When I was in Junior High, back in the mid-60s, I was really into Stephen King. One year, our teacher asked us to pick a book, read it, and write a one page report. When I handed in my report on It, she called me over to her desk and told me that plagiarizing was wrong, and that I shouldn’t ever do it. To be fair, I hadn’t plagiarized anything, but I had tried to sound professional and wrote things like “the children descend into a spiral of madness,” and “the demonic clown is actually a metaphor for the loss of innocence,” or some garbage. The point of this story is not to show off how good I have always been at writing one page synopses of books you buy at the airport, although I was basically a prodigy in that, but to remind everyone that before we even begin talking about Dreamcatcher, Stephen King is for pre-pubescent children. So if you’re a pre-pubescent child, and Videogum readers often are, you can stop reading this post right now and go rent Dreamcatcher. It’s going to be your favorite movie.

OK. Adults? Holy shit, this movie is nuts. Let’s go y’all!

Dreamcatcher is about four lifelong friends who take an annual vacation to a secluded cabin in the woods of Maine. Also, they’re all psychic. OK, sure. One day, a lost hunter wanders in from the woods after a night in the cold and has diarrhea so they put him to bed, but it turns out that the diarrhea is actually AN ALIEN THAT SQUIRTS OUT OF HIS BUTT. That alien kills Jason Lee, and then another alien possesses Damien Lewis and makes him steal a snowmobile. Meanwhile the two other friends, Timothy Olyphant and Thomas Jane have had a car accident in the woods where they find another lady with a diarrhea alien. Then possessed Damien Lewis turns back into the alien and eats Timothy Olyphant on a snowmobile. Are you with me? Keep up. MEANWHILE, Morgan Freeman is in charge of a covert special ops army force that only fights aliens, naturally, and he wants to quarantine the whole area and kill everyone because he has gone crazy, which we know because later someone says “he has gone crazy.” So, possessed alien-Damien Lewis is trying to get to Massachusetts to introduce an alien worm into the water supply because that will destroy the whole world, but Thomas Jane IS PSYCHICALLY LINKED to Damien Lewis, alien possession or no alien possession, because of their FRIENDSHIP, and also because of their childhood friendship with someone named Duddits, who is the one that gave them their special psychic powers in the first place, and also I guess was responsible for Damien Lewis getting hit by a car at the beginning of the movie which turns into a plotpoint later because everything in this movie happens for a stupid reason*, and anyway, Thomas Jane convinces noted highlighter thief Tom Sizemore to break with his commanding officer (crazed Morgan Freeman, crazed for every agreeing to do this! Zingcatcher) and take him to get Duddits (who is supposed to be retarded and have leukemia, and so is expertly portrayed by DONNIE WAHLBERG), and they have a confrontation with possessed-alien-slash-Damien Lewis at the water supply and it turns out that Duddits was actually a good alien all along, in a human boy body, doling out superpowers, and setting up all the dominoes to help stop this bad alien from getting his butt worm into the Boston water supply for almost 40 years. WHAT?

Obviously, this movie is terrible. But it is also completely amazing. In all honesty, I don’t think that I have been as enthralled with something in a very long time. You could teach an entire semester on this movie at the University of WTF. Instant tenure.

If anything, Dreamcatcher‘s major flaw is its attempt to hold on to some semblance of reality. Take, for example, this flashback scene, in which the young versions of our four heroes meet Duddits for the first time:

Um, no one’s childhood was like that, ever. It’s all very Stand By Me, if Stand By Me was written by a home educated student majoring in Whoops who was asked to write his own version of SBM after only being allowed to read an Eastern European’s IMDB message board posts about it. But if you can’t even get the regular, familiar stuff right, how are we supposed to believe you when you get into the crazy stuff? And this movie gets way into the crazy stuff. Like, put this movie in Gothika, you guys. (Gothika reference. 2009. ROT.)

Also, did you notice that completely unnecessary shot of baby Duddtis’s butt as he stood up? This whole movie is obsessed with butts and farting and diarrhea. Let’s go to the tape!

OH NO, NOT THE TOOTHPICKS!

Again, I’m even willing to accept all of the butt-worm aliens, and Morgan Freeman’s elite fighting force of anti-alien soldiers, and four dudes being psychically linked, but I am not willing to accept that someone’s nervous tick is so strong that they end up letting a toilet alien escape and kill them because they’re desperately reaching for the one toothpick that didn’t fall into a dead man’s alien-ass-blood. Which is what happens right after that clip stops.

