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A few instances of "YIKES!"
numberone_16 January 2002
When this movie first came out, it was generally viewed unfavorably by movie critics, and in certain markets it didn't stay long in the theatres.

I've long been a fan of thrillers, but I paid attention to the critics on this one and didn't see it in the theatres. I caught it on HBO and, after seeing it, I wish I had seen it in the theatres. I do not know why movie critics generally snubbed this film - I thought it was a taut, edge-of-my-seat complex thriller, and there were a few times that I jumped out of that ol' seat, yelling, "YIKES!" (or something to that effect). Sure, it may be a bit unrealistic, but as far as storytelling, directing and acting, it's a very good piece.

Both Robert Downey Jr. and Annette Bening were outstanding; I was riveted by their characters and couldn't take my eyes off either of them during the film. Bening shows her great range and depth, playing the heroine/protagonist whose life turns upside down in only moments and spins wildly out from there. Downey also shows great versatility in a role that he is not normally associated in.

If you enjoy the work of either of these two actors, or if you enjoy complex, mind-bending thrillers, ignore the critics and watch this. I only wish I had had the opportunity to see it on the big screen.
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APPLES are a key representation!!!
Doc-13419 March 1999
Apples, Apples, Apples, that's what everyone keeps saying about this film. Perhaps it was a little overdone, but did anyone ever stop to think that the apples were representative of Clair's fear. The apple, the most innocent of all things, a fruit, as the repository of one's own nightmares and fears is creepy enough in itself. Many regard the scene where Clair is frantically throwing apples from a pile on the cupboard into the garburator of the sink as funny. I didn't I was well enough into the film, that the moment actually felt creepy. Jordan's vicious left/right pans of the camera reinforced her feeling of panic or anxiety around the apples.

To mention a couple of the other good points about "In Dreams", there were a couple of ingenious cross cutting scenes created. The first is a cross cut sequence involving Clair who is now in the mental hospital and her husband who goes to the motel that she dreamed about to find the dog. Another wonderful cross-cut sequence involves the escape from the institution. In her dreams, Clair follows Vivian (who had spent time in the exact same room as Clair) out of the institution, and there is much cross-cutting between the past and the present. Much suspense was built in the production of this scene. I don't want to give away any of the ending, but trust me, it scared me lifeless. This is definitely not Neil Jordan's best work, certainly "The Crying Game" is his masterpiece, but nevertheless, this is an original horror suspense film that delivers a punch!
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Great first half, formulaic, ordinary second half
mike_23wilhelm10 March 2001
The first hour or so of this movie is great. It is interesting, good-viewing and imaginative.

It's a pity that after the hour mark the film looses so much effectiveness as it becomes ordinary and predictable. It's a shame that a little of the imagination shown in the first part of the film was not evident towards the end.

The film is 8/10 for the first hour, 5/10 for the rest. I feel it deserves 6/10 in total.
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Strange, Unusual, Adult Horror Film.
hu67519 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Claire Cooper (Annette Bening) is been having nightmares that haunts her. When Claire's Daughter (Katie Sagona) is been murdered by a mysterious Serial Killer (Robert Downey Jr.). Then Claire finds herself predicting the future, when she shares her dreams with the Serial Killer. Unable to convince the lead detective (Paul Guilfoyle), her doctor (Stephen Rea) and even her husband (Aidan Quinn). Claire has to confront the killer alone before her another terrifying dreams becomes real.

Directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, In the Company of Wolves, Interview with the Vampire) made a fascinating adult horror thriller. The film was a Box Office disappointment back in 1999. The film receive mixed reviews but what makes the film works is Bening's terrific performance. The Production Values are strong, especially music score by Elliot Goldenthal (Alien 3) and Cinematography by Darius Khondji, A.F.C. (Se7en). The film has a few problems like Robert Downey Jr. as the Serial Killer is oddly cast and he brings laughs to the film, when the film is supposed to be scary. The film also has a weak third act. But the film is saved by Bening's role, film's music, cinematography and Jordan's direction.

DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and an superb-Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD doesn't have much features, it only has the basic like Production Notes, Cast & Filmmakers Bios and the Theatrical Trailer. This is a truly underrated film with some genuine moments. While the film is unpleasant but that what makes a good horror film. The film features a Cult Following. This is worth a look, this could have been a masterpiece for Jordan's film-making. If it wasn't for the third act, this film really could hit a bull's eye. Based upon a Novel, titled "Doll's Eyes" by Bari Wood. Which Wood also wrote the novel "Twins" that become a film titled "David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers". Screenplay by Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields, Jennifer 8, Return to Paradise). (****/*****).
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What is insanity truly like? Watch In Dreams and you'll find out.
Anonymous_Maxine29 May 2000
Warning: Spoilers
The color red is very significant in In Dreams, in everything from the apples that seem to represent Claire's (Annette Bening) fears to the red dress that she is dressed in the numerous times that she 'dies' to the weird red color of Vivian's (Robert Downey Jr.) hair towards the end of the film. The color red is used to constantly remind the audience of the tenseness and fear in the film.

Ironically enough, the first thing that went through my mind when I saw Robert Downey Jr. as the psychopath as he approached Claire toward the end of the film was that he was horribly miscast in this film, and that his presence would inevitably lead to the ultimate disappointment that I expected to feel after the movie ended. However, aside from the goofy contact lenses that he wore and the obviously dyed hair, I was surprisingly impressed with his contribution to the film. In the film's closing scene, in particular, he was able to deliver one final performance that left jaws dropped as the credits began.

In Dreams is definitely not for everyone. I think that for this particular film, there will be people who loved it, people who hated it, and people who just didn't understand it, with probably not much in between. Unfortunately, it was much more effective on the big screen than on video, but with a healthy twist of the volume knob, it can be made to have virtually the same effect. Just don't watch it alone if you live out in the woods!
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A true original
dan-47628 July 2000
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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Visually great, overly familiar.
gridoon28 January 2001
Neil Jordan's first-rate direction (many clever camera angles and a few poetic overtones; watch for the shots from the perspective of the surface of the lake) redeems an awfully derivative script, that steals elements from at least two popular horror entries: "Nightmare on Elm Street" and, especially, "The Eyes Of Laura Mars". In some ways, this is a grim, unconventional, often gripping thriller, but the last 20 minutes are weakened by Robert Downey's terrible performance as a psychopathic serial killer; he just keeps mumbling and overacting (maybe he should take some lessons from Anthony Hopkins). On the other hand, Benning is quite convincing, and Aidan Quinn is just perfect is his relatively small part. (**1/2)
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Some good sequences, but a terrible movie.
mawebb23 January 1999
I almost walked out several times. The story is very convoluted, and makes no sense. And although I like Annette Bening, far too much emphasis is placed on her character - I mean do we really want to spend half the movie watching her overact because the script is so weak? Robert Downey Jr. is great as usual, although I have to agree with a previous reviewer - he did look like he was on drugs the entire time...;) Unfortunately, it looks like the Director was on drugs too - parts of the movie are outstanding, and wonderful to watch, but mostly it drags and never really comes together as a whole - worth renting on video, but not seeing in the theater.
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Deceptive Mess
claudio_carvalho21 June 2015
The housewife Claire Cooper (Annette Bening) is married with the pilot Paul Cooper (Aidan Quinn) and their little daughter Rebecca (Katie Sagona) is their pride and joy. When a stranger kidnaps a girl, Claire dreams about the man but Detective Jack Kay (Paul Guilfoyle) ignores her concerns. But when Rebecca disappears during a school play, Claire learns that her visions were actually premonitions and she is connected to the killer through her dreams. She has a nervous breakdown and tries to commit suicide. Her psychologist Dr. Silverman (Stephen Rea) sends her to a mental institution and soon she finds that her husband will be the next victim of the serial-killer. Further, the serial-killer was interned in the same cell in the hospital where she is. Will Claire be able to save Paul?

"In Dreams" is a deceptive Neil Jordan's movie. The messy story is boring and Annette Bening is hysterical most of the time. There is no explanation for the connection between Claire Cooper and Vivian Thompson and the conclusion is terrible. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "A Premonição" ("The Premonition")
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A-Ron-22 May 2000
Neal Jordan has a most peculiar ability; he can make films which allow us to realize that he is a good director, without actually being good films. For some reason, he cannot film an ending to a movie and I don't understand why. He tends to deal with stories that have interesting premises, but don't actually go anywhere. I am not really sure why he does this, but he does. Look back at his filmography you will see what I mean. The only two films he made with good endings were The Butcher Boy and The Crying Game (you really can't screw up that ending), but even his best films (like Michael Collins) seem to fall apart as they are getting ready to wrap up. Build up and then disappointment.

