Review: Dream Demon
Blu-ray: Dream Demon (1988)
Many a man has lost his head while at the alter and about to marry the love of his life. None in such a dramatic fashion though as witnessed at the beginning of Dream Demon, a 1988 head-trip movie which mashes together A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser and Auf Wiedersehen Pet into a movie which, although not appreciated by everyone, certainly sticks in the mind.
Diana (Jemma Redgrave) moves into a large London home and starts to have nightmares that begin to bleed into her reality and which start her to question her own sanity, and when obnoxious journalists Peck (Timothy Spall) and Paul (Jimmy Nail) begin to hound her about her private life, the strange apparitions become ever more sinister.
Coming to Diana’s rescue is Jenny (Kathleen Wilhoite): a young American woman who has been drawn to the house as she believes that she once lived there. So together they join forces in a battle against supernatural forces that want them dead…and one who also enjoys eating a lot.
Dream Demon is certainly a product of its time and oozes that 1980’s British horror movie look that was prevalent throughout most of the decade: a stark, clinical, almost “soap opera” atmosphere runs through it, yet at the same time also managing to convey an eerie sense of brooding menace…much like Phil Mitchell in Eastenders after 1 drink too many.
Practical effects are of course the order of the day, and while some of the “demon” prosthetics leave a little to be desired, there are some decent latex sculptures which have the desired effect and are creepy.
For those of us who grew up watching Timothy Spall and Jimmy Nail in Auf Wiedersehn Pet, is of course hard to put the iconic characters they played in that series to one side while watching this, and it is Timothy Spall who distances himself the most, and unsurprisingly continued to have the more successful acting career.
Jemma Redgrave copes well with having to be in an almost permanent state of fear, while Kathleen Wilhoite is more naturalistic with her acting and comes across as a more believable character.
Raising laughs, scares, and scratches of the head in just about equal measure, Dream Demon is certainly a movie worth watching…especially in this fantastic new 2k restoration from Arrow Films.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, supervised and approved by director Harley Cokeliss
- Director’s Cut and Original Theatrical Version
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original uncompressed stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new scene-select audio commentary with director Harley Cokeliss and producer Paul Webster
- Newly-filmed interview with director Harley Cokeliss
- Newly-filmed interview with producer Paul Webster
- Newly-filmed interview with actress Jemma Redgrave
- Newly-filmed interview with actor Mark Greenstreet
- Newly-filmed interview with actor Nickolas Grace
- Newly-filmed interview with actress Annabelle Lanyon
- Newly-filmed interview with composer Bill Nelson
- Foundations of Nightmare: The Making of Dream Demon – contemporary documentary taking a look behind the scenes of the production of Dream Demon, featuring on-set interviews with director Harley Cokeliss, producer Paul Webster, actors Timothy Spall, Jemma Redgrave, Kathleen Wilhoite, composer Bill Nelson and many more
- Image Galleries
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Christopher Shy
FIRST PRESSING ONLY! – Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson, author of the Dream Demon novelisation, and director Harley Cokeliss – Reversible poster featuring exclusive newly-commissioned artwork by Christopher Shy.
Dream Demon is released on 22nd June 2020.
Review by Dave from discs kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.
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