[[quoteright:298:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Dreamscape_4962.jpg]]

''Dreamscape'' is a ScienceFiction film directed by Joseph Rubin and starring Creator/DennisQuaid. The film was released in the United States in 1984 by 20th Century Fox. The plot is loosely based on the novel ''Literature/TheDreamMaster'' by Creator/RogerZelazny.

Alex Gardner (Quaid) is a man with special talents [[PsychicPowers psychic talents]], to be exact. While participating in ground-breaking studies on the powers of the mind at the age of 19, he suddenly quit and attempted to disappear, from then on only using his abilities for petty personal gain. Years later, his extraordinary "good luck" both at the race track and with the ladies has drawn the attention of unsavory eyes... and now he and his talents are in high demand by everyone from local gangsters to shady government agents.

When Alex is contacted by the college professor that performed the studies on him years ago, Alex agrees to hear him out, both for old times sake and to have a place to momentarily hide from everyone who wants a piece of him. When the professor explains what he's working on -- a project that will allow those with psychic abilities to enter the dreams of others -- Alex is intrigued, and with a little [[{{Blackmail}} "convincing"]] agrees to help out. With the professor's assistance, Alex is quickly able to master the ability of entering, observing, and even modifying people's dreams. At first he feels exhilarated, intoxicated by the freedom and power that come along with his new-found ability. However, things are not quite what they seem... inside the Dreamscape, Alex finds that he is facing progressively more dangerous nightmares, and outside he must deal with the schemes of not only a [[TheRival rival psychic]], but also of the shadowy machinations of the people who are truly behind the Dreamscape project.

Not to be confused with [[WebAnimation/{{Dreamscape}} the web series of the same name]]
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!!This film provides examples of the following:

