You know, there are some directors out there whom I think would greatly benefit from sitting down and watching this movie. I check the budgets on a lot of movies, and most of the time I wonder to myself how the hell $100 million can be blown through so easily. Higuchinsky, the director of Long Dream, would laugh at the people responsible for spending that much money. All of his movies are really low budget, but guess what? They work just fine without bloated finances (granted, I haven’t seen his last film, but I seriously doubt anything has changed in that regard). The sad thing, however, isn’t how much money he has or doesn’t have for his vision. Believe it or not, he’s only ever made three movies. I’m pretty sure this qualifies as a national emergency, but I haven’t seen any reports about it on the news yet.
Long Dream is about just that: a series of long dreams. It takes place in a very dark and claustrophobic mental hospital, where two doctors are studying a curious patient. He comes to them with an insane problem: Every time he sleeps, his dreams seem to last longer and longer. In the span of, say, eight hours, he experiences days in his mind. What starts out as a few days of experiences increases exponentially every time he sleeps. He explains it best himself when he tells the doctors that one of his dreams was about him frantically searching for a bathroom for eight years. That’s fucked.
What if it’s a horrible nightmare? It could end up being twenty years of swimming away from a gigantic shark or working in a coal mine for a century straight. If that’s not a scary premise for a horror/sci-fi flick, then I don’t know what is. The movie doesn’t actually show much or any of his dreams, which is probably the only thing I wouldn’t mind being elaborated on. One thing I guess I should mention is the length of the film. It’s only an hour long, so if you’re looking for any kind of character development or complex plot, you’ll have to look elsewhere. It’s as straightforward as can be and doesn’t bother with anything except being really weird. I mean that in a good way.
Higuchinsky is a very visual director despite the low budgets he works with. Everything about his films – from the sets to the lighting and camera angles – is bizarre and other-worldly. Long Dream is no exception, and the green-tinted, narrow hallways of the mental hospital are foreboding enough, never mind what’s happening in that dude’s head every night. Also, Higuchinsky only uses CGI when it’s necessary, and in Long Dream, it’s practical all the way. I won’t go into what kind of effects are used, but I’ll let you imagine what might happen to a mind and body that experiences thousands of years of existence in the span of two days. It’s a crazy-ass concept, and it takes a crazy-ass director to pull it off with this kind of twisted confidence. To me, it’s a must-see for any horror or sci-fi fan regardless if you watch foreign films or not. It’s just so fucking weird and creepy. I love it for the same reasons I love his other film, Uzumaki, but I’ll save my comments on that one for another day. Instead, I’ll leave you with this thought: a 100 year dream consisting solely of having the greatest sex of your life.