Luckily, this is not a problem for In Dreams, which falls apart almost immediately. This film never comes close to generating a truly engrossing story or to establishing characters or situations that are even remotely plausible. I am normally able to suspend a tremendous amount of disbelief, but I just couldn't follow what was going on, or perhaps I was and it just wasn't interesting so I was trying to make up stuff to amuse myself.

I actually did not realize how bad the film actually is until I watched it a second time (being somewhat of a fan of Jordan's I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt). The movie is so scattered (and the end is sooooo lame) that it is impossible to even comment effectively on what the problems of the plot were. This reminded me of another of Jordan's films, A Company of Wolves, which had similar problems, but somehow managed to extricate itself from them at least partially (or perhaps I was more forgiving because of the incredibly low budget of the earlier film). A Company of Wolves was interesting and adult retelling of Little Red RidingHood, which despite its weirdness, managed to hold my interest through most of it.

This was not the case with In Dreams, whose weirdness overwhelmed any chance the film had of credulity. I love weird cinema, but weirdness needs to be used well in order to be effective. In Dreams is too wierd for no good reason and this sinks the plot and made me continue to view it as a movie rather than allow me to become engrossed in its story. Oh well, all that said, I have seen worse films.
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Atmospheric thriller...see it for the visual
MarieGabrielle6 May 2006
effects. While many critics had not appreciated this film, I actually found it unique, beautifully photographed, and well acted, especially on the part of Annette Bening, Stephen Rea and especially Robert Downey, Jr.

It is set in Western Massachusetts, where a town was once flooded to rebuild the area. One of the residents from the local asylum; Robert Downey Jr., is a serial killer. Bening has psychic visions about his victims.

The symbol of apples and the color red, are a recurring nightmare for Bening, whose husband (well portrayed by Aidan Quinn) is beyond despair. She needs some sort of psychiatric help for her seeming obsessions. The visuals as she is having nightmares, are quite vivid and ethereal. Particularly noteworthy is the beginning sequence, wherein Bening's daughter is kidnapped. The daughter was just in a school play- the angel wing costume, crystallized and glistening on a tree- is found by the police. No daughter in sight.

Claire begins to have nightmares about a child named "Ruby" - her dog "Dobie" runs away, and is eventually killed by Downey Jr. There is also a cinematic scene where Bening is at an abandoned hotel, in a flowing red gown- the symbolism is very haunting.

Stephen Rea is the psychiatrist who attempts to help Claire with her obsessions/delusions. He is very believable, and the imagery at the state asylum is stark and foreboding.

This film has several haunting, subconscious images. Do not be surprised if you find yourself dreaming, or having similar nightmares. Sometimes, REM sleep looks similar to the filmed underwater sequences here. The photography was superior to anything I have seen in quite some time, with the possible exception of Fellini's "La Strada".
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A True Nightmare
zman-124 August 1999
This film was indeed a nightmare - a solid cast with a very poor script and a lot of pretty pictures and great sets. An art director's dream come true.

So here's this cool opening premise of an underwater ghost-town that just kind of gets lost somewhere along the way. I was intrigued at the beginning, and by the end (with the Carrie-esque sequence) I was howling at what a mess this film had become. Can't quite figure out how this obviously upper middle class woman gets put in an asylum that makes Cuckoo's Nest's digs look like the Ritz. Guess Mr. Jordan decided that would look better.

I enjoyed the previous comments about how the apple factory happened to have such fresh product since the only occupant was a crazed Anthony Perkins wanna-be. I too had questions about that little stretch. Of course you must suspend some disbelief for any horror film - but this one just asked a little too much of the audience. Rent it if you want to see Annette Benning embarrass herself but look good doing it.
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better script and/or editing could have saved this movie
lorifilms17 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The visuals in the film are really quite beautiful, nothing that hasn't been mentioned before. I love the cinematography in this film. I give it a 7, but I really think it could have been better. But some of the hospital scenes really drag on, and there is a little too much melodrama for me to handle. And the apple scene is rather hokey. Some of the dialogue is laughable as well. If the editor could have just "trimmed the fat" off of some of the unnecessary scenes, this movie would be pretty darn good. I also feel the inciting incident comes a little late. I mean we get it, she's nuts and she has crazy dreams. On the contrary, by developing the characters so well, you get more of an emotional impact for later in the film when she finds out about her daughter's death, and the mother reuniting with her daughter at the end.
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Monigan22 April 2000
Warning: Spoilers
The problem with translating a novel (which I can only assume "Doll's Eyes" is; am I wrong?) to film is that what might make sense in the context of the book can only be briefly explained in a two-hour format. In Dreams introduces us to a slew of ideas which are never resolved in the movie. The underwater town, a fascinating (albeit farfetched) premise is never used properly. Promising characters, like Stephen Rea's psychologist and the skeptical detective and Claire's eerie cellmate, never amount to much. In fact, the whole movie plunges us so rapidly into the chain of events that we barely have time to stake our ground; and while I appreciate this unsettling tactic, I do believe some level of explication is necessary. We barely get to know Bening's husband and daughter before they're gone, so we don't mourn their loss much. (What is the purpose of introducing Claire's husband's liasons w/ the girl from Sydney? The film is full of tidbits like this which, while they might have been important in the novel, are really distracting here.)

