Paul (Nicolas Cage) is a biology professor with a wife and two teenage daughters. There are multiple challenges for Paul, including trying to fulfil his long-term dreams of writing and publishing a book. Many around Paul live a life of success and wealth, but for Paul, frustrations and disappointments continue.
One day, Paul’s daughter talks about her strange, chaotic dream. In her dream, Paul was present, watching all the craziness from a distance. As Paul goes about his day, he soon finds many others also dreamed about him standing watching strange things occur. Paul even finds strangers claiming to have dreamed about him. While the events of everyone dreaming about him are inexplicable, Paul enjoys all the newfound attention and celebrity status. However, the fame and stardom that follows from appearing in others’ dreams soon takes a dark turn. Those who have been dreaming of Paul soon begin to have nightmares where Paul is now acting crazily, violent, and even murderous.
Dream Scenario is best described as a comedy with introduced horror elements as many begin to have nightmares of Paul. Director Kristoffer Borgli is best known for past titles such as Sick of Myself and Drib. Apart from being reminiscent of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, who conducts horrific murders in people’s dreams, Dream Scenario is different and unique.
Nicolas Cage is fantastic as Paul, the leading character. To begin with, Paul is a character full of various emotions. At times, he’s fragile, edgy, and timid. There’s a substantial shift in Cage’s performance as Paul begins to gain fame, and again as we see the horrifying acts and dreams that people have featuring Paul. To my surprise, the actor also had many humorous moments and delivered many great lines of dialogue. An unexpected side performance from actor Michael Cera was also welcomed.
As for the plot, I enjoyed it immensely right from the start. The film introduces a fascinating hook where something bizarre and unexplainable occurs. Watching the leading character, Paul, discover what’s happening is enjoyable and entertaining, and what comes next is always unexpected and unpredictable. I enjoyed the entire journey on-screen and the absurd comedy, but I must state I found the film’s finale ended abruptly and somewhat unsatisfying.
Overall, Dream Scenario introduces an excellent hook with its wild premise, and what comes next is unexpected. Nicolas Cage is terrific as the lead, displaying many emotions at the beginning before his character begins to significantly change as the film progresses and introduces horror aspects. The sound stage throughout the film is stunning, and the journey is different, fun, and downright bizarre. While I enjoyed most of this experience and story, I think many viewers will have a different interpretation of what’s happening and why. While I enjoyed the film overall, I am saddened to say I wasn’t fond of the final moments, which felt abrupt and weaker than the rest of the feature.
Dream Scenario (2023) will be available in Australian cinemas starting January 1st.