• Elsa Ryder

[Review] First Real 2021 Slasher "Dreamcatcher" Takes Us on a Dark Psychedelic Trip

From Samuel Goldwyn Films, “Dreamcatcher” takes us on an anxiety-inducing psychedelic trip when four young adults are terrorized for 48 hours at an underground music festival.

Niki Koss | Samuel Goldwyn Films


“Dreamcatcher” takes place in an underground EDM festival ‘Cataclysm’ where Pierce (Niki Koss) is invited by her estranged sister Ivy (Elizabeth Posey) who is hoping to mend their lost bond. They attend with Ivy’s boyfriend (Emrhys Cooper) and Pierce’s stuck-in-the-friendzone Jake (Zachary Gordon). When Pierce decides to wander off on her own, she meets the laid-back and charismatic headlining DJ Dreamcatcher aka Dylan (Travis Burns) and they head up to his dressing room to make out and experiment with his new favorite drug, a mysterious pill with psychedelic properties. On the way up, she awkwardly encounters her ex Hunter (Blaine Kern III) and his influencer sidepiece (Olivia Sui).

Elizabeth Posey & Emrhys Cooper | Samuel Goldwyn Films


At first hesitant, Pierce (Niki Koss) partakes in the psychedelics DJ Dreamcatcher (Travis Burns) is offering and soon becomes looped into a colorful trip that grows dark and confusing. Disoriented and unable to distinguish real from drug-induced hallucination, Pierce finds herself bombarded with lights and covered in blood as a masked assailant pursues her. Jacob Johnston who wrote and directed “Dreamcatcher” (2021) told Modern Horrors earlier this month he took inspiration from his love of classic literature and nineties ensemble horror, which would explain the sudden outbursts of "Macbeth" by Pierce and Ivy (Elizabeth Posey).

Travis Burns | Samuel Goldwyn Films


Through the flashing rave lights and colorful, warping cinematography by Matthew Plaxco, we are placed in the claustrophobic world of the underground festival with no choice but to fear for what lurks behind each corner, and behind each mask. Not your typical slasher, it feels like a satire at times, especially when DJ Dreamcatcher's representation (played by Adrienne Wilkinson & Lou Ferrigno Jr.) are present. In an interview with Luke Rodriguez, co-founder of Modern Horrors, writer/director Jacob Johnston explains the many layers of "Dreamcatcher" (2021):

"When you peel away the layers of these characters, whether they’re on the chopping block or not, you will see  Dreamcatcher  is much more. Sometimes a satirical, social commentary, sometimes a gripping dramatic love story, oftentimes a frightening thrill ride — the film, like the personality of the ensemble, evolves as the story unfolds.”

Adrienne Wilkinson & Lou Ferrigno Jr. | Samuel Goldwyn Films


Hopefully kicking off a year of many more quality slashers such as this one, "Dreamcatcher" (2021) keeps viewers guessing at its many plot twists and manages to bring some decent scares and kills along the way.

Samuel Goldwyn Films


"Dreamcatcher" (2021) is available On Digital and VOD March 5, 2021.