Rodney Ascher's follow-up to Room 237 is a terrifying exploration of sleep paralysis, featuring eight real-life victims whose vivid recollections are stylishly reenacted and as unsettling as they are impossible to look away from.
After assembling a motley crew of conspiracy theorists and devotees who offered wildly varied interpretations of The Shining in 2012’s hit essay-film Room 237, Rodney Ascher’s sophomore feature trains its focus on an all-too-real form of terror: sleep paralysis. Suspended in a state between dream and reality—aware of their surroundings but unable to physically move—we watch and listen to eight real-life victims whose vivid recollections of intruders, demons, and near-death experiences would be frightening and compelling enough to stand on their own. Yet Ascher supplies these tales of night terrors with hallucinatory reenactments and jump-scares that, juxtaposed with clips from the likes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Jacob’s Ladder, are right at home in the horror genre. Ascher’s stylized exploration of this frightening phenomenon and the community that suffers from it is at once unsettling and playful, enigmatic and impossible to look away from. A Gravitas Ventures release.