Saturday, January 8, 2011
Directed by William Malone
Dylan Purcell - Danny Sloan
Patrick Kilpatrick - Byron Volpe
Jeffrey Combs - Detective Garrett
Danny Sloan a art student who visits his friend in a rehab hospital sees Laura Baxter, a young woman who suffers from a medical condition called "parasomnia" and falls in love with her. A childhood accident victim, she is actually sleeping her life away and he decides to try to help her after he finds out she's scheduled to be used in medical experiments. Unaware that her hospital neighbor, a terrifying mass murderer and mesmerist named Byron Volpe has other plans for her.
I'll go ahead and start off by saying that I was pretty much hooked with this movie from the first scene. That doesn't mean that the movie was perfect, but it was really good. I liked Malone's work on the remake of House On Haunted Hill and Tales From the Crypt series for HBO, but not so much his movie Creature from 1985. So going into the movie I really had no idea what to expect from it, except that it had Jeffery Combs in a horror movie (sold right there) about dreams (not so much there after watching to many Nightmare On Elm Street movies.)
Let me start off by saying the main character of the movie is a idiot. All of the bad that happens, and there's a lot, happens all because of him. As for the actor who plays him, Purcell, does a good job with the character, it's just that he isn't quite believable in his role as Danny Sloan, as he seems lost every so often . It could just be that at every turn and action he does is expected or undone by Volpe or that he doesn't really know how to pull off innocent like the role required I can't quite pi it down. Plus as I said before, the character is a idiot and his actions are really suspicious and even down right creepy, but yet innocent in his own way. As for Cheylin Wilson's Laurie, she's actually quite fun to watch as the sleeping beauty in the movie. It was quite pleasant watching Wilson when she first gets out of the medical center and is just overwhelmed with all the new experiences and sensations as you can tell the joy she feels for it. This doesn't last long as she becomes lost and alone halfway through the movie and you start feeling for her and the disorientation she's suffering and the fear it's causing her. As for Combs, he's still great fun to watch after all these years, just to bad he plays a cookie cutter detective in a horror movie but he's still good in this role. Just watch for when he blows a hole in his face, as it's pure horror movie goodness!
Now on to the antagonist in the movie Kilpatrick's Byron Volpe. What a creepy bastard, but every time he's on screen he takes over the movie and you know it. Sure he overacts in his role every so often but it just helps to add to the character and makes it fun. He's always one step ahead of everyone. It's not often when a new bogeyman comes on the screen that you actually have fun watching that doesn't spew out bad joke after bad joke, but is educated and truly dangerous. The true danger he possesses is his ability to make people do what he wants from just a look or the sound of his voice. Even though the movie doesn't go into detail if it's a supernatural or giving to him by some other means, it helps add to the mystery of the character. Also I like the camera effects they use for his eyes when he memorizes someone and the background behind him is just creepy when this happens.
I should point out that this is more of an art film than anything else since so much of the movie relies on the visuals seen in the movie. Now that doesn't mean that the movie doesn't have a story, quite the opposite, it has a strong story, but the visuals adds so much to the movie that it has to be mentioned. The main set piece in the movie is the end confrontation where I was just blown away by what I was seeing and really sealed my like for this movie. I'm not going to give away what it is as I feel if I do I'll ruin it if you haven't seen the movie. This movie is a pure fairy tale more than anything else, and a classic fairy tale at that. Let's just say that even though evil is defeated, it has taken it's toll and all does not end well, but ends in a bittersweet way which I applaud Malone for doing.
Sean Young's header off a building hit's hard and it hits early and sets the tone for the movie.
Pretty things always have a tragic end. It's one of the laws of nature and only serves to make them more beautiful.
William Malone wrote the story while working on his Masters of Horror episode Fair-Haired Child.
The movie was filmed on the same set as Malone's 1999 remake of House On Haunted Hill.
Malone and one of his friends refinanced their homes to make the movie.
Look for a quick cameo from director John Landis halfway through the movie.