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Nightmare (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Dylan Bank

Starring:
Jason Scott Campbell/Film Student
Nicole Roderick/Natalya
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A praised by his peers film school student (Scott Campbell) sees his life go down the LSD marble throne after he hooks up with some hot actress (Roderick) at a party. After a steamy banging session, he finds a DV camera aimed at them at the end of the bed. Once he plays the tape within it, it reveals bits of him and his new found squeeze brutally murdering people. Our young hot shot director goes on to film the real life nightmare they’re living as his next film school project in the hopes of figuring it all out.
THE LOWDOWN

Never Wake Up.

The film’s tagline speaks mucho truth when it comes to the experience that is viewing the mind boggling NIGHTMARE. As the end credits rolled, the nightmare wasn’t over as my brain continued to process what I had just witnessed, trying to make heads or heads or tails of a tail of it all.

This bleak celluloid dream was of the “mind f*ck” subgenre and proud of it. So much so that it referenced Master brain cell killer David Lynch, Brian Depalma’s own grey matter tweaker RAISING CAIN and more throughout, firmly putting out there that the folks behind this film are huge cinema junkies. Always good news to me! I got to hand this to this trip; it had me firmly by the throat and didn’t let me go for its first hour. The initial “LOST HIGHWAY-ish” premise was mucho compelling, the BLAIR WITCH 2: BOOK OF SHADOWS like device (in terms of the video tape/murder angle) creepy and as the clock moved forward, the gory/disturbing imagery, the un-bashful displays of sensual/animal nudity & sexuality and the many surfacing questions made for a captivating sit down. With never a boring moment in sight Nightmare kept me where I should be, in the main character’s shoes trying to figure out what the f*ck was going on.

The film’s smooth shift within its own storyline appealed to me as well. What started out as a straight “what’s happening here dammit” opus, became a semi study on the competitive nature and the creative procedure that is filmmaking. The middle block of the flick reminded me of the classic LIVING IN OBLIVION but on more acid than the prior was already on. Nothing like seeing a topic that you’re passionate about being dissected for ya intelligently with boobies and blood slapped into the mix for good measure. I dug it the most! Add to that astounding performances via newcomers Jason Scott Campbell and Nicole Roderick who showcased brave, bold and emotionally resonant shows and a kooky/groovy score that gave the flick an extra ounce of 70’s like “weird” and you get an indie keeper! To be honest, this one had me so spooked that when my viewing was interrupted by some "ring my doorbell and run away" loser, I was actually on edge and mucho creeped out in my own house! Do with that what you will.

On the bah side of this nightmare, the film’s conclusion never lived up to the set up or middle block. I mean relationships, potential conflicts and a whodunit were strongly established but never followed through. The flick put out so many false endings at some point that I REALLY didn’t know what the hell was going on anymore. And you know what? whether it was the case or not, it didn't feel like the film had a clue anymore either. Taking into account the promising  “we’re going to reward ya real good” first two acts, the last block of this :SD jamboree (although still entertaining) let me down. In short; too many questions, not enough answers, not the pay-off I was looking for.

With that jived at ya, there’s no denying the skills (behind and before the camera), braveness and ambition at play here. How refreshing when it comes to an indie/low budget genre ditty.  You looking for an easy “park the brain in the garage” type of offering, move on, you craving to be challenged, you’re at the right outhouse. Welcome to this Nightmare!

GORE
We get blood splashes galore, a slit throat, a knife in the neck, a cut off hand, cut off fingers and more! Not overly graphic but red wet enough to please.
ACTING
Jason Scott Campbell (Film Student) had a Christian Bale thing going for him and hit his character’s varied emotional notes with gusto. An actor to keep tabs on! Loved him! The same could be blabbed about Nicole Roderick (Natalya) who emanated mucho presence/charisma while being credible with every facet of her role. Star quality? She has it! Amin Joseph (Omar) showcased an imposing presence that I grooved on. So much more could've been done with his role!
T & A
Smut fans will be pleased as we get the works on this fear pizza. Simulated sex (simulated?) and tits & buttocks for the gents. The ladies get chests, butts and pubes. Everybody gets their fix!
DIRECTING
Backed by stellar cinematography, Dylan Bank offered up a stylish, bold and atmospheric celluloid trip while showing off a stern handle on momentum and timing. Nice!
SOUNDTRACK
The varied and often artsy/oddball score added to the film’s peculiar and unrestrained aura. Loved it!
BOTTOM LINE
NIGHTMARE wound up being a rewarding watch as it sported an awesome initial premise, an arresting unraveling of events and a uber baffling yet still somewhat gnarly conclusion. The actors were on the ball and then some whereas the music and the energetic directing pitched in too to make this outing one worth taking. Sure if you ask me what the film is about right now, I’ll tell ya “F-off”, I'm bummed, watch it yourself and you tell me, but I’d rather feeling that what I usually feel after yet another mediocre low budget cash in. Check it!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot in Brooklyn and Queens New York, USA

The screenplay was written by Director Dylan Bank and Producer Morgan Pehme.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL NIGHTMARE SITE HERE

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