By RICHARD DINMAN
A Delaware Pictures production. Produced by Stephane Mermet. Executive producer, Clyde Ware. Co-producer, Erika Furuzono. Directed by Catherine C. Pirotta. Screenplay by Pirotta, Clyde Ware.
With: Dario Deak, John Colton, Penny Drake, Kelly Chambers, Nick Rish, Diandra Newlin, John Savage.
One thing is to make a good movie with money and another one with talent. Pirotta and Ware have taken what could be considered as hackneyed ingredients, play with them in the context of a brilliantly cohesive plot, and present something consistently fresh . Dreamkiller is so assured and daring, you're almost petrified the picture is going to mess up. But it keeps its balance, and you're exhilarated from beginning to end. Picture works best during its second half as helmer Catherine Pirotta gives her low-budget, high-concept psychological thriller the absorbing experience and tone of Memento.
On every technical level the film transcends it's comparatively miniscule budget. The high quality of the camera work and the effectiveness of the Bernard Herrmann-like score were great assets to an already well written, directed and acted film and Deak's performance provided the film with the beautifully modulated centerpiece characterization that a film of this genre must have in order to engender audience believability for, let's face it, a rather far-fetched premise that in other less skilled hands might be laughable.
Two doctors embark on a research project to cure fear-ridden, phobic patients of all varieties. Just as fame and honor creep into the lives of Doctor Nicholas Nemet (Deak) and Doctor Marvin Stalberg (Colton), a series of murders occurs among cured patients which mirror the victims′ initial homicidal fears. When police detectives become involved, the life of Nemet becomes engulfed by the outside investigation and his own desperate curiosity to resolve the events. This is only emotionally complicated by his mother′s phobia stricken mentality, his own repeated flashbacks and the quest for if and how their work has played a part in the murders. Nemet′s captivating journey is a reminder of common fears that are rarely discussed, yet constantly inhibit humans′ daily lives. What Nemet uncovers as the culprit of the murders spirals in to a domino effect of numerous discoveries that not only stun the characters, but viewers as well.
Camera (color), John O'Shaughnessy; Editor, Richard Hasley; Music, Marcus Sjowall; Production Designer, Miguel Gomez; Art Director, Cory Speer. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 111 MIN.