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Dream Cinema Reviews: The Mysterious Case of … What Even Is The Case, Here?

CW: brief mention of suicide, albeit in a completely absurd context. Oh, and also body horror, oddly enough?

This dream is rated [ WTF ]: inappropriate for all audiences due to making no sense whatsoever and leaving EVERYONE hanging.

***

I give up on trying to understand my dreams.

I just had one that segued from wish-fulfillment-but-also-stress to SPOOKY AF. I started messaging a friend about it, as you do, but the message slowly turned into a really-quite-long review of the dream in question.

So, of course, I decided to post it here. As one does.

Gentle readers, I give you … Erm. Well.

Whatever you want to call this mess.

Dream Cinema: It Gets Weird

So, in this dream, I’m on my way to participate in a Muay Thai competition—never mind that I haven’t set foot in a MT gym in AGES—but on the morning of the same I have to film something with Louisville Ballet—never mind that I dance with Lexington Ballet.

At least the LouBallet bit makes some measure of sense, since I take class at LouBallet School on breaks, just finished a masterclass there, and have been offered the occasional character part that I can never take bc it invariably coincides with something LexBallet is doing *le sigh*.

For some reason, I’m staying with a huge swath of my family (Mom, Step-Dad, Sis, Denis, Momma Fluffy (my MIL), both Bros-in-Law and the wife and kids of Younger Bro-In-Law) at a … hotel? Campground? Both?

I’m still not sure, bc dreams be like “Why not randomly shift gears from hotel to campground in midstream, but also make it the weirdest campground ever and only vaguely imply that it even *is* a campground? #YOLO”

It’s also unclear whether they’ve all come along to specifically to watch me probably get my butt kicked or whether we’re just all taking some kind of giant and very strange family road-trip 🤷‍♂️

Anyway, I’m supposed to be doing a kind of subsidiary road trip to the Muay Thai thing with BR and ATK from LouBallet and my friend EMM from LouBallet school after we get done filming ballet stuff, but while I’m packing up I A] can’t find my dance belt and B] can’t remember the phrase “dance belt,” so I can’t really ask for help either?

The fam heads out so they can get good seats, etc, for the MT thing, and the rest of us stay behind to sort out the dance belt situation.

So we’re shooting the breeze and hunting for the mysterious Essential Thing, which I finally find. While I’m changing, the hotel-cum-campground transforms into BR’s house (specifically, his kitchen), which I have definitely never seen IRL, bc I barely know the guy. This, of course, doesn’t phase me in the least, because dreams 🤷‍♂️

I notice it’s starting to get dark, recheck my schedule, and realize that I’ve basically missed the entire competition. EMM has to go home but BR and ATK decide to accompany me to wherever the MT thing is anyway (I have this vague post-dream sense that it was in, like, Paducah?) so we can all … hang out with my family, I guess?

We’re walking out to the cars and deciding whether we should all ride with ATK (whose argument was the she has the best music, which is probably true bc she’s awesome) when my Mom calls to ask if we were okay and (I think?) we decide to wait for my family at BR’s place.

(Sidebar: this conversation includes my Mom being like, “Wow, I didn’t know you were into anything that violent! But it looks like fun!” Which I can 100% see her saying irl, no joke 🤣)

So we head back into the kitchen and we’re making snacks in the form of a charcuterie board and talking about BW (blast from the past!) when bit by bit the dream shifts gears.

Like: I kid you not, the charcuterie board turns into a dead guy being prepared for a funeral ON THE KITCHEN ISLAND (WTF, DREAM 😶).

The dream has somehow yeeted ATK right out, but for a minute BR plays the role of the sensitive and thoughtful mortician preparing the body. I’m there for a sec, and then I’m not there and have never been there (dreams 🤷‍♂️).

Then BR, aka The Mortician, is and has always been played by a tall, thin white guy, bc apparently my brain thinks morticians be pale, or something? #TvTropes

And then the dead guy’s distraught but also overweening Mom (played by Kelly’s Mom, Diane, who IRL is only about as crazy as everyone, and not as out there as Dream Mom) is somehow there (in the logic of the dream, she’s been there all along? Bc dreams be like, “I’m a dream; I don’t HAFTA make sense! #YOLO”).

Dream Mom is weepily trying to ensure that her baby boy will look as pure as the driven snow, which apparently means coating his entire person in literally clown-white foundation?

(I mean: C’mon, Dream Cinema, even in my sleep I can spot a blunt and clunky visual metaphor: like, okay, according to his mom, duder was a saint, or at least a harmless innocent, or we’re painting over the sins she fears he may have committed, or whatever, and this is how she’s trying to express it. Which seems vaguely racist. MOVING ON.)

By this point, btw, my dream-consciousness is alternating between camera/audience and being inside the head of the mortician. Occasionally both at once, bc dreams, amirite?

Anyway! At one point, the mortician turns away to look for a brush of some kind, thinking to himself that although Dream Mom is deeply distraught, he should maybe give her a bit more guidance, bvshe’s making decisions that she might later regret (qv: Literally. Clown-white. Foundation. 🤡☠️👻).

Dream Camera zooms in to show Mortician’s hand gently patting the hand of the dead guy and possibly? smudging some kind of charcoal powder into the creases of Dead Guy’s knuckles (by mistake, obvs).

The dream audience perspective goes, “Mom’s gonna be pissed if she sees that” and then “That’s not good” and then “Oh, shizzle, this is some kind of foreshadowing, isn’t it?” and then “WHAT IF THE GRIME IS RISING UP FROM THE DEAD GUY’S SKIN?! 😬”

Cut to Dream Mom and the Mortician still not noticing.

