In Dreams (1999)

Rating: B-

Dir: Neil Jordan
Star: Annette Bening, Stephen Rea, Robert Downey Jr., Katie Sagona

A nifty little psycho-thriller about a woman who finds herself with a psychic link to her daughter’s killer, and who ends up in an asylum for her pains. 90% of this is beautifully understated, with Bening excellent as the woman pushed to the brink of sanity by the psycho in her head, aided by a beautifully eerie setting on the shores of a reservoir which covers an abandoned town. Rea adds valuable support as the psychiatrist who eventually realises the truth and, while the central concept is fairly daft, it’s unfolded in such as way as to make it seem credible.

Unfortunately, Downey’s serial killer appears to have wandered in from an Anthony Perkins hamming class. And he should have paid more attention, since we get all of the ham, but none of Perkins’ class. The movie is rocked, and limps to a finish rather than cruising solidly home: if you time your beer runs to avoid Downey, this would move up from good, to very good.