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  • Gareth Crook

The Nightmare (2015) - 3/10

What’s more scary than real life. Part documentary, part horror. This is the story of people who suffer from sleep paralysis. Your body is asleep, but your mind is wide awake. The stories are told by the sufferers, with creepy reenactments featuring them and a whole host of tropey sound design. I’ve heard of this affliction before, it’s very real and fertile ground for a horror narrative. This film doesn’t do itself any favours though, in that it does come across as a bit cheap and hammy. It’s not the fault of the story tellers, as much as the treatment. Still, it’s interesting stuff. They all describe the same sensation. Their bodies paralysed. Their minds seemingly awake… but there being something else present. Sometimes these stories can seem overly dramatic. I’m not saying they’re not believable, but I can easily understand someone watching this and thinking “Yeah right”. As such, this is more interesting than scary. I’ve not suffered this experience. Nor anything remotely paranormal. I have had weird unexplained dizzy spells that start with recognisable triggers though. The body can do some weird stuff, mechanically, biologically. The mind connected, it’s completely plausible that all these tales could happen to anyone, to me, to you. That’s pretty scary. This won’t give you nightmares though. It’s difficult to illustrate and explain to others experiences like this and I can’t help but feel that a lot has got lost in the translation. Leaving this feeling that it’s not giving the material a fair crack. I’m trying to be nice… but regardless what you think of what’s being said. It’s not a good film.



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