by Gary Johnson
During its first hour, In Dreams sucks us into the story of Claire Cooper, a children's book illustrator who begins having deeply disturbing visions of a serial killer. While setting up the situation, director/writer Neil Jordan (of The Crying Game) provides astonishing visuals that depict a woman's fall into madness. His camera drifts through the empty, submerged streets of a small town, now at the bottom of a reservoir, and provides dreamy, evocative images. In other scenes, as his camera prowls the decaying hallways of an abandoned cider mill and lingers with funereal elegance over rotting mounds of apples, he even manages to recall the work of the great Italian horror director Mario Bava. However, when it's time for the killer to make his big appearance, this movie retreats to utterly conventional terrain and becomes just another psycho murderer thriller, not much different from any other slasher movie, except in its reluctance to show spilled blood.
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