I think the movie runs this way because Jordan did pay such compulsive attention to cinematic detail. As several commenters have noted, every scene in this film is painstakingly crafted; the imagery is rich and almost overwhelming. The movie is quite short, in fact; despite everyone's groanings, I think it ought to have been longer. Loose ends could have been tied off. But with Jordan's involved treatment of each frame, I'm sure it would have taken a while to finish it properly. I may go read the book: I'm dying to know the exact circumstances of Vivian's childhood, and the reason for Claire's visions. For a movie which relies so heavily on these two central characters, it's surprising that these questions weren't better answered.
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Sixth Sense Disney meets Mulholland Drive
tedg8 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

I am surprised at those who take this at face value. This director would never make such a film.

The twist is that the killer never existed; the whole thing came from her own madness fueled by her illustrations of `fairy tales,' and triggered by her husband's infidelity. That's why the apples, the snow white, the fairies, the superdog, the flood, the inexplicable telekinesis, the impossible Alice-like falls, the Mother Goose rhymes... It is why everything is told in images.

The question is why is this film reviled, and `Mulholland Drive' celebrated?

The architectural decisions were different. Lynch decided to fool us only so long, then to give us `real' reality. He decided to pepper the first part with clear fantasy and the second with clear madness. It was not as much handholding as the similar `Vanilla Sky,' but a lot.

Jordan decided to not help out the stupid. He drops a few hints here and there, like `Vivian's' haircut at the end. Like using a sexually ambiguous child as young Vivian.

It is a lot like the payoff in `Bladerunner,' where hardly no one gets that Ford is a replicant himself. So most people never got it here and thought of this as a sort of `From the Deep.' I personally think much of the blame can be laid at the feet of Ms Bening. She's not a bad actress, but one not sufficiently intelligent to act two characters at once. Winslett, Blancett, Moore could have.
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Elvira would have made this film watchable!
julianhwescott15 January 2003
This is one of the most boring and poorly written films that I've ever seen. I would have enjoyed it being shown on television with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark hostessing the film. I know that she would definitely pick this one apart to make it watchable! The kitchen sink scene with all of the apples would have been a hoot on television but only with Elvira! Since we don't have the privilege of Elvira anymore, stay away from this one.....doesn't go anywhere interesting! The song, "In Dreams" recorded by Roy Orbison that is played at the beginning of the credits after the film concludes is the high point of the whole film!
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One of a kind, masterpiece!
Non975117 September 2002
For what In dreams, is, i feel that Neil Jordan did an exceptional job with the imagery and dream sequences. It is rare to see such an exceptional work despite the silly plot. This movie is much more than * 1/2 star by Ebert and Roper. This movie shows you a lot of good visuals as mentioned before which made me forget that the plot in this movie was not very good, however I would recommend this film, as I bought it on DVD yesterday.
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jdbaker2128 August 2002
This movie is a great example of what most other horror films should strive to be. It was well acted, well scrpited, and the overall appearence and mood of the film was great. The setting and music really added to the excellence of this movie. 2 THUMBS UP!
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Really really bad
ahab-510 April 1999
Wow, this movie just totally stank. It´s hard to know where to start placing the blame. The acting was lousy (Robert Downey Jr. was abysmal, and Stephen Rea´s ridiculous Boston accent was a hoot). The story was ludicrous, without even a hint of plausibility or anything that would make me want to suspend my disbelief. The pace was tedious and meandering, with so many strands that never lead anywhere. And, as mentioned elsewhere here, the microphone kept popping up in scene after scene. This is truly one of the worst films I´ve ever sat through. At no time does it move the viewer in any way: it doesn´t frighten, it doesn´t amuse, it doesn´t make you sad, it doesn´t make you reflect, it doesn´t even gross you out or transport you to some fantasy world. No, it just makes you ask yourself: My God, how many thought-provoking and entertaining films could have been made with the budget they blew on this turkey?