And just in general, the acting. Look out, there is something behind you.

And then just keep looking out forever. Hold it.

The pleasure of this movie, on the other hand, is that you almost never know where it is going. Like, when the alien takes possession of Damien Lewis’s body, I didn’t even begin to suspect that he would speak with a jaunty British accent and refer to himself as Mr. Gray.

Right. You know, alien stuff. Did I mention that Tom Sizemore has a shootout with Morgan Freeman in a helicopter?

Whatever. Nothing this movie could do could even phase me anymore. Oh, wait, no, that’s not true, it could do this:

Um, THAT DUDE JUST USED A GUN AS A PSYCHIC TELEPHONE.

By the time they get to Donnie Wahlberg as the mentally retarded Boston Red Sox fan who is secretly an alien mastermind shapeshifter, it’s just like, no, totally, I am on board.

Of course. Totally. BRAVA.

By now I am so turned around, I actually think this might be the Best Movie of All Time. Is it? No, it is not. But it is highly recommended. You will shit your pants. (Thematic!)

Next week: Pay It Forward. As always, please leave your suggestions in the comments or in an email. And if you haven’t done so already, please consult the Official Rules.

Easter Egg for the Superfans, Bonus GIF Edition:

*It would be the poor man’s Signs if Signs wasn’t already the poor man’s Signs.

Comments (107)
  1. wait wait wait i still have so many questions: did you get busted for plagiarism? did you convince your teacher how crazy good you are at frenetic plot summaries? did you plagiarize your next paper just to teach that bitch a lesson? was she hot? what’s a spiral of madness and how can i descend into one?

  2. argh  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +28

    Hi, I am waging a one person Internet campaign to stop “phase” from morphing into an accepted alternate spelling for “faze”. YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    • Sally  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +8

      I actually almost did this the other day but my spell-check stopped me. I’ve felt ashamed ever since and you’re not helping. NO JUDGMENT.

    • technojeremy  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +1

      yup, just phasing out those internet misspellings. keep up the good work!

  3. There’s a fine line between terribly bad and hilariously bad. Across that line is my Netflix queue. Welcome aboard Dreamcatcher!

  4. Evan  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +2

    I’m not going to lie, the first 30 or so minutes of this movie were pretty good, but it went downhill SO FUCKING FAST.

  5. In before someone says “He PLAYS a mentally retarded Red Sox fan? But they all are!”

    (No, we’re not. Well, half of us aren’t.)

  6. Demetri  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +8

    Dreamcatchers work. If your dream is to be gay.

  7. This movie truly is a magnificent achievement. It’s like Lawrence Kasdan, William Goldman, and Stephen King got together and conspired to make sure every single f@cking aspect of this movie was as ill-conceived as possible. This movie is a gold medalist in the Fail Olympics…needless to say, I think I love it.

  8. Goddammit. I was gonna suggest Gothika.

  9. zap  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 -41

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  10. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  11. Never make fun of Stephen King. That is my job because I love him so much and am allowed to punch him in the face because of how I love him. He is my girlfriend, and if he ever tries to leave me, I will run him over with my van (again).

  12. Krista  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 -9

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  13. can twilight be in consideration for next round? i don’t think it exactly breaks any of the guidelines.. it’s been pretty well discussed on this site but crazed vampire fans and robert pattinson aside, the movie itself was HORRIBLE with a capital HORRIBLE.

  14. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  15. Flo  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +17

    I have one suggestion…”In the Land of Women.” This movie makes NO sense, not to mention it was in the theaters here for about 4 days, and I live in a college town full of sorostitutes who loved the O.C. and thus Adam Brody. Trust me, it’s BAD!!

  16. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  17. VoteQuimby  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +6

    I told you so this movie is the worst.

    I’m glad The Last Kiss was reviewed before this to emphasize the difference between mediocre, annoying movies and bad movies.

  18. I just want my kids back.

  19. Dan S  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +10

    I’m going to put a plug in for “The Forgotten.” If also has surprising alien-related plot twists/devices, and actually ends with the hero saving the day with her LOVE! It’s like care bears, but less real.

