Day 11: In Dreams (revisited)


Go pry open the Paramount Vault YouTube channel! In keeping with the theme, check out the horror playlist!

I do not understand why this 2003 Clive Owen vehicle made the cut — because “dead” is in the title, so close to “sleep?” It is not horror. It’s a cautionary tale about leading a life of crime, and why you don’t cross Malcolm McDowell.

(To be fair, Clive Owen’s entire filmography reads like a list of horror flicks, if you don’t know the context. But I would argue that any episode of The Knick packs much more in the way of creeping terror — and puts the “cin” back in “Cinemax” — than I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead).

Which brings us back to

Dreams! Dreams are pure terror! Why, only last night I shook myself awake with two jump-scares, courtesy my self-conscious (it didn’t help that I fell asleep reading /a glitch in the matrix/ on my phone). In the more vivid dream, I entered my bedroom at dusk, yelling over my shoulder to an unseen friend downstairs about how our country’s relationship with college debt is an abomination, and how it made sense Germany (or was it New Zealand?) was offering free tuition to American students — who cares if it was only for a degree in astrology? And just then my closet door swung open, and whatever entity lived inside (probably Milo) sighed a deep sigh — a sigh of murderous intent, sure, but also just irritation with my ravings about student loan debt in general.

But what our girl Annette Benning goes through in In Dreams is…a bit too mean-spirited. I disliked this film, although I really dug the idea of the submerged town. It made driving past Lake Isabella — with the occasional tree top poking up — much more interesting.

I hadn’t realized it was directed by Neil Jordan, who’s responsible for a couple other supernatural favorites of mine — The Company of Wolves and High Spirits, naturally.

originally published Oct 12 2015

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