Friday, November 26, 2010

'Dream Stalker' is not worth losing sleep over

Dream Stalker (1998)
Starring: Valerie Williams (aka Diane Cardea), Mark Dias, John Tyler, and Pamela Hong
Director: Alan Smithee
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

As Brittany (Williams) tries to move on following the accidental death of her violent and domineering boyfriend (Dias), he reaches out from beyond the veil of death to make sure that if he can't live with her than no one will.

"Dream Stalker" deals with the ultimate possessive boyfriend... one whose domineering ways isn't even stopped by death. It is fairly good when compared to other ultra-low budget horror flicks shot on video. The acting is slightly better than average, the camera work is mostly okay, and what effects and make-up it features aren't bad either. The pacing is mostly pretty good, and, although the script could have done with another draft or two to make the dialogue a little better, there aren't too many characters behaving stupidly or illogically due to plot dictates.

That said, the film is marred by some of the worst sound work I've ever witnessed. In several scenes, the dialogue is drowned out almost completely by background noise, as if the crew was using microphones on their video cameras instead of mikes on the actors or booms. It's certainly obvious that the filmmakers never heard of the concept of tracking/rerecording dialogue in post-production.

Even with that annoying techincal flaw, "Dream Stalker" might have earned Four or Five Stars if the last quarter of so of the story hadn't started to fall apart when it should have been building to its climax; it was almost as if the writer or director traded in story for wild hacking and slashing.

Trivia: Alan Smithee is the name a director puts on a film when he wants to disavow himself from it. Someone didn't like the way "Dream Stalker" turned out so he or she is probably thrilled the film will probably never make the transition to DVD!

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