Friday, June 12, 2015

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Piss

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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.
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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh man... was really looking forward to this when I first heard about it here. Still... I'll go see it with the idea that I'm watching a mockumentary. The trailer terrified me

JA said...

Anon you'll have to tell me if watching it from a looking-for-humor perspective works - looking for scares does not, and i'm pretty certain the film was shot looking to scare us. Still perhaps the movie can be taken away from its own intentions and turned into comedy; it's happened to plenty before.

FoxVerde said...

Like you i wanted more science too. but that spider scared me so bad i wrenched my hands back so fast i hurt one of my arthritic wrists. lmao what a queen.

JA said...

Haha feel better! My boyfriend jumps at every single jump-scare ever and this movie made him jump too, but he hated it for it (and everything else)

FoxVerde said...

and another thing that guy they focused on the most the cute one. i found him to be annoying and his tales not that believable. the fact that he would not look directly at the camera put me off every tale he told. he was always averting his gaze. i can't stand talking to folks like that i need eye contact. lol

FoxVerde said...

thanks nothing a little Lakota can't fix. heheh

Anonymous said...

"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. "

Amen. As someone who has occasionally suffered from sleep paralysis - and the accompanying hallucinations - I was interested in the documentary. Then I read that it was propounding supernatural nonsense - the very thing that sleep paralysis clearly explains.