A Scream from the Past – Dreamscape

“Dreamscape” is a Sci-Fi thriller from 1984, directed by Joseph Ruben, which managed to pumped up my imagination to unhealthy levels, the first time I saw it – imagine entering someone’s dream, wow!

However, as a boy at the time, taking over the world was not the first thing that crossed my mind, if I would have possessed these abilities though…

The story center on Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid), a 19-year-old man, who discovers that he can enter other peoples dreams and experience everything that goes on within them.

Alex is recruited to a government project, lead by Dr. Paul Novotny (Max von Sydow), which are researching a cure for sleep disorders. Alex is assigned to try to stop the president’s nightmares, with the help of his special powers. However, Alex soon finds out that there is a conspiracy going on and that the true reason behind is assignment, is far darker than he could imagine.

If you think that you recognize the plot, it may be because it is rather like Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie, “Inception”, which also is about a man who can enter other people’s dream.

However, even though Nolan’s film will have far better special effects, the effects in “Dreamscape” is not that bad, considering it was made back in 1984.

I remembered that the movie both fascinated and scared me and I remember one scene in particular – the closet scene. That sequence got me jumping so hard that it left my spine, all alone in the couch, wondering where little Ken went. Even today, I found the well made scene to be rather scary:

Not that bad, uh?!

“Dreamscape”, is available at almost any DVD store, like Amazon. However, to meet the MPAA’s PG-13 rating, a love scene that has some nudity, has been cut from todays DVD/Blu-ray versions. Nevertheless, the scene can be found in the original video release, though.

Then What Happened?

The director Joseph Ruben – Has since then directed rather successful movies like, “The Forgotten”, “Sleeping with the Enemy” and “Money Train”. He is also said to direct the upcoming drama “The Politician’s Wife”, as well.

Dennis Quaid (Alex Gardner) – Went on and has made movies like “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Pandorum”, “Frequency” and as the coach Ben Schwartzwalder in “The Express”, in which I think he does his best performance ever.

Max von Sydow (Doctor Paul Novotny) – The Swedish actor is now 81 years old, but still pops up in big movies now and then, like “Judge Dredd”, “Minority Report”, “Shutter Island” and most recently as Sir Walter Loxley, in Ridley Scott’s version of “Robin Hood”.

Christopher Plummer (Bob Blair) – Has also continued to work and has starred in movies like, “Up” as the voice of Charles Muntz, “A Beautiful Mind”, “Inside Man”, “The Last Station” and he is also part of Scott Stewart’s upcoming horror thriller, Priest. But he will always be remembered for his role in “The Sound of Music” as Baron Von Trapp.

David Patrick Kelly (Tommy Ray Glatman) – Has starred in movies like “K-PAX”, “The Crow”, “Commando” and he has a small role in the upcoming western action, Jonah Hex, as well.

What Did People Think

“Dreamscape” has received overwhelming favorable reviews from both critics and ordinary movie fans. Even today, 26 years down the road, I still think it’s a good movie, much thanks to its imaginative and well-made dream scenes, which is backed up with a good and well thought story.

IMDB: 6.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% positive reviews
EfilmCritic: 4 stars

If you have seen “Dreamscape”, feel free to leave your thoughts about it in the comments below.

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