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Dreamcatcher (2003)

A strange threat lurks in the woods. Just next to the bad acting.

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 134 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

Every now and then a big screen adaptation of a Stephen King novel becomes an instant classic – 'Misery' and 'The Shining' spring instantly to mind. Unfortunately, for every one of those, there are plenty of others so cringe-inducingly bad that you wonder how they ever escaped the straight-to-video treatment. 'Dreamcatcher' definitely falls into the second category.

Thomas Jane, Damian Lewis, Jason Lee and Timothy Olyphant play Henry, Jonesy, Beaver and Pete, four buddies who possess psychic powers. How did they get these powers? Oh, the usual way – a dribble-mouthed simpleton by the name of Duddits (Donnie Wahlberg) bestowed them upon our heroes as thanks for saving him from being forced to eat dog's jobbies by the local bully.

Now all grown up and looking for answers, the intrepid foursome head for a hunting cabin in the woods. But problems arise when the animals they planned to hunt all do a runner, and a fat man with chronic windypops ruins their nice clean bathroom by using it to give birth to a giant sabre-toothed slug.

Morgan Freeman (God knows how they roped him into taking part in this drivel) arrives on the scene as a secret Government alien hunter, but he's half-barking and starts saying things like 'these mothers are as homeless as a fox in a hen house, and I'm here to kick some ass! Are you with me?'. No Morgan, we're not.

While the slug problem threatens to escalate out of control – a bit like Freeman's eyebrows, in fact – Jonesy is possessed by an alien, and for some reason shows this by talking like Lord Charles, the upper-class puppet last seen on the arm of Ray Alan.

After a promising start, 'Dreamcatcher' gets progressively worse until both myself and people around me in the theatre were fighting back fits of laughter. Worse still is that everyone involved in this pile of tripe seems to be treating it genuinely seriously. Do they really expect us to be quaking in fear at the prospect of an alien invasion that hides itself in human flatulence?

It's Got: Some impressive special effects, but it’s not enough to hide the film’s over-whelming awfulness.

It Needs: To be flushed down the toilet along with those nasty slug thingies.


Awful – but hilariously so.