And can SOMEONE please tell me why the husband, only a short time after his daughter has been abducted and murdered, is so STUPID as to respond to a mystery telephone call about his DOG´s whereabouts by visiting an abandoned hotel all ALONE without even notifying the police or anyone that perhaps something a WEE BIT SUSPICIOUS is going on?

Yuk, yuk and more yuk. Save your money, save your time: AVOID this one like the plague.
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Dull as dishwater supernatural horror/thriller, well below average.
poolandrews10 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In Dreams has airline pilot Paul Cooper (Aidan Quinn) returning home to his wife Claire (Annette Bening) & young daughter Rebecca (Katie Sagona), his wife Claire has had strange terrifying dreams that seem real for her entire life but lately she has been having visions of a young girl being abducted & abused in an apple orchard & believes it to have actually happened. Paul decides to take her fears to the police & talks to Detective Jack Jay (Paul Guilfoyle) but is largely ignored. Shortly after at a school play Rebecca goes missing, the police are alerted & start to search for her & eventually find her dead body in a reservoir near her house. Claire is obviously devastated & realises that the dream she had was a prediction of things to come rather than recollection of things past. Claire has a car accident & is hospitalised, her neurosurgeon Dr. Stevens (Dennis Boutsikaris) is worried by what she says & calls his friend & psychiatrist Dr. Silverman (Stephen Rea) in to see if he can help her make sense of her dreams. It's not long before Silverman starts to believe Claire as her dreams become worse, Claire believes she has a psychic link with a serial killer named Vivian Thompson (Robert Downey Jr.) who is taunting by sending her these terrifying dreams...

Co-written & directed by Neil Jordan I personally didn't find much to like in In Dreams. The script by Jordan & Bruce Robinson is based on a novel called 'Doll's Eyes' by Bari Wood & is a bit of a muddled mess. I found the film far too slow, the story never gripped me as for most of it we don't see Vivian kill anyone as it focuses on Claire & her breakdown, boring. The dreams make no sense & don't really act as clues from which they can find Vivian, I would have preferred more of a straight thriller with more of an emphasis on Vivian & Claire trying to stop him because in the end he finds her & most of the film seems to concentrate on Claire screaming or crying, boring. The character's were dull & uninteresting, I really couldn't have cared less about any of them & when the inevitable climactic showdown between Claire & Vivian happened I was distinctly unexcited & unmoved, in fact I was more bored than anything else (do you see a pattern developing here?). In Dreams is also hard to follow as it skips between bizarre visions or flashbacks or whatever their supposed to be & reality with little regard for the viewer, as a whole the film just about makes sense but I still think it's a bit of a mess, oh & a boring mess too. Finally I saw that so-called 'shock' ending coming a mile off, it was so obvious I was almost embarrassed & the fact that the unpleasant subject of child murder arises it made uncomfortable viewing for me, all I want when I watch a film is to be entertained & have fun & this isn't my idea of entertainment or fun.

The thing that saves In Dreams from being a complete bomb is director Jordan's visual style & flair as he gives the film a really nice look & feel with some cool imagery. There seems to be plenty of fairytale references & the dreams themselves look very fairytale like & Claire's latest job was to adapt & illustrate a book of fairy tales by the Grimm Brother's. The blurring of Claire's car crash with the death of her daughter is a nicely put together sequence while the film overall has a dark undercurrent running through it. The violence & gore is restrained, someone has a knife stuck in their eye, a nurse is stabbed in the neck & there is a brief shot of a dog eating someone's face but that is just about it, I would have liked the horror quotient bumped up a little.

With a budget of about $30,000,000 I am aghast that In Dreams cost as much money as it did, where did all the money go? There are no major A-list stars, no major action or special effect scenes, takes place in very few locations & nothing in my mind that would justify spending 30 big ones. It's well made (for that sort of money that's the least I would expect) but apart from some nice visual touches nothing stands out as being particularly outstanding. The acting is also another strong element but this hardly makes up for In Dreams other deficiencies.

