In Dreams

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • R
  • Horror, Thriller

Annette Bening wakes up screaming in this ludicrous but visually spectacular thriller from acclaimed director Neil Jordan. When a little girl goes missing in the cozy New England town of Northfield, Claire Cooper begins having a sinister recurring dream: She sees a small child being led by the hand through what appears to be a fairy-tale apple orchard....read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Annette Bening wakes up screaming in this ludicrous but visually spectacular thriller from acclaimed director Neil Jordan. When a little girl goes missing in the cozy New England town of Northfield, Claire Cooper begins having a sinister recurring dream: She

sees a small child being led by the hand through what appears to be a fairy-tale apple orchard. Convinced that she's dreaming of the missing child, Claire sends her husband Paul (Aidan Quinn) to the police, but what Claire doesn't realize is that she's not dreaming of the past, but the

near-future. The little girl being led to her doom is in fact her own daughter Rebecca (Katie Sagona), who soon disappears. As the police drag the nearby reservoir -- site of the original Northfield, which now sits completely intact under 2 billion gallons of water -- Claire comes to the

frightening realization that her dreams are not just premonitions, but the twisted thoughts of a deeply disturbed psychopath who has access to her mind as well. In addition to Jordan, there's a lot of behind-the-scenes talent at work here: The gorgeous cinematography is by Darius Khondji, who also

shot THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN and SEVEN; production designer Nigel Phelps helped give BATMAN it's unforgettable look; and screenwriter Bruce Robinson wrote and directed the cult faves HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERSTISING and WITHNAIL & I. But it's all in the service of a confused, meandering

psycho-thriller peopled with underwritten, throwaway characters and half the imagination of a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET sequel. Bening seems at a total loss, so she flutters, giggles and goes blank in some weird approximation of hysteria when plain old scared would have worked just fine. Robert

Downey Jr., who puts in a fourth-quarter appearance as the big bad wolf, is much less frightening, even when he's wearing a wig and swinging a scythe. With so much to look at, the film's rarely dull, but the whole thing unwinds with the kind of maddening, inscrutable logic that would only make

sense in a nightmare.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Annette Bening wakes up screaming in this ludicrous but visually spectacular thriller from acclaimed director Neil Jordan. When a little girl goes missing in the cozy New England town of Northfield, Claire Cooper begins having a sinister recurring dream: S… (more)

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