Dreamcatcher [2003]

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 134 minutes

Regardless of its critical roasting, Dreamcatcher is a must-see for Stephen King fans. In adapting King's epic novel (itself an amalgam of familiar King plotlines), director Lawrence Kasdan and cowriter William Goldman sacrificed much of the character depth that gave the story its crucial humanity, resulting in a tame frightfest about four longtime friends (Damian Lewis, Jason Lee, Thomas Jane, Timothy Olyphant) whose past--and a shared gift of telepathy--connects them to a present-day alien invasion in the snowy forests of Maine. Like an ambitious episode of The X-Files, this slick production offers slimy "weasels" that gestate in human bowels; ominous aliens who seize control of bodies and minds; a secret military strike (led by Morgan Freeman) against the invaders; and enough gross-out humor to satisfy jaded horror buffs. Unfortunately, it just isn't scary. Despite its A-list advantages, Dreamcatcher works best as a glorified B-movie, likely to benefit from lowered expectations. --Jeff Shannon

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