Masters of Horror: Dream Cruise Norio Tsuruta

Masters of Horror: Dream Cruise Norio Tsuruta

The well-received Showtime series Masters of Horror, which presents made-for-TV fear-fests by the kings of the genre, has handed the reins to Japanese J-Horror Director Norio Tsuruta, who adapts a Koji Suzuki short story for the small screen. Unfortunately, the terror of Dream Cruise is lost in translation, with a clichéd, predictable plot and a monster that even horror-phobic North Americans will recognise as a typical Japanademon. As a child, Jack Miller (Daniel Gilles) lost his little brother in a very preventable and implausible boating accident, since that time he has been deathly afraid of the sea. Years later, while working in Japan, Jack is invited on a boat trip with Eiji, an important client (Ryo Ishibashi), whose wife (Yoshino Kamura) he just happens to be having an affair with. Jack pushes his fear of the sea aside and journeys into open water. Unfortunately, the boat is waylaid by Eiji’s furious demon bitch ex-wife, who he murdered and buried at sea years earlier. Dream Cruise is based on a story by Koji Suzuki, the author of the original Ring stories (Ringu, to Japanophiles). This film doesn’t stray far from Suzuki’s more famous story, with evil demons seeking retribution for past misdeeds and crawling around in a creepy manner. There isn’t much substance to the story and massive plot holes will leave viewers frustrated to no end. The DVD features are standard fare, with a typical "Making of” featurette and a commentary track by actor Daniel Gilles and producer Mick Garris. The stiff acting, awkward dialogue and generic story make Dream Cruise one of the most disappointing Masters of Horror episodes. Unless you are a die-hard fan of Japanese-style horror films, I wouldn’t bother going out of your way to rent or buy this one. (Anchor Bay)