- 1 hr 28 min
Deathdream is a 1974 horror film directed by Bob Clark and written by Alan Ormsby. It tells the story of a family who receives devastating news: their son, Andy, has been killed on the battlefield in Vietnam. However, when Andy suddenly returns home, the family is both relieved and disturbed as they notice strange changes in his behavior. As the days go by, Andy's family comes to realize that their son is no longer the same person they once knew, and his return home may not be the miracle they hoped for. John Marley stars as Charles Brooks, Andy's father, who is both ecstatic and suspicious when his son suddenly returns home. Lynn Carlin plays Andy's mother, Christine, who is consumed by guilt and sadness over her son's death and struggles to come to terms with his return. Richard Backus plays Andy, who initially appears to be a changed but harmless version of his former self. As the film progresses, Backus delivers a haunting and disturbing performance that leaves the audience both sympathetic and terrified of his character. The film takes place in a small town in the United States during the Vietnam War. It is clear from the beginning that the Brooks family, like many others at the time, is deeply affected by the war and the loss of their son. As they try to adjust to Andy's return, they begin to notice strange occurrences such as odd phone calls and disturbances in the household. The family also starts to see that Andy's personality has changed radically. He is quiet and distant, and he often disappears without explanation. As the family's suspicions grow, they begin to worry that something strange and dangerous has happened to Andy while he was in Vietnam. Charles, Christine, and their daughter Cathy, played by Aneta Corsaut, try to investigate the strange things happening around Andy, but they struggle to find any explanations. Meanwhile, Andy seems to be growing increasingly unstable, and his behavior becomes increasingly erratic and violent. Deathdream is a powerful commentary on the trauma inflicted by war and the concept of "the return of the living dead." The film draws heavily from the zombie genre, as Andy's behavior becomes increasingly inhuman and the family grapples with the idea that he may no longer be fully alive. However, this is not a typical zombie movie. Instead, Deathdream focuses more on the psychological and emotional horror of the situation, highlighting the family's struggle to come to terms with their son's return and their own guilt and grief over his death. The film's climactic third act delivers a shocking and devastating conclusion that will leave viewers stunned. Beyond its horror elements, Deathdream is a deeply moving and heartbreaking drama about the cost of war and the lengths ordinary people will go to in order to protect their families from the devastating consequences of violence. Overall, Deathdream is a masterful horror film that deserves to be more well-known today. It features strong performances from its cast, particularly Richard Backus who gives a haunting and truly disturbing portrayal of a man twisted by war. The film's commentary on trauma and the psychological impact of violence is just as relevant today as it was in 1974. If you're a fan of horror films that are both scary and emotionally impactful, Deathdream is definitely worth checking out.