Just Another Dream begins with a kid pitching at a softball game and getting hit in the head by an errant ball. Years later, a now 14-year-old Anna (Kayden Bryce) begins having vivid nightmares about the future. She insists these are premonitions of tragedy despite the best efforts of her mother, Cindy (Kristy Swanson), to console her. With the help of her best friend, Josh (Copeland Driver), Anna must prove her sanity and safe future lives.
Over time, Anna’s dreams begin to escalate, leading her mother to check her into a mental hospital. Once at the hospital, under the care of Dr. Jenkins (Dean Cain), Anna must find a way to warn her mother of the impending danger. The film makes a few references to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as Takota (Eugene Brave Rock) attempts to guide Anna’s unnatural gift of foresight.
“…Anna must find a way to warn her mother of the impending danger.”
Director Paul Schneider and screenwriter Jennifer Nicole Lee attempt to craft a family-friendly supernatural/ psychological thriller with Just Another Dream. Even when the movie escalates to car accidents and potential masked killers, it never goes beyond what you’d see in a PG film. Unfortunately, this causes the production to fall into inexcusable amounts of exposition and constant plot reminders. I can appreciate a family-friendly movie; I love many kids’ films. However, it is vital to know your audience and never to talk down to them. It’s difficult for me to think of an audience for Just Another Dream. Fortune-telling/supernatural crime stoppers have worked on-screen in the past. Between Young Sherlock Holmes or Run or even pretend psychics like in Psych or The Mentalist, the genre of semi-family friendly mysteries has a following.
However, for a 90-minute production, Just Another Dream lacks the thrills to keep teens engaged, momentum to keep kid’s attention, and the suspense to keep an adult invested. If it were the pilot to a Freeform series, I think it could gain some traction. However, as a movie, we do not know the characters enough to create real tension or invest in the story. The filmmakers mean well and try to tap into a specific fandom, but they just fall short.
"…the genre of semi-family friendly mysteries has a following."