  20. Damien Lewis, i love you. How could you do this to our relationship? goddammmit, Damien Lewis. goddammit.

  21. candyfloss  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +2

    Oooo! The Forgotten is a great worst movie nom! I love McNulty but Juliane Moore is the worst.AHHHH WAIT!!! I know what movie has to TWMOAT! It was a Julianne Moore spectacular, she plays some drug-addled baby mama who claims her toddler was kidnapped by Scary Black Men (it wasn’t) and it causes some kind of race riot in the projects yo. Carmela Soprano and Samuel Jackson are also in it and it is the worst kind of piece of shit. I had to look up the name because was of the worst (best) things about this movie is thatthe title makes NO SENSE. “Freedomland”.

  22. gah  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +4

    I vote for The Prime Gig, starring Vince Vaughn. Its a movie about high stakes telemarketing. Please, its so bad.

  23. Speaking of teachers. I was a senior in highschool when this hit theaters and my Art/Photography teacher recommended this as THE BEST MOVIE SHE’D EVER SEEN. I actually did catch it on HBO once. Batshit insane.

  24. himay  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +18

    I nominate Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. gross.

  25. rk  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +1

    In the Land of Women, still.

  26. RunBMC  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +1

    I am usually a big fan of Julianne Moore, but I am going to have to second the whole FREEDOMLAND, THE FORGOTTON, BLINDNESS trifecta. They are all bad in almost the same way (usually in what she is scripted to do and say rather than from a poor performance), so any one of them would work for your purposes. Add to that the hideous remake of PSYCHO, and I can’t believe I still like watching her in anything.

    And Gabe, a blessing on your house for recognizing DREAMCATCHER as the colossal WTF that it is. That was fun!

  27. bd  |   Posted on Apr 6th, 2009 +1

    I’ll say it again, and someone please second the motion, MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS!!!!

  28. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  29. Review Ghosts of Mars! Me and two friends saw it in 12th grade. We were the only people in the theater (this is about a week after its release). It sucked hard. We promptly snuck into the next theater and saw Unfaithful because Diane Lane got naked in it.

  30. I love in movies when the child version of the guy with goofy glasses wears goofy glasses. I always wish the people with beards would have beards as kids too.

    • Stephen King does this ALOT. It’s so you know whos who 20 years later cause you’re too dumb to remember names.
      Also almost peed my pants about the bearded kids

  31. Could you make a GIF of Helen Hunt slapping Haley Joel Osmond?

  32. AP  |   Posted on Apr 7th, 2009 +1

    dude… you shouldnt make fun of the King. seriously.
    about the movie: well, it is terrible, but i dont think its the worst ever. its kinda hilarious, in some weird way. its a lot more stupid than painfull.

  33. AP  |   Posted on Apr 7th, 2009 +6

    also, you shouldnt make fun of damian lewis. the man commanded easy company in WW2, you little punk.

  34. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  35. GABE HOW OLD ARE YOU THIS IS TEARING ME UP INSIDE

  36. Alex  |   Posted on Apr 7th, 2009 +1

    Yes, I too nominate Freedomland. It is seriously the worst…

  37. Guys- If you read the site at all, you would know that Gabe lies about his age to try to relate to “us kids” and have his opinions seem more relevant. Gabe is actually a 62 year old retired cabinet maker who enjoys whittling schooners and yelling at neighborhood punks to stay off his perfectly manicured lawn. He is a veteran of Vietnam where he worked as a procurement officer in Okinawa, but-despite his veteran status- THESE DAMN KIDS STILL WILL NOT RESPECT HIS PROPERTY!

  38. Julie  |   Posted on Apr 7th, 2009 +5

    Don’t worry about how old Gabe is, he’s young, hot, and makes me pee my pants. All I want in a man.
    GUNZ! http://www.urlesque.com/2008/07/23/blogger-mancrush-gabe-delahaye/

  39. I saw this in the theater. There’s no doubt it’s terrible, but I was totally entertained. It’s the truest embodiment of WTF a movie could ever be.

  40. Beloved! B E L O V E D.

  41. Chadams  |   Posted on Apr 7th, 2009 +4

    I’m assuming the butt alien was not a metaphor for the loss of innocence, though I wish it were.

    Again – “Boys & Girls” w/ Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani & Jason Biggs is absolutely THE worst movie ever. (I lied about Spanglish, obviously.)

