Dreamcatcher

Faithful adaptation of Stephen King's alien epic

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OPENED APRIL 25, CERT 15, 134 MINS

Lawrence Kasdan here treats King’s most disappointing recent effort as holy writ, following King’s blunder at bloating a dark, simple story with unnecessary subplots.

In some ways a knock-off of King’s earlier IT, Dreamcatcher follows four friends bonded in childhood by a good act, which leaves them with a psychic link, and the power as adults to stop the monstrous Mr Grey infecting Earth with his alien spoor. As with the book, it’s the first third of Dreamcatcher that works, as the friends reunite in the blizzard-hit Maine woods, where a scabby, foul stranger asks them for hospitality. There’s mystery to these scenes, a sense of something unknowably bad brewing. And Kasdan aces King with his visualising of the parasitic alien “Shit-weasels”?a gross mix of snaking dicks, teeth-lined fannies and slimy turds?that erupt from the stranger’s bowels. Kasdan keeps things moving after that with slick scene-shifting screen-wipes nodding to his work on The Empire Strikes Back, but is finally beaten by the book’s baggy end.

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