Dream Demon (1988 film)

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"Two women trapped in a savage nightmare... To escape they must confront the Dream Demon!" A young woman about to be married begins having terrifying dreams about demons. When she wakes, however, the demons are real and begin to commit gruesome murders.


Promotional image for Dream Demon (1988 film)...
  • Release Date: 1988
  • Country/Language: UK, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror
  • Setting: 1980s UK, Dreamlands
  • Runtime: 1 hr 26 min
  • Starring: Jemma Redgrave, Kathleen Wilhoite, Timothy Spall
  • Director: Harley Cokeliss (as Harley Cokliss)
  • Writer: Harley Cokeliss (as Harley Cokliss)
  • Producer/Production Co: Palace Pictures, British Screen Productions, International Spectrafilm
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: R (Violence, Adult Content, Profanity, brief Nudity)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • Ss___ (One and a Half Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; vaguely similar in tone)

Based on the trailer alone, this might arguably an alternative take on weird Dreamlands horror, though it seems to have a little more in common with Nightmare on Elm Street than with Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction).

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • Video Review by TMG Review (Link) - "The problem is with this film is that it's trying too hard to be scary, but it just becomes tired, trite and confusing."
  • Review by Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Review (2/5 Stars) (Link) - "However, all the murky symbolism ... a considerable degree of confusion between when it is dream and reality, adds to a puzzling mess. There is, for instance, no titular demon. Everything sort of makes sense eventually but in a rather pointless way that reeks of exaggerated pretensions."
  • Review by Charles Tatum at Charles Tatum's Review Archive (4/5 Stars) (Link) - "Cokliss keeps his cast very small, and that works. There are no extra characters or red herrings thrown in to confuse you about the identity of the blonde girl. The setting is very good, with a lot of action taking place in broad daylight. ... The film does get into Freddy Krueger territory once in a while, when Redgrave begs Wilhoite not to let her sleep, and there are too many scenes where you are supposed to believe the subjects are awake, when in fact you know they are dreaming and something bad is about to happen... This is entertaining enough, especially if you have nothing else to do, and you might get a few scares out of it."
  • Review at Chris Wood British Horror Films (Link) - "Dream Demon is a puzzle - it works on some levels (the special effects are nicely done, if a bit understated, and it is genuinely frightening at points), baffles at others ..., and ultimately disappoints. ... there are some brilliant ideas going on. Dream Demon is worth watching for its artistic sensibilities alone - I loved the idea of the world beyond the mirror, the weird effect as people disappear from real life is nicely done and some of the gore effects are spectacular. It's jut a shame it hasn't got any real baddies in it."
  • Review (Contains Spoilers) by Cody Yoder at It All Happens in the Dark (C) (Link) - "Dream Demon has some very strong visuals – the first few dreams are considerably well done – and the performances are all believable, but the story is too threadbare. ... The pay off isn’t substantial enough – emotionally or story wise and things are wrapped up far too easily and neatly. And a lot is never explained..."

Synopsis (SPOILERS)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

A young woman about to be married begins having terrifying dreams about demons. When she wakes, however, the demons are real and begin to commit gruesome murders.


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

Keeper Notes