There are eight people given the opportunity to speak their sleep paralysis truth in The Nightmare, Rodney Ascher's new documentary on the subject (although I should put "documentary" in quotes, seeing as how it's really toeing the line on that front), and there's only one of them that comes off as someone I want to listen to - the Brooklynite woman interested expressing the science and psychology of what's happening to them. And she seems to be the person the film's least curious about - instead Ascher, for his purposes (which are scaring us, full stop), is more interested in fruity real-world notions of afterlives and demons and big green men and man alive I'm not the audience for that bunk.
Listen, I'm perfectly capable of suspending my disbelief about such matters when it comes to fiction. But play masquerade ghosts and goblins as non-fiction, even if your ultimate goal is good old-fashioned genre jumps, and all you're going to get out of me is an increasingly violent series of rolling eyeballs and groans. Especially since the scares themselves here are so damned silly - green-screened tarantulas tossed at our faces is not a good look.
I've actually experienced sleep paralysis on several occasions and it's a bad dream, period. It's your eyes opening while you're still asleep; it's your spazzed-out brain spazzing out for whatever reason brains decide to spazz out for. It's terrifying, sure! And I'm glad as gravy it's only been a few times in my life - I'd probably go a bit nuts if it was happening to me every single night too. But The Nightmare plops down a bunch of gobbledegook straight-faced and tells us its sharing the stars and the moon, while it's not even worth some snickers, bars or otherwise.