Peter Proud is having such vivid dreams about swimming in a lake but then being killed by a woman in a boat that he seeks help regarding this. His girlfriend says that whilst he’s having this recurring nightmare he even starts talking in his sleep but in another man’s voice! He even screams the name of the woman who is killing him and identifies her as Marcia. Peter then sets off on investigating if in fact he is channeling someone else’s experiences.
Max Ehrlich’s novel is brought to life by director J. Lee Thompson with verve and flair with Ehrlich also writing the screenplay. The 70’s were a time of the exploration of alternative concepts such as reincarnation, Transcendental Meditation and other new age fads. This film perfectly taps into and captures this brilliantly. It’s great to see a 1970’s sleep lab and how it differs to the 1980’s equivalent in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
I also loved the fact that it almost seems like Peter’s destiny to follow the trail of breadcrumbs being laid out for him such as the documentary he sees on television in which he recognises several landmarks that he sees in his dream. Hes being lured by fate to go deeper into this specific rabbit hole.
But thats enough spoilers and plot devices given away. The less you know about this film, the more you will enjoy it’s twists and turns. There are uniformly great performances but theres one that especially deserves praise- Margot Kidder. Shes even playing a character a lot older than she was in real life and pulls it off beautifully.
Also, listen out for Jerry Goldsmith’s eerie and darkly psychedelic soundtrack. It matches the paranormal events amazingly.
This would make a very chilling double-bill with Don’t Look Now.
4/5 out of 5 stars