  42. Casey  |   Posted on Apr 7th, 2009 +3

    Yessss…do The Forgotten, if only for Julianne Moore’s “I am woman hear me roar” speech that kills the alien. That movie was a steaming pile.

  43. Might I add, because of this movie I now have to check my toilet for both alien butt monsters _and_ Ghoulies… thanks a lot, movie!

  44. Billys Beanez  |   Posted on Apr 7th, 2009 -3

    Adventureland. That movie is the worst of all time. I will donate the price of the ticket in order for you to suffer through it’s terribility to be terrible.

  45. Gabe! I was also accused of plagiarizing a 1 page book report I wrote in 9th grade! Solidarity!

  46. I don’t know if anyone has said this yet because I’m too lazy to check, but RED DAWN. It’s about a rag-tag bunch of high-schoolers who team up to save the world from the Communists. Also, Patrick Swayze is in it, so you know it’s good (I mean bad) (I mean good).

  47. Idk if this has been suggested, but The Lakehouse.
    Worst movie ever. and worst actor ever. Oh Keanu.

  48. Julie  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 +5

    REPO! GENETIC OPERA. Paris Hilton’s face falls off, end of story.

    And I’m VERY surprised I haven’t seen Factory Girl nominated before. I think the fact that someone allowed Hayden Christianson to play Bob Dylan is enough to cement this one at a top ‘Hunt’ pick.

    • bnanake  |   Posted on Apr 13th, 2009 0

      i don’t think either of them were in general distribution, like, in movie theaters, which i believe breaks the rules. either that or i live in a giant cocoon.

  49. “mentally retarded Red Sox fan” is redundant.

  50. Also, I take issue with some of these WMOAT suggestions. Idiocracy? Really? That movie is hilarious. For real. Beef Supreme? Come on, guys.

  51. Gabe when you typed ” AN ALIEN THAT SQUIRTS OUT OF HIS BUTT” I thought you were doing one of those just checking to make sure you were paying attention things that people sometimes do. But then I saw the video clip that confirmed it. What was the pitch meeting like for this movie? Didn’t anyone esp. MORGAN FREEMAN think a movie about butt aliens was a bad idea.

  52. Gabe is the Chair of the Department of Professor-and-Major Jokes, currently working on I Will Pretty Much Always Pee Myself at the University of It Never Gets Old.

  53. Ashley  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 +2

    BLINDNESS BLINDNESS BLINDNESS BLINDNESS BLINDNESS BLINDNESS
    for the Hunt… I just saw it. It is THE WORST.

  54. jacksfork  |   Posted on Apr 9th, 2009 +2

    I went to see this movie in theatres years ago when it came out with one other person. We laughed the ENTIRE time. The other 13 people in the theatre were so pissed, and I remember trying so hard to stop from laughing, but we just couldn’t.

    Dreamcatcher is absolutely hilarious, in a completely unintentional way. Duditz was the man.

    • i had the same experience EXACTLY when i went to see twilight with a friend of mine. the best part was when i made a joke about rob pattinson’s making his “constipated face” and when she started to laugh a girl in front of us turned around and started to give us a lecture about how disrespectful we were until my friend interrupted her and said “HOLY SHIT! SHE HAS THE SAME CONSTIPATED FACE AS EDWARD!” loud enough for the entire theater TO HEAR. we lol’d SO HARD! i was afraid we were gonna get jumped by 13-year-old girls in the parking lot afterwards

  55. I love Dreamcatcher, I was really surprised to see it on your list, but you made up for it with your awesome review. Now please review Rules of Attraction. Please

  56. Not agreed exactly. The ass aliens was a terrible, terrible thing. But this movie was Thomas Jane at his comedic best and when I saw it I had no idea it wasn’t meant to be funny.

  57. Lisa  |   Posted on Apr 9th, 2009 -2

    Sex and the City movie, please. That would be the only movie I walked out of if my vapid, tasteless ride home hadn’t been loving it. By the time I had finally decided it would be less embarrassing to be waiting in the lobby, all of the movie’s 9000 minutes had ended.

    Also, I know you have banned musicals but my god, Moulin Rouge is about three million times worse than Across the Universe (and I agree that Across the Universe is painfully terrible).

  58. jenni  |   Posted on Apr 9th, 2009 +2

    I nominate Mr. Wrong (1996). It stars Ellen and Bill Pulman. Everyone except me and my boyfriend at the time walked out. We got to 3rd base.

