If I had to describe I’m Dreaming Of A White Doomsday in one word it would be hopelessness. It was so bleak that I wanted the film to be over in the first half hour.
The film follows a family of three holed up in a basement bomb shelter after an apocalyptic event. The father (Damian Maffei) is rarely there as he is scouring for food and supplies, leaving just the mother (Hope Bikle) and son (Reeve Blazi) confined to this cramped hell.
At the beginning we see the family at Christmas with dad being kind of a joker (lines like do you know anyone that can help me build a snowman?), mom being protective but not overly protective (the typical get your gloves, etc), and the son being excited to go play in the snow and open presents. The son forgets his hat, as mom takes it to him the outside is barren and no sign of her family. Next we see her wake up, it’s all a dream and we’re taken to the shelter.
From there it’s all downs with hope draining minute by minute. Dad returns with no food or supplies only to go out to hunt for more. We get the feeling weeks have gone by with no return. We see mother and child eat what they have left of canned goods made on a hot plate. As the kid tries to be happy you can see the mom struggling with decisions.
As Christmas approaches we see mom go out to try to find food. The only thing she finds is a Toxie Toxic Crusader action figure that is a gift for her son. As the story continues things look grim and the ending crushes your soul. With sequences peppered in that make you wonder if what you saw in the first half of the film was real or a dream this is sure to be a hit with audiences.
While the film isn’t perfect, it doesn’t need to be to drive the point home. Seeing it in a theater added to the experience, not being able to stretch out made you feel as cramped, anxious, and dreadful as the characters felt. I’m hoping this gets a DVD release soon, as it would be perfect for those of us that prefer Silent Night, Deadly Night during the holiday season instead of A Miracle On 34th Street.
Hope Bikle took home the Night Mare award for Best Actress In A Feature for her role. When asked during the Q & A director Mike Lombardo stated he wrote the short story when his mom was in the ICU with kidney failure coupled with several other life events. His emotions at the time are definitely reflected in the film.
(Images taken from Google)