‘In Dreams‘ is a psychological thriller directed by Neil Jordan and is written by Bruce Robinson and Neil Jordan. Amblin Entertainment and Dreamworks Pictures released the film in 1999.
Massachusetts illustrator Claire Cooper (Annette Bening) lives with her husband Paul (Aidan Quinn) and daughter Rebecca (Katie Sagona). She starts to have vague psychic visions of the death of a local girl by a serial killer (Robert Downey Jr.). However, her own daughter becomes a victim, the visions she sees grow stronger, making her husband and police detective Jack Kay (Paul Guilfoyle) think she is going crazy. However, as she encounters more visions that come true, others wonder if she has a dangerous psychic link to the murderer.
This film is a bit jarring. The story, though compelling, is very disjointed. We go from one scene to the other at an accelerated rate that does not slow in the slightest. This made some of the plot feel out of place or thrust upon the viewer with no context, though they do attempt to connect the disjointed plot points. Also, the movie does not do a good job of explaining why the killer is connected to Claire. It seems to hint that it is because they both have psychic powers, but that is not explained in great detail.
That being said, the acting is tremendous. Robert Downey, Jr.’s acting is on full display. He is terrifying as the killer and sends chills down your spine when he rehearses his monologue. Likewise, Annette Bening is also incredible. Her portrayal of a woman tortured by deadly psychic visions is a pivotal role for her and a standout performance for her career.
For the thriller aspect, it is truly terrifying. You feel the danger, the frightening moments, and the outright terror that the victims and their families feel as the plot unfolds. This is complemented by the musical score done by Elliot Goldenthal, whose skill is on full display as he perfectly matches his song with the frightening scenes that you are watching.
Bottom line, In Dream does some plot points that are a bit out of place, but it is truly terrifying with an excellent musical score to match every single scene. Not to mention the powerhouse performances of Robert Downey Jr. and Annette Bening.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Disturbing Images, Strong foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: My daddy is a dollar, I wrote it on a fence. My daddy is a dollar, not worth a hundred cents.
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.