‘The Nightmare’ Promises To Be One Of ‘The Scariest Documentaries Ever’

The Nightmare documentary, premiering in select theaters and video on demand (VOD) today, has drawn rave reviews from critics since appearing at the Sundance Film Festival.

The follow-up from Room 237 director Rodney Ascher deals with the experiences of eight people, who suffer from a disorder known as sleep paralysis.

What does this entail? For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s a condition where someone is essentially stuck between dream and real worlds. They are fully aware of their surroundings and present in the moment, even though they’re actually dreaming.

The experiences detailed in The Nightmare documentary are often terrifying and involve similarly described “Shadow Men,” leading, as Fangoria points out, some to believe that they are more real than given credit for.

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite for this chiller, then we’ve got the poster and a close to two-minute clip for you to check out below.


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Whether any of the stories in The Nightmare documentary are true, the condition is, and the dramatizations and musical accompaniment are downright creepy.

Ascher’s past with Room 237 shouldn’t leave you so surprised by that. The previous documentary offered explorations and interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s film version of The Shining by Stephen King.

If you like what you see from The Nightmare, then you might want to consider going back to check that one out. We’ve got the trailer here. Frankly, this 1:46 clip alone is creepier than 90 percent of the horror movies that are made each year.

Like this latest effort from Ascher, Room 237 played major film festivals, including Sundance and Cannes and garnered rave reviews.

Early reviews for The Nightmare have also been promising. Here’s what some are saying.

“Mostly the movie plays out through vivid dramatizations of dreams recounted in voice-over. It gets hella scary as the volume of awful steadily rises. A common vocabulary of bad things runs through it all, which amounts to elemental nightmare fuel.” (John Mahalick)

“[The] stories, presented without any additional question or commentary, depict encounters with alien visitors, ghosts and other visions, in both pre-waking and waking states. Since [The Nightmare] deals with horrific images its actual subjects have seen, without context or medical mediation, their visions are re-enacted in detail, as they tell their stories, through artificial, theatrical means. Here, Ascher’s documentary form utilizes techniques of narrative horror cinema to tell its tale, to great effect.” (Heather Buckley, Fangoria)

Will you be watching The Nightmare documentary this weekend? And what documentary has scared you the most?

[Image via The Nightmare film, screen grab]

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