Dreamcatcher (2021)

A duo of sisters goes to a music festival hoping to have fun and possibly reconnect their relationship. Once there, things go sideways and people start dying.

Written and directed by Jacob Johnston, Dreamcatcher is a music and pretty lights fest of a sorta slasher film. It’s definitely horror, but it’s also definitely something else. It’s one that is hard to explain as it’s not entirely a slasher, but for slasher fans, it will be. There is a whole story of backstabbing, music industry, high powered people at play at well and it makes the film feel almost like two different ones. The stories do work together, but they occasionally feel a bit disjointed, giving the viewer too much to keep track of when they may just be looking for a “lill ’em all” type of slasher film. The film in itself doesn’t suffer much from this when watched without that expectation. The story works itself out in a nice way by the end, giving the viewers, even the higher levels of horror fans, something to enjoy.

The cast for this musical industry slasher is mostly good, with some better performances than others including that of Adrienne Wilkinson as Josephine, the manager to the DJ at the center of the story. Her work her makes Josephine really despicable while somewhat almost justified (but not really) in how she handles everything like it’s business and all of everything is about money. She’s calculating, she’s bossy, she’s mean, and she becomes the center of all the scenes she is in. The cast playing the would-be victims of the slasher is decent overall, but doesn’t really make much of an impression as individuals. The majority of them are good, they are there to either die or up the ante over their presence, so they all have a purpose, but in most cases, they feel a bit generic and it’s hard to tell if they are simply tropes being written into these characters or if the cast went this road for some reason. It’s not a bad road to go, but more solid performances would have really sold this one and made it into a great slasher film.

Dreamcatcher has a distinctive look to a lot of its scenes with lights and movement that can be associated with music festival, setting the tone and getting a mood going before anything starts going down. While this is fun and looks really good, there should be a mild photosensitivity warning here. The film’s look fits the story and the work of Matthew Plaxco in cinematography makes it all look colorfully stunning in parts and just right in others.

Dreamcatcher is an interesting of a music film with plenty of backstabbing and a slasher with plenty of backstabbing. It’s the kind of slasher that is not fully realized in terms of the usual rules and tropes, but it also works as a different type slasher and as a pretty film to entertain for a while.