Cut back to the hand, which definitely looks grimier than before, doesn’t it? Or does it? Dream Audience can’t be sure.

And then:

The fingers twitch.

Like…

THE

FINGERS

T w I T cH 😮

Dream Audience A] wonders if the Mom saw it and B] announces that it could just be leftover nerve impulses (WHICH: um, no).

Dream camera zooms back out to show that neither Mom or the Mortician saw the fingers twitch.

Mom is weepily thanking the Mortician for taking such good care of her baby boy (who was, btw, probably in his 20s or 30s? Just for clarity. And probably also a dancer, unless I’ve just been thoroughly enough immersed in a mileu comprised entirely of dancers to default to all semi-naked men in dreams being built like dancers). Mortician glances back, notices the black smudges, and turns back to wash his hands and find even more white foundation.

Cue growing sense of dread, though it’s not clear yet whether we should be afraid OF the dead guy or FOR the dead guy.

Dream Camera literally flashes back to the bit where they removed the organs to weigh them during the autopsy; likewise, as we return to the dream-present, my brain retcons in a gigantic autopsy incision (I literally remember being like, “That wasn’t there before … Was it?”), closed but very clearly evident. (Implied: what if he was somehow AWAKE during the autopsy???!!!111)

Dream Audience wonders whether they simply didn’t notice it before, or??? Dream Audience be gullible. (I literally remember being like, “Wait, that wasn’t there before … Or was it?

Mortician slathers more clown-white on Dead Guy’s hand, then does the other one for good measure. Dream Camera cuts to a wider shot of Dead Guy, clown-white and terribly still. Mortician is just in the edge of the shot, turning away.

Dream Camera pulls back a little further as Mortician busies himself at the counter behind him, seeking another brush or something again.

Mom-of-Dead Guy continues to talk to Mortician about how she knows her baby boy would never commit suicide but doesn’t understand why someone would want to hurt him (not sure how that came up, bc I don’t remember there being any sense of either having been a Probable Cause before? Pretty sure Dead Guy had originally drowned, and entirely by accident. DREAMS. UGH. 🤷‍♂️).

Cut to a wider shot of the room, which is still clearly a kitchen, but for some reason the Mortician is doing this job privately as he sometimes does (you just know things like that in dreams … bc D R E A M S 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️). Both Mom and Mortician are still facing away from Dead Guy, talking.

Dead Guy kind of shudders and gives a kind of strangled moan 😰

Mom looks up anxiously; Mortician is also spooked but explains rather gallantly that sometimes trapped air can escape from the lungs and cause a moaning sound.

Dream Camera, and thus Dream Audience, knows the Mortician doesn’t quite believe what he’s saying, at least not in this case, because the lungs aren’t even connected anymore. Heck, they might not even be IN THERE anymore.

Conversation between Mom and Mortician stumbles back up to tempo.

A moment passes.

Dead

Guy

SITS

UP 😱😱😱 with a pained wail and vomits blood and … embalming fluid[1]??? 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

(Pedantic Dream Audience wonders how this is possible, given that there shouldn’t be any blood or possibly even organs left in there.Note that Pedantic Dream Audience is unconcerned with the plausibility of a DAD GUY SITTING UP UNDER HIS OWN POWER IN THE FIRST PLACE. Ffs.

Another part of Dream Audience is like, “Yoooooooo, Mortician is never cooking in that kitchen again.” SHUT UP, DREAM AUDIENCE.)

Also, for some reason, DEAD GUY IS NOW WEARING GLASSES.

WHY?

DEAD GUY DOES NOT NEED GLASSES ANYMORE.

Besides, he wasn’t wearing them a minute ago.

(Pedantic Dream Audience notes that they’re a plot device intended to make Dead Guy more sympathetic—which, to be fair, they somehow do. He’s like a taller, hot, and [admittedly] very dead Rick Moranis, somehow? But Awake Me is also pretty sure they’re a direct callback to Dead Glasses Guy in Bly Manor.)

Mom and Mortician turn to look just as Hot, Dead Rick Moranis collapses into an effortless forward fold (obviously, my brain believes that all hamstrings, even dead ones, are dancer hamstrings).

Feeling of dread solidifies in the direction of fear FOR Dead Guy (OMG! CAN HE FEEL WHAT’S HAPPENING TO HIM? IF HE’S STILL ALIVE IS IT TOO LATE TO SAVE HIM??!! I mean it doesn’t make any physiological sense but CLEARLY PHYSIOLOGY NO LONGER MATTERS, HERE 😱) … but with the knowledge that Mom and Mortician are simultaneously afraid FOR and OF Dead Guy.

They both reach out to him; Mortician is trying to think of a way to explain this to Mom that will sound plausibly non-supernatural even though he now realizes beyond the shadow of a doubt that S**T JUST GOT REAL, YO.

They both grab hold of Dead Guy ANNNND

I EFFING WAKE UP[1].

WTF, dreams?!!!!! DEAD GUY CLEARLY HAS UNFINISHED BUSINESS. Or at any rate SOMEBODY does.

This is SO NOT FAIR to ANY OF US.

TL;DR: 3/10, compelling story but utterly absurd plot development and questionable continuity with a TERRIBLE CLIFFHANGER ENDING.

WHAT HAPPENS TO DEAD GUY?! WHAT INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THING DOES HE HAVE TO SAY?

Or has he just, somehow, really been Only Mostly Dead the whole time?

The world may never know.

And I WANT MY MONEY BACK, Dream Cinema.

  1. It’s entirely possible that this was the fault of D’s phone ringing and not of Dream Cinema. But you know what? When the broadcast gets interrupted during a Live In HD performance, we’re always given the option of a refund or a comp ticket for another Live in HD show. Just saying.

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