Dream or Nightmare: 20 Exciting Dream Movies

People spend about a third of their lives in a dream, but not always a daily trip to the kingdom of Morpheus gives rest. Night visions often turn into nightmares that even British scientists cannot explain. However, sleep paralysis, coma, lethargic and prophetic dreams are of interest not only to science – in the cinema they also know how to crush the pillow. Our selection includes both thrillers and chilling horror films, as well as fantasy films about dreams that awaken the imagination.

Just a dream (2021)

The main character of the new movie is actively involved in sports , and in one of the training sessions she gets a head injury. Doctors do not find anything serious in the girl, but on the very first night she has a prophetic dream about a bank robbery . A teenager shares his discovery with his parents, who attribute their daughter’s predictions to her imagination. When another vision prophesies the death of her mother, the girl tries with all her might to change the course of events .

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Just Another Dream

Genre:
Action, drama

Actors:
Christy Swanson, Dean Cain, Eugene “Brave Stone” …

Country:
USA

Rating:
IMDb – 3.9


Nightmares (2020)

Canadian horror film about dreams is an atmospheric horror film with a mesmerizing story about the secrets of the human subconscious. Young Sarah runs away from home and spends the night outdoors, but she can’t get enough sleep. As soon as the girl enters the kingdom of Morpheus, a terrible dark figure begins to pursue her. Participation in a scientific sleep program seems like a salvation to Sarah, but as a result of the experiment, a gloomy shadow comes out of confinement, penetrating into other people’s dreams and sending sleep paralysis to the researchers themselves .

Original title:  
Come True

Genre:
Horror

Actors:  
Julia Sarah Stone, Landon Liboiron, Carly Risky…

Country:  
Canada

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 5.9

Age Limits
18+


Hyposomnia (2020)

Hagen is a security guard in a supermarket, keeping order through numerous monitors. Chronic fatigue causes insomnia, and disturbing night visions exhaust a man. Paranoia haunts Hagen at home and at work, where he increasingly notices the young guy. The young man appears to the guard in a dream – and the ghostly image gradually turns into real life.

Original title:
Cortex

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Yannis Nivener, Moritz Bleibtreu, Anna Bederke …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.2, IMDb – 5.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Mara. Dream Eater (2018)

Forensic psychologist Kate Fuller is tasked with investigating a horrific murder that occurred in a prosperous family. The victim was a man strangled in his sleep by his wife. Kate is trying to find a scientific explanation for the crime, because asphyxia could be caused by sleep paralysis. A series of deaths forces Fuller to rethink the original version, and the dream movie becomes truly creepy.

Original title:
Mara

Genre:
Horror, thriller, crime

Actors:
Olga Kurylenko, Craig Conway, Javier Botet …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.1, IMDb – 5.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Muse of Death (2017)

Professor Samuel Salomon quits his job after the strange suicide of his beloved. Since the funeral, the man has been haunted by a terrible nightmare about a bloody sacrificial ritual, and one day Samuel learns from the news about a similar murder. Salomon sneaks into the crime scene, where he meets Rachel, who is also tormented by prophetic dreams.

Original title:  
Muse

Genre:
Fantasy, thriller, detective

Actors:  
Elliot Cowen, Frank Potente, Ana Ularu …

Country:  
Spain, Ireland, Belgium, France

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 5.5, IMDb – 5.4

Age restrictions:  
18+


Lucid dream (2017)

Reporter Tae Ho releases a damning article that divides his life into “before” and “after”. A few days after the release of the material, the journalist ‘s son is kidnapped, and the investigation comes to a standstill. Tae Ho does not lose hope to return the child and continues to look for him. Three years later, the hero of the film accidentally stumbles upon an article on the Internet about the search for criminals through the method of lucid dreams, and the investigation moves off the ground.

Original title:
Rusideu deurim

Genre:
Detective, fantasy, thriller

Actors:
Ko Soo, Sol Kyung-gu, Pak Yu-cheong …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Somnia (2014)

Mystical fantasy begins with a pleasant event in the Hobson family – a married couple adopts an orphan boy . Despite his young age, Kobe has survived many upheavals and tragic deaths of loved ones, and new parents are ready to help with rehabilitation. Soon the Hobsons are faced with an unusual gift of a boy – a child can make dreams come true. However, no one is able to predict what Koby might dream the next night.

Original title:  
Before I Wake

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, thriller

Actors:  
Kate Bosworth, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane…

Country:  
USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:  
16+


Beginning (2010)

The popular sci-fi film about falling asleep is still at the very top of the top, and the controversial ending causes heated debate among viewers. Dominic Cobb is a clever spy , able to find out any secrets. A man quietly penetrates other people’s dreams, using the team’s talents and innovative technologies. The next order is the introduction of the right idea to the heir of the largest corporation, but the young successor knows how to defend himself.

Original title:  
Inception

Genre:  
Fiction, Action, Thriller

Actors:  
Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy …

Country:  
USA, UK

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 8.7, IMDb – 8.8

Age Limits
12+


Inc (2009)

The city falls asleep – wakes up … no, not the mafia at all , but two powerful forces that have been waging a fierce confrontation for centuries. One gives strength to people, broadcasting joyful dreams, and the second tries to subdue the will of the sleeping people, using terrible nightmares. In this fantasy alternate reality, a little girl wanders with a strange guide, but who is he really and where is he taking his companion?

