Ben Dobbs (Nick Baldasare) is a college student. Ben, who claims that he stopped having dreams at age 9 when his parents died, is now having strange nightmares. Ben is participating in an experiment at college regarding the researching of dreams. Running the experiment are Julie Oxel (Susan Pinsky) and Eric Baxter (Rick Kesler). They work under psychology department and Professor Noxx (Norm Singer), the head of the project. Ben writes down his most recent nightmare as an essay and hands it in to Professor Noxx hoping to get some answers as to what his dreams mean and how to stop them.
In Ben’s dream he has a kid brother named Ricky (Lucas Simpson). The two participate in a game of hide-and-seek. During the game Ben is stalked by a monster. Each time Ben falls asleep his dream continues on.
Noxx calls Ben asking him to come over to discuss his dream. According to Noxx, Ben is not the first to have these dreams. Some 20 years ago someone named D.F. White (Daniel White) had experienced similar violent dreams. Noxx and Ben research White. For White, the nightmares became steadily worse until he ended up in a coma and eventually died. White comes to Ben in one of his dreams and warns him that the creature will kill everyone that he loves or even asks for help. Noxx is then brutally killed by the creature.
Soon after that Eric and Julie become involved in Ben’s nightmare and are stalked by the dream monster.
“Beyond Dream’s Door” was released in 1989 and was written and directed by Jay Woelfel. It is an American fantasy horror film. The movie started as a 21-minute short that Woelfel did while he was a student at Ohio State University in 1983.
Woelfel was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. The author’s influence is easy to see. After graduating and not being able to find a job, Woelfel decided to expand on the short. Of course, with no money and no one to back the project, Woelfel had to rely on family and friends. The completed film was finally released to video in 1989.
When you’re dealing with nightmares, anything goes. Normally that would give filmmakers carte blanche to make up any weird shit they wanted to, and there is some of that going on here. Luckily this film also has something that many of those other low budget movies don’t have. A plot. The core of the movie is that this particular nightmare gets passed from person to person. When everyone in the nightmare realm is dead, it starts all over again with someone new.
The acting isn’t the greatest, but the story is captivating. For an independent regional film, it was really good.