Dreamcatcher (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Produced by Lawrence Kasdan
Charles Okun
Screenplay by William Goldman
Lawrence Kasdan
Based on Dreamcatcher by
Stephen King
Starring Morgan Freeman
Thomas Jane
Jason Lee
Damian Lewis
Timothy Olyphant
Tom Sizemore
Donnie Wahlberg
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography John Seale
Edited by Carol Littleton
Castle Rock Entertainment
Village Roadshow Pictures
NPV Entertainment
Kasdan Pictures
WV Films II
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
March 21, 2003
Running time
134 minutes
Language English
Budget $68 million
Box office $75,715,436[1]
The film depiction of "The Ripley"

Dreamcatcher is a 2003 science fiction horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William Goldman. The film stars Damian Lewis, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee and Timothy Olyphant as four friends who encounter an invasion of parasitic aliens. It was filmed around Prince George, British Columbia.


Jonesy (Damian Lewis), Beaver (Jason Lee), Pete (Timothy Olyphant) and Henry (Thomas Jane) are four friends on an annual hunting trip in Maine. As children, they all acquired telepathy which they call "the line". A flashback shows them as they save a mentally handicapped boy named Douglas "Duddits" Cavell (Donnie Wahlberg) from bullies and befriend him.

Jonesy sees Duddits beckoning him to cross the street, but as he does so Jonesy is hit by a car. His injuries heal with mysterious speed and 6 months later he is able to make the group's annual trip. Jonesy meets a man lost in the forest named Rick McCarthy (Eric Keenleyside). He is very ill, so Jonesy and Beaver let him rest and recover inside their cabin. Suddenly herds of forest animals flee past their cabin, followed by two military helicopters that announce the area is now quarantined. Jonesy and Beaver return to the cabin to find a trail of blood from the bedroom to the bathroom, where Rick sits semi-catatonic on the toilet, the room covered with blood. Suddenly Rick is thrown from the toilet, dead into the tub as a creature writhes and screams in the toilet. Beaver attempts to trap the creature under the toilet lid, but a three-foot long lamprey-like creature, with multiple rows of razor-sharp teeth, kills him. Jonesy tries to escape but is confronted by a large alien called Mr. Grey, who possesses Jonesy's body and emits a red dust around the entire cabin.

Nearby, Henry and Pete crash their red Land Rover to avoid running over a frostbitten woman from Rick's original hunting party. Henry walks for help while Pete stays with the woman. She dies and also excretes a worm, which Pete barely manages to kill. Mr. Grey then tricks and 'kidnaps' Pete, but Jonesy telepathically warns Henry to stay hidden.

Henry returns to the cabin to find Beaver dead and the worm that killed him laying a group of eggs. In order to kill all of the alien larvae, he sets fire to the cabin.

Meanwhile, an elite military unit specializing in extraterrestrials, led by a slightly unhinged Colonel Abraham Curtis (Morgan Freeman), seeks to contain everyone exposed to the aliens. Col. Curtis is planning to retire after this operation and will pass the torch along with a pearl-handled stainless steel .45 pistol to Captain Owen Underhill (Tom Sizemore), his trusted friend and second in command. The two lead an air-strike into a large forest clearing where the aliens' spaceship has crash-landed. The aliens use telepathy to distract the pilots, but the four Apaches and Curtis' Little Bird massacre most of the aliens with mini-guns and missiles. The alien ship then self-destructs destroying the remaining aliens and two helicopters.

Jonesy retraces his memories of the area while watching Mr. Grey use his body. Mr. Grey tries to coerce Pete into cooperating, but bites him in half when he refuses. Jonesy realizes that Mr. Grey possessed him, not by chance, but to access past memories of Duddits which he needs. Henry arrives at the fenced-in concentration-camp only to realize that Col. Curtis plans to kill all of those quarantined, so (Henry) convinces Owen to prevent this by inviting the larger U.S. Army, which arrives, relieves Curtis and takes over the entire operation.

Henry and Owen head to Duddits' home, Duddits informs them that Mr. Grey is headed for Quabbin Reservoir to seed the water with alien larva.

Curtis, realizing the danger that still looms to the entire planet, leaves the camp in his armed Little Bird and tracks down Henry, Owen and Duddits, via a micro-chip in the gift .45 pistol. At the reservoir, Owen is strafed by Curtis' helicopter and mortally wounded, but not before he shoots Curtis down. In the reservoir's pump-house, Henry uses Owen's machine-gun to kill Mr. Grey's worm, but cannot decide if Jonesy is himself or possessed. Duddits confronts Mr. Grey, who finally exits Jonesy's body. The two struggle as Duddits reveals himself to be an alien and also, both aliens explode in a cloud of red-dust which briefly resembles a dreamcatcher. Jonesy, now himself again, steps on the final larvae-worm before it could escape and contaminate the reservoir and thus the Boston population.



The film was poorly received by most critics, earning a 30% "rotten" rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes based on 168 reviews.[2]

Mick LaSalle's review for the San Francisco Chronicle summed up the film as "a likeable disaster."[3] Richard Roeper commented that "not since Death to Smoochy have so many talented people made such a mess of things."[4]

Although considered a flop, the film did break even against an estimated $68 million production budget, and while it earned only $33,685,268 in the North American domestic market, it made $75,715,436 worldwide.[5]

In a 2012 interview, during a promotional tour for his film Darling Companion, Kasdan admitted that the commercial failure of Dreamcatcher left him "Wounded careerwise...But not so much personally. I've been personally wounded by other movies, where I'd written it, and thought, 'Oh, God, the world's not interested in what I'm interested in.' With Dreamcatcher, the career was hurt. I was planning to do The Risk Pool with Tom Hanks. I had written the script from a great book by Richard Russo (Nobody's Fool). And it didn't happen. Then another one didn't happen. Meanwhile, two years have passed here, two have passed there. That's how you're wounded."[6]


  1. ^ "Dreamcatcher at Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Dreamcatcher". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  3. ^ LaSalle, Mick (24 June 2011). "Touched by an alien / 'Dreamcatcher' wrestles with emotions, monsters". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Ebert and Roeper
  5. ^ "Dreamcatcher (2003)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  6. ^ http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-19/film-tv/Lawrence-Kasdan-interview/

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