  59. Color of Night  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2009 0

    This is nowhere near as bad as Color of Night.
    It has Lance Henriksen *and* Brad Dourif.
    I nominate this quality film.

  60. lexib  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2009 +3

    You want a shitty movie? I’ve got one for you:

    “A Midsummer Night’s Rave”

    I think the title argues for the dumbassery and wtfness contained in the movie. But in case there are doubters, let me drop the tagline on ya’ll:

    “get pucked up”.

    I rest my case.

  61. PJ Beardsley  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2009 +2

    Ok, so this is my first time here and I just scanned all these entries, back to your preliminary nominations, most of which have not been seen here yet. One from that list that I must beg for is THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE. I saw this movie on Comedy Central years ago and it still haunts me. How could this movie possibly exist? How did they get Matthew Broderick, John Cusack, and Anthony Hopkins to star (In 1994 no less!)? Who decided it was OK for Dana Carvey to play a southern retard? Are high quantities of yogurt up the ass really good for you?

    please help answer these and so many other questions. finally bring me peace…

  62. ajmer  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2009 +1

    SURVEILLANCE is like a WT double F* of a lynchian student B-movie nightmare. Or a GASP! for air out of instant artistic recognition. Ether way its irritating.

    Must be hard to be The Daughter of Lynch…

  63. dave  |   Posted on Apr 10th, 2009 -1

    Sorry I know this isn’t strictly to do with Dream Catcher but how did Crash not make his list of worst movies of all time? That movie sucked seven ways from sunday. I love how a movie about racial stereotypes can’t raise itself above using stereotypes either and then some genius gave it an Oscar. Please.

  64. Sally Bowles  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2009 -1

    “My Life As A House” with Kevin Kline and “Stranger Than Fiction” with Will Ferrell were so cringe- and groan-inducing, I somehow made it to the end of both, albeit with a pillow over my face and a fifth of Smirnoff in my bloodstream.

  65. electricgibbon  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2009 0

    Righteous Kill

  66. PJ Beardsley  |   Posted on Apr 12th, 2009 0

    oh man Life As a House is really awful

  67. Lucky  |   Posted on Apr 12th, 2009 0

    I recommend the film “Bella” . Its sad because people actually believe this movie is good becasue the DVD cover tells you over and over how other people think it was good. But this movie was the most pretentious piece of crap I have ever watched. i almost broke the DVD in half after watching it, but I didnt becasue I had to return it, But anyway, terrible terrible film.

  68. dagnabbit  |   Posted on Apr 13th, 2009 +1

    I actually thought Dreamcatcher was “OK”…but this was the funniest “Hunt” ever! What IS it with S. King and his fixation on what happens to you when you’re 12?

    Oooo yeah….The Forgotten is terrrrible. It would have been a better movie if at the end, they just came out and said…”oh yeah…none of this happened…she’s obviously crazy…the clues are all there”.
    That way, the sequel about her leading the blind people around an empty city would make a little more sense. And also the prequel where she’s eating brains with Hannibal Lecter would fit a little better in this context.

  69. HN1  |   Posted on Apr 13th, 2009 0

    I cannot wait for Pay it Forward. From Spacey’s burned face to lil’ plucker Haley Joel Osment’s pre-stained undershirt… oooooh, ‘sgonna be good.

  70. edc  |   Posted on Apr 14th, 2009 -1

    the reason there are so many downvotes [hey look!]
    is because this site is for grown white jewish idiots to pretend they’re
    the popular ones in high school.

  71. this was such a strange schizo movie

  72. i used to like king`s short fiction when i was in high school, but shied away from devoting any great length of time reading his stuff due to his reliance on the `magic retard` trope. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheRainman suffice it to say, you could conduct a hunt for the WMoAT completely within the confines of the magic retard category.

  73. i saw this movie when i was little — ok, 13 — and it freaked me the fuck out. but now i realize i wasn’t frightened by SCARY-NESS, i was frightnened by CONFUSION-OSITY.
    i went on to wonder why chris martin was in it.

  74. not correct  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2009 0

    Four words “Manos: hand of fate” It has to be the worst movie EVER!
    The first 14 minutes nothing happens, really, really really, It’s just footage of hills going by in a car

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