The trailer for documentary The Nightmare will likely give you bad dreams
When someone asks for a scary movie, chances are slim that anyone will recommend a documentary. But, THE NIGHTMARE may change that. Coming from ROOM 237 director Rodney Ascher, THE NIGHTMARE explores the science behind sleep paralysis. But, this is not some dry non-fiction piece but rather a film that visually explores what these people experience in waking and falling asleep.
THE NIGHTMARE’S subjects hail from different backgrounds and walks of life, but share eerily similar visions of malevolent, near-human beings that grow increasingly aggressive the longer the sleep paralysis recurs. Are these just random hallucinations or something more? Rational explanations get challenged by the similarities of the “shadow people” multiple subjects describe looming over them. Ascher, who has first hand knowledge of sleep paralysis, brings the full intensity of this experience to the screen while maintaining empathy and respect for his subjects. As the film unfolds, distinctions between the documentary and horror genres fade as do easy lines between reality and the imagination.
I was not that impressed by ROOM 237 but I did admire the atyle that Ascher brought to the film. THE NIGHTMARE looks a lot more like a traditional documentary, but he also seems to evoke some great horror movie imagery to make this look like something special. Maybe Ascher will be able to parlay this into making a narrative film gig.
THE NIGHTMARE debuts in theaters and on demand on June 5th.