Friday, January 13, 2017
Day 10: The Nightmare (2015) 1h 31m
Full disclosure: In the course of my adult life I have had three events of sleep paralysis. All three happened while I lived in the same apartment in Pittsburgh, PA. Aside from those three, I have never had any other cases of sleep paralysis that I can recall. Why am I disclosing this? Because while the title and this poster make you think that The Nightmare could be a horror film (and despite being in the "horror" listing), it's actually a documentary about sleep paralysis and other individuals that have had experiences with it. The disclosure is so you know that when I comment, I'm not just offhandedly making a comment with no background in the subject matter.
So despite my initial disappointment with this not being a real horror film, The Nightmare let us hear stories from people all over the world in regards to their experiences with sleep paralysis and what they saw, heard, and felt, not only through their own words but also through decent dramatizations. What was interesting here was that when we're being presented these stories each one seems to build off of the previous in some way. The only exception to this being that guy that was getting tickled by aliens. I don't know what the hell was going on with that one.
Looking at this analytically, the commonalities between these create the question: why do these similar scenarios exist? To talk about my own experience, only once did I ever feel a physical presence. The other two times where one that I knew something was either there or around but I couldn't feel it, and the second was more along the lines of the symptoms of the "old hag" you read about in association with cases of sleep paralysis. In this film there's the talk of shadow men, one of which may be wearing a hat, one that might have been an incubus, and the dumb tickle aliens. Seriously, fuck the tickle alien thing. Although he did make an awesome Halloween mask based on them.
I can't really give this a review as it's not a horror movie really. Sure, things that happen in real life that can't be explained easily are scary as hell. Some people view these experiences as an attempt at demonic possession, or UFO encounters, or just a state of sleep in which you feel you're awake but aren't and thus can't control your body despite your consciousness telling you that you should be able to. I know this goes in the opposite direction of the rest of this blog, and fucking runs that way, but I'm going to attempt to wrap this up.
Since I'm not rating this film I will say to watch it if you have an interest in the experience of sleep paralysis. While you do so, take it with a grain of salt.
Fuckin' tickle aliens, man...