Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Deadly Dreams (1988)

Directed by:
Kristine Peterson

Alex (Mitchell Anderson) is a young college student plagued by disturbing flashbacks of his parents getting killed by a masked intruder in a scary wolf mask. The killer responsible supposedly committed suicide, so when someone wearing the same mask keeps showing up, he starts to doubt his sanity in the tired reality vs. illusion plot. What part do supportive new girlfriend Maggie (Juliette Cummins, from SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II) and big brother Jack (Xander Berkeley, later to co-star in CANDYMAN) have in all of this? If you've seen a couple of other thrillers in your lifetime, you'll have no problem figuring it out before poor Alex does. Lots of dream sequences and false alarms make this a bit tedious after awhile, and the writer (Thom Babbes - who also costars in this) and director (Kristine Peterson) don't really do much to keep this from being anything other than mediocre. The cast give decent performances, though, and there's one decent shock involving a surprise left in the lead's bathtub... otherwise it's entirely forgettable. I'd classify this more as mystery/thriller than a horror movie (it has very little gore or violence), but with its video box, the horror section's exactly where you'll find it.
Ms. Peterson started her career as an assistant director on a variety of horror and science fiction films before directing this, the Fatal Attraction knock-off BODY LANGUAGE (1990), the pretty good psycho-thriller LOWER LEVEL (1991) and CRITTERS 3 (1991).


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