Original title:
Ink

Genre:
Fiction, fantasy, action

Actors:
Chris Kelly, Quinn Hanchar, Jessica Duffy …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Sleep Science (2006)

The French film about experiments with sleep is an inventive art-house comedy melodrama with many unpredictable twists. After the death of his father, the shy Stefan moves to Paris with his mother, where he gets a boring job. The authorities do not pay attention to the guy’s extravagant proposals, so the young designer has to seek solace in vivid and unusual dreams.

Original title:
La science des rêves

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, comedy

Actors:
Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Shabat …

Country:
France, Italy, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Good Night (2005)

A midlife crisis strikes Harry at the most unexpected moment, and the 34-year-old hero of the film is desperately looking for a way to get rid of depression. Constant quarrels with his wife, unloved work, lack of prospects in life make me sad, and acquaintance with the cheerful Anna becomes a glimmer of light in pitch darkness. Gloomy thoughts gradually leave the musician , but there is a serious problem – meetings with a young lover are possible only in the kingdom of Morpheus.

Original title:
The Good Night

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, comedy

Actors:
Gwyneth Paltrow, Martin Freeman, Danny DeVito …

Country:
UK, Germany, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
12+


Jacket (2004)

The list of the best movies about nightmares continues with a gripping American thriller with a high rating. Trooper Jack returns to his homeland after the Iraq War with some unpleasant baggage in the form of partial amnesia . A few days later, a man is arrested on charges of killing a police officer , but the suspect does not remember anything about what happened. Jack is sent for compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital, where a former military man opens a portal to the future.

Original title:  
The Jacket

Genre:
Thriller, fantasy, detective

Actors:  
Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson …

Country:  
Germany, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:  
16+


Machinist (2003)

Chronic fatigue and insomnia have turned machinist Trevor Reznik into a neurotic, unable to get out of the daily hell. Stormy fantasies are closely intertwined with reality, and terrible nightmares begin to come true in the most bizarre way. Erasing the boundaries is becoming more and more dangerous, so Trevor has to urgently find a way out before it’s too late.

Original title:  
The Machinist

Genre:  
Thriller, drama

Actors:  
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sanchez-Gijón…

Country:  
Spain, France, UK, USA

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:  
16+


Vanilla Sky (2001)

This twisted film about dreams in the fantasy genre has brought together a galaxy of Hollywood stars. David can be safely called the favorite of fate, which gave her chosen one a model appearance, a successful career and the location of beauties. A horrific accident turns a young businessman ‘s life upside down and disfigures the playboy’s face. After plastic surgery and a stay in the clinic, David gradually begins to lose touch with the real world.

Original title:
Vanilla Sky

Genre:
Fiction, melodrama, detective

Actors:
Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz …

Country:
USA, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Cell (2000)

A serial killer kidnaps girls and places them in a sealed room that fills with water in a couple of days. The police manage to catch the maniac, but the offender falls into a coma after a mental attack. The last victim has not been found, and the only way to find and save the girl is to penetrate the mind of the killer. The psychiatrist Katherine takes over the case, but in the corners of the subconscious of a comatose maniac lies a real threat.

Original title:  
The Cell

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, thriller

Actors:  
Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D’Onofrio

Country:  
USA, Germany

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:  
16+


Dreams (1998)

After the tragic death of her daughter Claire Cooper, she intends to find the girl’s killer on her own, but is faced with a lack of understanding from her relatives. Unexpectedly for herself, a woman opens a telepathic connection with a maniac. An invisible duel between the mother of the victim and the perpetrator begins. Claire wants to catch the madman, but in order to do so, she will have to play by the cruel rules of a soulless psychopath.

Original title:
In Dreams

Genre:
Fantasy, thriller, drama

Actors:
Annette Bening, Katie Sagona, Aidan Quinn …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:
18+


City of Lost Children (1995)

Circus strongman One, together with his younger brother, travels around the country on tour. When the boy disappears without a trace, the man goes in search of the city of lost children, where a mad scientist is operating . Professor Crank wants to appropriate the vivid dreams of the children, but he gets only the nightmares of frightened kids to death. One’s assistant in the search is the brave girl Miette, who has gathered a detachment of young resistance fighters.

Original title:
La cité des enfants perdus

Genre:
Fiction, fantasy, drama

Actors:
Ron Perlman, Judith Witte, Dominique Pinon…

Country:
France, Germany, Spain, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Dreams of Akira Kurosawa (1990)

The autobiographical fantasy film includes eight short stories about the dreams of the famous Japanese director. Several fascinating journeys , where the viewer will have the opportunity to walk through the mind of Akira Kurosawa. Eight picturesque interesting short stories symbolize the number of decades lived by the director and embodied in a fascinating film almanac.

Original title:
Yume

Genre:
Fantasy, drama

Actors:
Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baisho, Toshie Negishi …

Country:
Japan, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.8


A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

High school students in the provincial town of Springwood share nightmares of being chased by a disfigured man in a frightening outfit. At first, teenagers are surprised by a strange coincidence, but soon a monster with sharp blades on a glove begins hunting schoolchildren . Not everyone who goes to bed is destined to wake up in the morning, because a dangerous stranger has his own scores with the inhabitants of the town.

Original title:
A Nightmare on Elm Street

Genre:
Horror

Actors:
Heather Langenkamp, ​​Robert Englund, Johnny Depp…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Vision (1984)

The top horror movie ends with a peppy action about the clairvoyant Alex Gardner. A man uses a unique gift for personal enrichment, making large bets, but a meeting with the local mafia completely changes the priorities of the soothsayer. Alex agrees to take part in a science experiment where people enter other people’s dreams and finds himself at the center of a dangerous political game .

Original title:
Dreamscape

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, action

Actors:
Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.3


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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