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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Wes Craven Presents: They (review)

For a movie about bad dreams, bad nights, and the bad things that can happen when you fall asleep, this is an awful snooze. As small children, Julia, Sam, and Terry (as portrayed by a bland crew of twentysomethings) suffered from powerful night terrors, the vivid and terrifying nightmares many kids endure. Now, though, as adults, the dreams have returned, harbingers of actual physical violence to come from a realm beyond our own. Or so we’re told. Though there is much gnashing of teeth and agonizing over nodding off for a nap or being left in the dark, this restless excuse for a thriller tosses and turns its way nowhere, utterly failing to create any sense of menace or any coherent impression of the threat supposedly looming over its characters. Who are “they,” and what do “they” want with us? We never learn. But it’s not worth losing sleep over.


MPAA: rated PG-13 for terror/violence, sexual content and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

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