I didn't find anything in In Dreams that I particularly enjoyed, I thought it was boring, dull, uneventful, muddled & I just couldn't get into it. There are so many better horror & thrillers out there that films like In Dreams shouldn't really get made. Disappointing & probably one to avoid as far as I'm concerned.
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"Dreams" is a nightmare
Rosebud-4923 September 1999
Neil Jordan's "In Dreams" is a tragic example of a good idea gone wrong. For the first 60 minutes, the film is impeccable. Its confident cinematography superbly illustrates an innocent mother's twisted dream world, which she ultimately shares with a cold blooded killer. This second dimension is engulfed with red, juicy apple orchards, wild scenery, and a mysterious, disturbing voice that whispers in the night. Through this dream world, Claire Cooper (Annette Benning) witnesses several murders, only to become terrified beyond her imagination when she discovers that these dreams are testimony to the future crimes of her small town.

Unfortunately for Neil Jordan, this is where the film takes a discouraging turn for the worst. The cinematography and established mood that made the movie so fascinating to this point, essentially vanishes into thin air. We are introduced to the disturbed Vivian Thompson (Robert Downey, Jr.), a serial killer who kidnaps a young girl and summons Claire to save her life and end the madness. The remainder of the movie is spent analyzing the crooked mind of a young boy trying to fabricate a family life that never existed. Finally, the film is quickly put to rest through a weak helicopter chase that ends in tragedy.

The movie had great potential, including a solid storyline and impressive imagery. Regrettably, the closing scenes with Vivian and Claire ruin its karma and ultimately, the entire film suffers the consequenses.
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totally worthless
kane-1923 February 1999
Neil Jordan has proven himself a good director in the past (Michael Collins, Mona Lisa, Butcher Boy, etc) which is why it was surprising to me that In Dreams was such a horrible movie. Everything about the movie is terrible: the acting, the script, the music...the cinematography was probably the only decent thing. The film tried to be "suspenseful" and "scary" but ended up being retarded.

I noticed that some people voted for this movie and gave it high scores. Don't listen to them - they must have been idiots.

I read the bad reviews for the film before I saw it but thought "hey, it's Neil Jordan - give it a chance." I felt so bad that I gave up $4.50 and 2 hours of my life to sit through it. Save yourself and heed my warnings.
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pen-88 February 1999
1st off i can't believe how many people thought it sux. Hello people, have you ever seen a horror movie or a movie that you thought would do well and it sux. Well i have and this movie was awesome! Everyone should go see it! I loved the music, the actual story, the eeriness, the fore-shadowing, everything, it was great! It blows things like h20 out of the water, this movie was much more creative, and they went ou on a limb, and gave it that special touch! Not that i didn't like h20, but really h20 was exactly what you expected it to be, nothing more nothing less, this movie you had no idea what was going to happpen at all! And look at all the publicity that movie got compared to this one, i loved it and it should have gotton the credit it deserved! PENGGAL@AOL.COM
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joanna_bg29 August 2001
This movie really is not worth a while. Maybe the idea of the movie wasn't that bad at all but it came out be a dreadful movie with a routine scenes that can be seen in lots of other thrillers. I would agree with many viewers that first part of the movie was a hell of a lot better than the rest. It started of as a nice thriller but ended up as a story for kids.

Scene where Clare is running from Vivian in high heel shoes was more from the comedy...and it's just one of such details.

dont rent's a waste of money. If you must see it, wait till it comes to tv.
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A film that deserves a little more credit
Rio Babe30 November 1999
Warning: Spoilers
**some spoilers ahead**

Although the plot of "In Dreams" can be easily dissected in

order to pull out every implausible piece, I feel this is a

movie that should be watched carefully with an open mind. The

film may seem weak in parts (Hell, even I had to wonder about

that abandoned apple factory), but I don't think this film

should exactly be seen from a sane point of view.

"In Dreams" is terrifying on a psychological level. True, not

at the same level that "Silence of the Lambs" is at, but it's

still there.

A complaint of mine is the ending (both Claire and Vivian's

fate). Although it's a satisfaction that the young girl is

saved, the scene seems very out of place in the movie. And the

fact that Vivian is tortured (whether it's from Claire's spirit

or his own imagination) really leaves a bitter taste in my

mouth. Someone so abused and so far gone should have been put

out of his misery.

The deaths of all the characters are frightening and disturbing,

but they at least don't pander to the graphic gore that many

modern day films feel they have to show. I've always believed

that most things are scarier when left to the imagination.

Annette Bening and Robert Downey Jr. do well with their

over-the-top portrayals of insanity, but I also thought the

always-charming Aidan Quinn and the subtle Stephen Rea did

excellent work.

The movie isn't perfect, but it certai
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