Claire, a psychic New England housewife (Annette Bening), loses her grip on reality when her dreams connect with those of a psychotic child murderer (Robert Downey Jr.). Centered around a ghost town submerged in the local reservoir and a creepy apple orchard, Claire\'s disturbing visions baffle the police and eventually lead to her confinement in an insane asylum. As the killer\'s fantasies continue to haunt her, Claire realizes she must succumb to her link with his twisted psyche if she is to escape from the hospital, track him down, and put an end to the madness.

A disappointing effort from a quality director

Claire Cooper, Annette Bening, lives with her pilot husband, Paul, Aidan Quinn, and their small daughter, in a beautiful house near a lake which was created more than than 30 years earlier when a small town was evacuated and flooded.

Claire is a troubled woman: she suspects her husband of infidelity, she`s freaked out by news that little girls are being murdered in the district, she`s tormented by strange and sometimes violent dreams. When her daughter disappears, Claire is completely traumatised...

After two fine films set in his native Ireland, Michael Collins and The Butcher Boy, Neil Jordan returns to supernatural themes with In Dreams, which is reminiscent of his second feature, The Company Of Wolves. Both are adult fairy tales (the parallels made explicit by the fact that Claire is illustrating a book of Grimms Fairy Tales), both are eerie, mysterious, and pretty scary. Unfortunately, someone persuaded Jordan (I`m sure it wasn`t his own idea) to rationalise everything at the end, and the result is a film which tantalises and intrigues and even horrifies for most of its length, and then collapses at the end with barely believable explanations.

But it`s worth seeing for Jordan`s stylish direction, Annette Bening`s intelligent performance and, above all, for cinematographer Darius Khondji`s astonishing images.