The idea behind collective:unconscious sounds fascinating: five indie directors coming together to create short films based on each other’s dreams. But just because an idea looks good on paper doesn’t always mean it will translate successfully to the screen, and unfortunately this experimental film falls far short of its promising premise.
After starting strong with a black-and-white segment about a post-apocalyptic world where a young man and his grandmother are haunted by a baleful, constant broadcast from a nearby tower, collective:unconscious quickly slides downhill. There are some intriguing concepts on display – such as a late-night TV personality who might also be the Grim Reaper, or a woman who shops in a grocery store that sells nothing but meat and may have a creature lurking inside her – but the filmmakers seem so preoccupied with trying to capture the strangeness and unpredictability of dreams that they’ve forgotten to create something watchable.
collective:unconscious definitely earns points in the originality department, but the end result just didn’t work for me. Aside from the opening segment, and another short which featured an incredibly intense high school gym teacher, I found that the stylistic choices made by the filmmakers did a much better job of hindering the project, rather than helping it.
The idea of letting five indie directors adapt each other's dreams is certainly an interesting premise, but the finished project proves that just because an idea sounds good on paper, doesn't mean it will translate to the screen.