Gruesome Gazette

Gruesome Gazette Logo

Dream Scenario(2023)(Review)

Have you ever had a partner, or a friend, approach you one morning and say they’re mad at you because they had a bad dream that involved you? This laughable, but earnestly traumatizing phenomena does happen once in a while, but it’s usually an isolated incident that doesn’t become anything bigger. This idea is the crux of 2023’s zany dark-comedy ‘Dream Scenario’.

Nicolas Cage plays Paul Matthews – a university professor who believes he has more knowledge and appreciation for evolutionary biology than his entire class combined. He’s an ordinary family man, hastily trying to write a novel, when one day he runs into old friends who all start to tell him that they’ve been thinking of him out of the blue. Specifically, he has been showing up in all of their dreams. There is one common theme though that he literally just stands there, watching, and never interacting. When word of this gets out to the media, he becomes a firestorm of attention as every single person in the world reveals they’ve all dreamed of this man – most of whom have never met or seen him before. Oddly enough, his wife is the only person who hasn’t been seeing him in her dreams.

After doing interviews and getting publicity agents to promote his upcoming book, there is an abrupt switch that’s flipped where he now is appearing in people’s nightmares – and he’s doing heinous things in all of them. This silly phenomena then becomes a severe epidemic where he is traumatizing a majority of the world even though he is literally not doing anything. This nightmare seeps into his own world as he begins to be targeted, threatened, and is basically robbed of any normalcy he once had.

This movie is a trip and a half. It feels like a Charles Kaufman film (i.e. ‘Being John Malcovich’ or ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’) as told through the lens of A24 and executive producer Ari Aster. It goes to some real dark places and puts the viewer in a very strange situation where we feel so bad for this guy who has his entire world flipped on him for what seems to be reasons beyond his control. He even tries to embrace it by the end of the film where he is forced to promote his new book by posing with a Freddy Krueger glove, but that’s not before things get out of control and things take some rather interesting turns.

It’s weird and bizarre, it’s dark, it’s awkward as all Hell, and it oddly feels relatable. I’ve certainly had a partner be mad at me for some time just because they had a dream that I was doing something I would never do – but when an image probes the deep recesses of our mind like that, it’s a challenge to convince it otherwise. Time is sometimes the only remedy for solace.

If you’re in the mood for something dreary, but not overly scary, this was an excellent film that feels like a sleeper-classic people will slowly start talking about over time – much like the dreams involving Nicolas Cage themselves.

“Dream Scenario” is currently streaming on Max and Vudu.

‘Til Next Time,
Mike Cleopatra

Scroll to Top