Thirty years ago people stopped dreaming. Why? I have no idea, but recently someone discovered a worm that could restore your ability to dream. So what’s the problem? You have to insert them into your ear, and then supposedly they dissolve in your head over the course of the night and allow you to have dreams. They’re marketed as Fantasites and they’re all the rage.
Enter Charles. A mild-mannered maintenance man in an apartment building who doesn’t have any friends or a girlfriend, though he desperately wants both. He’s also interested in Fantasites, but he can only afford the economy ones that aren’t as good as the premium ones, and as such he’s looked down upon by the premium users. When he hatches a plan to swap his economy ones for the premium ones a man named Reed in his apartment building is getting, things start getting better for him, but for Reed and his girlfriend June, things go downhill fast, and when the government steps in and bans Fantastites all together, things go from bad to worse.
That’s roughly what the movie was about. There’s a lot more to it, but I couldn’t get into it all without writing a book length review that reveals everything, so I won’t bother.
I’ve been trying to think of a way I could describe this film, and I think I finally came up with a good analogy. It’s like when you’re driving on a long, straight stretch of highway out in the middle of nowhere and you get driver’s hypnosis. You’re cruising along, but you’re not really paying attention, and then every once in a while you realize you got from point A to point B without really noticing anything that was in between. That’s what this film was for me. It’s like something you’d have on in the background for noise while you were doing something else. Now, why is that? Honestly, I wish I could tell you.
Therein lies the problem. This film actually shouldn’t have been like that. The acting was good, the general concept of the story was ok, the production quality was good, etc… Unfortunately, there was something about it that I just couldn’t get into, and other parts that, while they were done ok, ended up being rather cliche. The outlawing of the Fantasites for example, and their subsequent conversion into an illicit drug that’s for sale on the streets to those who can afford it. Everything was going relatively ok up to that point, but I think that’s when the film really started to lose me. It was too predictable and too easy, which led up to an ending that didn’t really work all that well.
For special features, this new release from Synapse Films includes the original Worm short film, deleted scenes, audio commentary and the original trailers.
Is it a bad film? No, not at all, but it’s not a great one either. I think if the last quarter of the movie had been totally rewritten to make it more original and less predictable, then I probably would have found it more memorable. As it stands, for me this was just a one time watcher.
If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out its page on the Synapse Films website here.