I actually liked Dreamcatcher enough that I saw it twice. However, this may be mostly due to the fact that I really liked Jason Lee as Beaver and Timothy Olyphant as Pete. Regardless, this was actually a movie I did enjoy seeing.
I was not particularly interested in seeing Dreamcatcher initially. And this is me, who wants to see every scary movie. Not Scream type horror, but certainly of the creepy not entirely natural variety: Ring, Resident Evil (is that even horror?), you get the idea. However, my sister and her friend convinced me to go. After seeing an interview with Jason and some video clips from the movie, I was actually more enthusiastic.
Part of the reason I did enjoy the movie is because of the younger era flashbacks of the four friends. It had a kind of supernatural stand by me feel to it for those scenes, and I'm quite a fan of Stand By Me so that appealed to me. It also appealed to me because it did seem like a nice jump-out-and-scare-you horror. It's no psychological thriller which relies on your own imagination to scare you (and the fear stays with you well after you're done seeing it). It's much more blood and gore and chase the monster down kind of fun, which thrills you while you watch. I just love horror movies - any kind.
Also, I think that the movie did manage to get you to like most of these characters. Beaver was just loveable off the bat because of his "beaverisms" and his general charm. (I think Lee did a great job). Timothy Olyphant's character was also likeable (whether or not that it attributed to his acting skill, I don't know. I'm a horrible judge of acting, so I could say good but not really know the difference.) But I think his introduction scene worked well to help you connect to him despite his limited screen time (compared to the other "main" characters).
Thomas Jane and Damian Lewis were well enough. I don't think I grew particularly attached to either of their characters - Jonesy or Henry. And I'm sorry but the whole "british" Mr. Gray really threw me. It seemed so oddly thrown in - Why would an Alien speak with a British Accent? I realize on some level it was to draw a distinction, but still.
Morgan Freeman, I love him. I can't be unbiased about his role, because I just love him too much. I also liked Tom Sizemore, or at least his character was very likeable. And talk about creepy: "No infection here." stuff.
The effects were well done (I think) and I liked the soundtrack. That opening main theme, I want it! It was great and creepy and mysterious. I think the composer was the same guy who did the theme music for Unbreakable and Signs, and well, I like those too.
What can I say? The show entertained me. Maybe it's not a masterpiece but I think it was money well spent. I wasn't bored at any time. I was interested in how everything came about. I can completely see why those who read the book first would be disappointed. I read the Harry Potter books prior to seeing the movies and I hate every change they made - and that movie is always said to be so faithful. So I can see people's issues with the end and other changes.
I think a lot of the other reasons people dislike the movie is that it does have a lot of different ideas coming together. I read a review critiquing it's various directions, but honestly, I think all the different pieces come together fine as a cohesive whole. I understood the storyline and I wasn't jarred by flashbacks or scene changes. To me, it flowed, made sense. I could connect the dots easily enough.
And hell, if that ripley red-fungus s*** isn't enjoyably disgusting, I don't know.