SECTION Park City at Midnight
RUN TIME 90 min
You are very tired. The pillow is soft. It's late at night, and you start to drift off in your bed. Snap—your body locks up, totally frozen. But you are not asleep. You can see and hear everything. That's when the shadow men come.
Following his exploration on the deep effects of cinema in his feature Room 237, director Rodney Ascher now investigates the phenomenon of sleep paralysis. In this documentary-horror film, we experience the terror that a surprisingly large number of people suffer when they find themselves trapped between the sleeping and waking worlds every night. What should be explained by science gets complicated as sufferers from random backgrounds have very similar visions. The Nightmare enhances the stories with eerie dramatizations of what (and who) the subjects see. Ascher, who has also experienced the condition, treats the subject with respect, combining a primal horror movie with an existential terror in the lines between reality and the imagination. —M.P.