* AfterTheEnd: The President's nightmares take place in the flaming ruins of a nuked city.
* AlienSky: The construction worker's dreamscape looks almost normal, except that the wispy clouds overhead move ''very'' fast across the sky.
* AnAxeToGrind: Buddy grabs an axe [[OffWithHisHead to decapitate]] the Snake Man during his nightmare.
* BeatStillMyHeart: After Tommy Ray rips a security guard's heart out of his chest.
* CatapultNightmare: The President has a couple, and Alex awakens from the construction-worker's dream in the same way.
* DangerousWindows: The Snake Man breaks in through a window to grab Buddy. It's apparently a nightly occurrence in Buddy's dreams, as one of the boy's drawings depict clawed hands reaching for him through windowpanes.
* DreamSpying: Probably what got Blair interested in the experiments in the first place.
* DreamWeaver: Alex and Tommy.
* EroticDream: Inverted/Invoked. DreamWeaver Alex uses his powers to enter Jane's dream to make out with her, without telling her it's not just a random dream she's having about him. She quickly forgives him when she finds out, but this seems strange since it could easily be construed as rape by fraud (he deluded her on purpose and she didn't give consent).
* AGodAmI: Tommy Ray makes this boast:
-->'''Tommy Ray:''' In this world, Alex, you're nothing. And me, I'm God.
* GuiltComplex: The President has been plagued by nightmares about nuclear war ever since the death of his wife. He dreads the prospect that he might someday be culpable for starting WorldWarIII, and is determined to pursue bilateral peace talks to avert that possibility. [[spoiler: It's this very intention that convinces hard-liner Blair to try to assassinate him.]]
* HalfHumanHybrid: The Snake Man.
* HarbingerOfAsskicking: The announcer at the racetrack proclaims "And they're off!" at the ''exact'' moment Alex starts running from the bookie's thugs.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Blair, who sponsored the experiments and got Tommy Ray to prove you could assassinate someone in their dreams, gets killed by Alex using Tommy's techniques]].
* IKnowYoureWatchingMe: It becomes clear to the scientists secretly observing Alex through a two-way mirror that he knows what's going on when he writes "Let's get on with it" on his side of the mirror in pen... especially since he writes the letters backwards so that those on the other side can read it.
* InfantImmortality: Played straight with Buddy; in the President's dream, [[spoiler: the kids trapped in the ruins aren't just dead, but ''mutilated'' to BodyHorror levels]].
* MindOverMatter: Minor telekinesis is among the range of PsychicPowers Alex displays over the course of the film, and we see a still movie slide of him levitating a small metal, ball bearing. If viewers were expecting him to use this at any point in the film to save himself from a dangerous situation, they will be disappointed because the movie focuses on his ability to enter dream instead. It never becomes the ChekhovsGun, and stays an InformedAbility.
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: When a subject is killed in the real world by dying in the Dreamscape, Alex starts to realize he's in over his head... what he doesn't know is that [[spoiler: the government is training his rival, Glatman, to assassinate people in their sleep]].
* MonumentalDamageResistance: During a recurring nightmare the President of the United States is experiencing, a partially destroyed Capitol building is seen in the ruins of Washington, D.C., after it was ravaged by nuclear war.
* NeverSleepAgain: Tommy Ray Glatman assassinates people by using his psychic abilities to enter their dreams and kill their dream selves.
* NightmareFuelColoringBook: Inverted; first Alex draws a picture of the Snake Man from Buddy's dreams, ''then'' Tommy Ray mimics the creature from the drawing to fight Alex in the President's nightmare.
* NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization: Alex's rationalization for covertly inserting himself into Jane's dreams to make her think she was having a sex fantasy about him, rather than making out with the real life person. The fact that she enjoyed herself doesn't negate the fact that he just basically raped her (MindRape?), as she was in no position to give informed consent.
* NuclearNasty: The horrifically-damaged train passengers in the President's last nightmare, who seem more like zombies than victims.
* OrWasItADream: The train conductor that appeared in Jane's dream later appears in the real world.
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: President Target, at least where dreams are concerned; in the real world he's more President Iron.
* PartialTransformation: Tommy Ray scales back his snake transformation when he is confronted by the image of his dead father.
** Even Tommy Ray's initial Snake Man appearance is more humanly flat-faced than the original from Buddy's nightmare, because Tommy based it on Alex's frontal-view drawing.
* PistolWhipping: Alex pistol whips a federal agent while re-infiltrating the project facility.
* PsychicPowers: Alex makes a living predicting the outcomes of horse races. Tommy Ray can sense when the President has gone to sleep from an adjacent room.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The SavageWolves chasing Alex and the President in the final dream sequence have red GlowingEyes.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Buddy's nightmare takes the shape of a half-man/half-snake creature. One of the villains later assumes this form while in the dream world, copying a picture Alex drew of it. [[spoiler: Alex himself adopts the same shape to dream-kill the BigBad as payback.]]
* SavageWolves: Alex and President must outrun couple of wolf-like feral dogs with red GlowingEyes along with ScaledUp Tommy Ray.
* ShapeshifterGuiltTrip: Alex turns himself into Tommy Ray's dead father to distract him from killing the President.
* SwirlyEnergyThingy: Alex's entry into dreams is portrayed with this kind of imagery, accompanied by sound effects that foreshadow the dream's motif.
* VillainBall: Tommy had ample opportunity to kill the President in his dream, but he just had to take the time to mess with his and Alex's heads.
** Blair schemes to assassinate the President, rather than let him pursue peace talks to avert the AfterTheEnd horrors of his nightmares. No justification is given for why Blair couldn't at least let the sleep-researchers ''try'' to stop his old friend from having bad dreams in the first place - thus, eliminating the President's personal motive for making a disarmament deal - rather than having him murdered on the very night he arrives at the research facility.
* YourMindMakesItReal: Not only is Alex capable of causing himself severe mental damage while in the Dreamscape, but both the subjects and the psychics helping them can be killed in real life if they die while dreaming.
* YourWorstNightmare: What Alex tries to help his subjects overcome.
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