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Slumber: Experiencing the “Sleep” in “Sleep Paralysis”?

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  • Maggie QSylvester McCoy...
  • Horror
  • Jonathan Hopkins
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Cairo 360
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Slumber: Experiencing the “Sleep” in “Sleep Paralysis”?

You are awake, but you can’t move a single muscle. An ugly-faced creature sits on your chest, staring at you menacingly. It is called sleep paralysis and its more common than people think. The mere concept is terrifying and many of its victims interpret the condition as a supernatural occurrence, and so does the film Slumber.

The film tells the story of a sleep doctor called Alice (Maggie Q) as she tries to help the Morgans (Kristen Bush, Sam Troughton) whose son Danny (Lucas Bond) is being tormented by a supernatural creature. The boy’s episodes of sleep paralysis, are similar to ones that had caused the death of Alice’s brother. 

The film starts with an outstandingly creepy introduction; it begins by telling the story of the supernatural creature called the “Night Hag”. With a killer intro and a topic like sleep paralysis that is relatable, terrifying, and leaves so much room for haunting imagination, Slumber disappoints. The plot is mediocre, with no innovative plot twists nor captivating sequences. The film’s structure is also unimpressive; indeed, the film spent too much time establishing the context, and too little time on developing the rising action. When the climatic moments and scenes did arrive, the creature was shown only as a black shadow crawling closer and closer to its victims. 

Maggie Q’s performance as Alice was far too overshadowed by the film’s messed up structure and its cliché lines. Lucas Bond also acted quite well for his age, but was, unfortunately, not given enough lines to display his talent. This was especially disappointing, since his character was the only one actually experiencing the Hag’s terror first hand. 

Other supporting roles featured Kristen Bush and Sam Troughton; both were generally mediocre at best, with Bush being slightly above average in a couple of emotional scenes. Honor Kneafsey, who played the role of Emily (Danny’s sister) did, however, manage to deliver an outstanding performance, through her creepy sleep walking, her haunting lullaby singing, and her murder of teddy bears.

While Slumber did have a lot of potential, thanks to its topic of sleep paralysis and its decent cast members, it left us feeling board and sleepy (pun intended). 

Like This? Try

The Nightmare (2015), Dead Awake (2016), Be Afraid (2017). 

360 Tip

It is a medically documented fact that, during episodes of sleep paralysis, people may see, feel, and/or hear things that are not actually present.  

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