Although Dreamchild (1985) was supposed to clear up some of the mysteries behind Alice in Wonderland, its creator Lewis Carroll (Rev. Charles Dodgson), and the real Alice, it does more to disturb viewers in my opinion.
Starring Coral Browne as the elder Alice, and Ian Holm as Carroll, the movie follows Alice as a young girl. Carroll is portrayed as a creepy (perhaps pedophile?) man who fixates on a young Alice, featuring her in his little tales. The mother in the film seems suspicious of him, but doesn’t really do anything. Skip ahead to an old Alice, her wandering memory and strange flashbacks that make it seem as though she might have been abused by the kindly Carroll.
Although the film released to much critical acclaim, citing Carol Browne’s performance especially, I still can’t help watching it with a cringe. In my eyes this is a creepy film about a man obsessed with a little girl who infected her imagination with sinister creatures. The creatures in the film are disturbing puppets that seem to terrorize her in visions and you aren’t sure if she is reliving childhood traumas or experiencing dementia.
Are the visions just the madness of an old lady? Or are they the manifestation of symptoms from being molested as a child? Either way, they are driving the old lady mad as a hatter!
You can now watch a large portion (especially the disturbing parts) on YouTube.
What do you think? Creepy old man? Or brilliant author? Both? Do you believe the tales of Rev. Dodgson’s nature? Or was his stuttering and epilepsy a reason to believe him guilty of things he never did?