Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Dreamcatcher: Another EDM Slasher Movie

Supposedly, DJ Dreamcatcher is part Ojibwe Nation, so he isn’t really engaged in any cultural appropriation. Regardless, Elizabeth Warren-style claims of dubious heritage are the least of the sins committed in his circle. While his handlers try to sweep the drug-induced suicide of a fan under the rug, a psycho-slasher starts knocking off everyone involved in director-screenwriter Jacob Johnston’s Dreamcatcher, which releases this Friday on VOD.

DJ Dreamcatcher is about to lose an obnoxious publicist in the prologue, but nobody seems to notice. He still has his hard-charging manager Josephine, who shifts into full-scale cover-up mode when Pierce kills herself backstage while under the influence of who-knows-what-substance he gave her. The unstable twentynothing’s sister Ivy had bought tickets to the EDM happening for her and her torch-carrying bestie Jake as a peace offering, but it obviously did not work out so well.

Supposedly fearing a career-killing scandal for her client, Josephine bluffs some of the witnesses into accepting a buyout. However, Jake, Ivy, and her platonic support-group pal Breken still hope to bring Team Dreamcatcher to justice. They just don’t have much of a plan for it. Meanwhile, a killer wearing Dreamcatcher’s stage mask has been cutting up the DJ’s duplicitous management and cowardly by-standers alike.

There are two very conspicuous problems with
Dreamcatcher. First, it bills itself as a EDM-style horror film, but that has already been done in movies like Party Hard, Die Young. The big festival the characters fatefully attend looks pretty small in scale. There also seems to be practically no variation in the generic beats either.

None of that would be so bad if Johnston’s execution was tighter, but
Dreamcatcher is weirdly talky and often sluggishly paced as a result. It is like a group therapy session broke out during a horror movie. Maybe it would be nice that these characters are so in touch with their feelings, if they were not so wafer-thin and annoying.

However, the refreshing-as-a-ice-cold-soda-on-a-hot-day exception is Adrienne Wilkinson, who is wickedly entertaining as Josephine, the take-no-prisoners manager. It is a ton of fun watching her chew the scenery. Honestly, she frequently speaks for viewers when expressing withering contempt for other characters.

At an hour and forty-eight minutes,
Dreamcatcher is also far too long. This is a slasher move, so just get down to business already. Occasionally, Johnston drops hints of something slightly more fantastical going on, but he never fully develops the thought (which is a shame). Safe to skip, Dreamcatcher releases this Friday (3/5) on VOD.