Review: ‘Fever Dream’

Is A Story Within A Story That Includes Lucid Visualizations That Interweaves Real-life Catastrophe With The Supernatural

Fever Dream is a hallucinogenic thriller about a young woman who is dying and is trying to remember what happened to her. The film takes The Lovely Bones approach as a 12 year old boy sits beside her and asks questions to help dig into her memories. She is not his mother. He is not her child but together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, an invisible threat, and the power and desperation of family. Based on the internationally critically acclaimed novel by Samanta Schweblin. Peruvian director Claudia Llosa (The Milk of Sorrow) brings the internationally critically acclaimed 2014 novel, Distancia de Rescate by Argentine writer Samanta Schweblin to screen in a mysterious tale of motherhood and existential crisis. The film is told from a dominantly female perspective as this hazy tale explores the interconnected nature of love and fears of death.

Amanda (María Valverde) vacations in a gorgeous Argentine farming village with her five-year-old daughter Nina (Guillermina Sorribes Liotta). They have traveled ahead from Spain and await the arrival of husband and father, Marco (Guillermo Pfening). During their wait Amanda and Nina meet locals Carola (Dolores Fonzi) and her odd son, David (Emilio Vodanovich). Sparks fly between Carola and Amanda with an instant and weirdly seductive connection that also lingers throughout the film. Carola is slightly older, a local girl, and a natural beauty who looks for a reason to be glamorous in this small country town. Despite their immediate bond, Amanda is constantly concerned about Nina’s welfare by keeping a “rescue distance” to protect her. This head trip of a thriller goes into full effect when the voice of David keeps talking into Amanda’s ear to stay focused on what she needs to discover as the truth of he and Corola’s background come to light.

During their budding friendship, Carola confides to Amanda that ever since her young son David (Marcelo Michinaux) became deathly ill, she took drastic measures to do whatever she could to save the life of her child. In the years since, she and her husband Omar (Germán Palacios) lost their horse farm and any emotional connection she has for her son, David. Amanda feels bad for the 12 year old boy and tries to make some kind of connection to him. However, her thoughtfulness grows into fear as supernatural events take over and she no longer feels she can trust anyone. Amanda struggles to make sense of her surroundings but David continues to interrogate her. She quickly discovers that things are not what they seem.

Fever Dream is a story within a story that includes lucid visualizations that interweaves real-life catastrophe with the supernatural. There’s a beautiful blend of heavenly golden hues of the South American summer countryside to an eerie darkness of mystical forces, powerful emotions, and pervasive dangers. The film indulges in a hallucinogenic and feverish haze as it delivers enigmatic surprises that reverberate the sense of deep dread and foreboding death. It can be confusing and hard to follow as the story tends to jump around and often, all over the place as David guides Amanda along. Amanda and Carola shared a fantastic on screen chemistry however, the seductive tone between the two of them was excessive and out of place. Theirs is an odd relationship that never really adds up nor the supernatural intentions as to the purpose of what’s really going down. There’s a scene involving horses that was totally unnecessary to show. We know it’s a horse farm and some dirty deeds come along with it but it’s definitely uncomfortable to watch no matter how natural the process is. Overall, Fever Dream has a feverishly unique approach to supernatural circumstances resulting from catastrophic events within this farming community. It may not have a jolting thrill effect but is for sure, worth a watch. Check it out on

Fever Dream was in Select Theaters October 6 and is available now on Netflix.