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Seventeen years after slaughtering all but one member of a family, a vicious serial killer known only as "The Sandman" awaits execution. But first, his jailers allow a minister to visit the killer to give him last rites, unaware that the minister is a voodoo priest and an ally of the condemned prisoner. The priest places a hex on the Sandman so that when he is executed, his soul migrates into a new body made of sand. To sever his ties with his former life and achieve absolute power, the sandman must find and kill a man named Griffin, the sole survivor of the last family murdered by the killer. Written by
Patrick D. Rockwell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The main characters' age is depicted differently throughout the film. In the first scene, Griffin is seven years old and Sandman appears to be in his early thirties. Seventeen years later, as Sandman awaits execution, he seems not to have aged a day, while Griffin is a full grown man. However, the flashback scene shows Sandman appearing to be about 10 years old, while Griffin is depicted as a baby. Their age difference just doesn't match up. See more »
"Sleepstalker" is somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine.
Fifteen years ago, as a serial killer attacks and kills a whole family except for the son before the police arrive and catches him. Now in the present day, the same kid, Griffin (Jay Underwood) is a writer trying to catch his big break by getting an interview with a notorious gang leader. He and his girlfriend Megan (Katherine Morris), a photographer, head out on the interview. That night, the same man who attacked his family, the Sandman (Michael Harris) is being put to death for his crimes. He is visited by the Preacher (Michael D. Roberts) and is given a special necklace and the last rites, which are actually a spell used by the Preacher to transfer the Sandman's soul into another body before being sent to death. In order to pass onto the next world, the Sandman must kill the lone surviving member of his last attack, Underwood, and goes after him and his friends, killing them in a variety of methods using sand (Drowning in a sea of sand, creating hurricane force winds with sand, sand projectiles, etc.) Griffin learns that the Sandman is a close family relative who was abused by his father earlier on, snapped, killed him and became a serial killer to silence the pain he felt. Eventually, the search leads him to the Preacher, who gives Griffin some advice on how to stop the Sandman. Now with only Griffin and Megan left alive, the Sandman chases them into an abandoned where house, where Griffin is killed and Megan saves the day by drying up the Sandman in a giant fire when they learn fire can kill him.
The Good News: I have to give props to the FX department, as the Sandman's make-up effects are pretty scary. Harris also gives a chilling performance, making the Sandman appear even creepier. Underwood does an okay job, but doesn't get a whole lot to work with. He is basically a hysterical man running from an impossibly created being, so is naturally treated with a crazed man's attitude. Morris is actually better, though like Underwood isn't given a lot to emote. The Preacher fares better than both, due to Robert's dead-on performance and the colorless contact lenses used to turn his eyes white. The gore is, for a change, not blood and guts, but instead having your skin stripped away from being caught in a windstorm, leaving bone, marrow and ragged clothes behind. Several killings are unique and done creatively. Also, the hero is killed instead of barely surviving the ordeal with his girlfriend.
The Bad News: When I first heard that the killers name was the Sandman, I had flashes back to an action film several years earlier, Van Damme's 'Death Warrant,' where serial killer in the film is also called The Sandman. This immediately struck me as weird, since it would make no sense that two films, in different genres, would be made so close to each other would have a character of the same name and occupation. Aside from the three leads and the Preacher, the rest of the acting is dull and uninspired. No one came across as convincing, a major no-no in a film where the believability of a character drives the film along. Also, the clichéd part of the Sandman being Griffin's relative (I won't give it away, but based on what I've just said, most of you can immediately know) is, well, clichéd. A dull beginning after the Sandman is caught also dooms the picture to boredom.
The Final Verdict: See this one only if you watch horror movies religiously, like me, and have very undiscriminating tastes in your preferences. I mean, I like it, but several of you out there will disagree and say it's dull, boring and without imagination.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language, Adult Situations and brief nudity
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