reason why audiences and critics were so alienated by it, they're just not used to it).
Visually, Jordan's movie is sumptuous - the rich reds and greens, the autumnal colours, the ghostly underwater sequences.
And there are also the performances.
Bening, in probably her most neurotic role ever, is as compelling as always.
Aidan Quinn is suitably solid in the role of her troubled, if flawed husband.
Stephen Rea turns in another subtle performance as the psychiatrist. Paul Guilfoyle is also effective as the cop.
And then, there's Robert Downey Junior - so over the top you're waiting for him to crash land with one hell of a thump.
But then again, OTT is nothing new to this genre. I give you Jack Nicholson in The Shining, Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Perkins in Psycho!
In Dreams is a multilayered film, attacking you visually, mentally and emotionally on a number of levels.
First, there is the nature of dreams and reality, madness and sanity, fairytales and fact.
Secondly, you can read it as a love letter to Hitchcock. There is so much Hitchcock in this film - Rebecca, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Notorious, Suspicion (they're all alluded to here and many, many more of the Great Master's movies).
Thirdly, there's many recurrent themes and imagery from Jordan's own work in here.
We have the psychologically disturbed boy from The Butcher Boy, cross dressing, gender bending in The Crying Game, holding captives in a gothic forest from the same film, even the famous run through the forest, the leap from a dam in We're No Angels, the tortured monster a la Interview with the Vampire.
Fourthly, there's the apples, those damned red apples that keep troubling everyone. Shades of Adam and Eve? Fairytales like Snow White?
In Dreams may not be Jordan's finest work but there is plenty in here to enjoy and to discover on repeated viewings.
The movie is uncomfortable viewing at times but gloriously over the top.
Time will tell how 'In Dreams' will be viewed in the context of Jordan's overall work and whether it will be a cult movie.
I think the biggest surprise of all is that it got through the Hollywood studio system. Full marks to Dreamworks for doing so.
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