I did not know anything about sleep paralysis before this movie. Now that I know more it’s absolutely horrifying and I feel so bad for any individuals dealing with this issue.
That being said, this was not a very good movie. I did think that it was shot really well and looked beautiful. However, the whole movie is one story over and over and over and over. We just keep talking to people with this issue and what happens to them in their dreams.
I think this movie would have been far more successful if they had some variety in the people they talked to. The individuals with sleep paralysis constantly talk about doctors not believing/understanding this issue but they never once talk to an actual doctor. There is way too much just listening to the individuals with this issue talking about why it sucks. A few long scenes are just watching this one guy almost philosophize about it but it’s shot with very low quality that it just seems like we’re watching this guy rant on YouTube.
I will say I was nervous about sleeping after this, but that’s really the only thing I walked away with from this film.
I really wanted to like The Nightmare. It’s rare that I come across a documentary that is legitimately scary (actually the only ones I can think of are from the Paradise Lost series), so I was excited about that. And it is sort of scary, but only in the same way that it’s sort of not terrible.
The problem is that The Nightmare does not feel at all complete. The documentary is all about sleep paralysis and follows some people who suffer from it. It grabs you from the beginning with that, recreating the images and nightmares that people see when they suffer from sleep paralysis. And the movie did a great job of showing how scary it must be to experience. But . . . that’s just kind of it.
What causes sleep paralysis? What’s going on in your mind/body when it happens? Questions like that are never answered and are even barely acknowledged. By that I mean, if no one knows what causes sleep paralysis, that’s okay. But tell us that, at least, so we as an audience don’t think it’s just the filmmakers that don’t know. After about the first 30 minutes, the movie just sort of keeps repeating itself – especially because most of the people they follow have very similar experiences. The similar experiences are supposed to come off as creepy, but instead it just sounds repetitive.
So yeah, I don’t know. It might be worth watching if you want to see a weirder-than-normal documentary, but if you actually want to learn anything I wouldn’t waste your time with this one.