5.3/10
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Parasomnia (2008)

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A horror-thriller centered on a woman (Wilson) suffering from a medical condition that causes her to sleep her life away, waking briefly on rare occasions.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Madeline Volpe
...
Byron Volpe
Dylan Purcell ...
Danny Sloan
...
Laura Baxter
Philip Newby ...
Phil
...
Record Store Owner
...
Sara
Mekita Faiye ...
Nurse Receptionist
...
Billy Dornboss
...
Head of Security
...
Dr. Emil Corso
...
Nurse Margaret Evans
...
Young Danny Sloan
...
Anne Sloan
...
Mrs. Mulliner
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Storyline

In "Parasomnia," a stylish horror/thriller from director William Malone ("House on Haunted Hill," "Masters of Horror,") Laura Baxter is a young woman, literally a "sleeping beauty," who suffers from a medical condition called "parasomnia." A childhood accident victim, she is actually sleeping her life away, awakening briefly on rare occasions. Art student Danny Sloan falls in love with her, unaware that her hospital neighbor, a terrifying mass murderer and mesmerist named Byron Volpe has other, more sinister plans. Sloan helps Laura escape from her hospital prison only to discover that Volpe is about to enter her dreams. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Dornröschen Massaker  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed on the same stage as 'House on Haunted Hill (1999)', another project William Malone directed. See more »

Goofs

While Danny is searching for information on Volpe, his screen clearly shows that he is browsing local files rather than internet pages. See more »

Quotes

Billy: Pretty things always have a tragic end. It's one of the laws of nature and only serves to make them more beautiful.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Guy who did a whole bunch of stuff - Robert Parigi See more »

Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

You're The Girl
Performed by The Bossmen
Written by Dick Wagner
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User Reviews

 
Creepy
28 September 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film is very creepy indeed. Unfortunately, not for the reasons the film makers would hope.

There's a mastermind serial killer too, but he's not what's creepy either. He's just your standard comic book villain, a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Freddie Kruger, though with nothing particularly fresh to add to either. Incidentally, for even the vilest and most reprehensible of criminals, can they be detained chained in a stress position, on their feet, arms outstretched 24 hours a day week in week out? I suppose in the world that gave us Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, anything's possible.

No, what's really creepy about this film is the central character, Danny. This unappealing young man, aided and abetted it's true by some ludicrously lax security arrangements and a doctor entirely careless of any notion of professional ethics or patient confidentiality, wanders into the hospital room occupied by what can only be described as a highly vulnerable and defenceless young woman, and on the basis of nothing whatsoever (her chronic sleeping precludes from being able to give anything like informed consent) imagines himself to have some sort of special relationship with her.

Seemingly within days, he has arrogated to himself the right to abduct her, believing (completely falsely, as we discover) that he is better able to care for her than anyone else, and within minutes of getting her back to his apartment, is sexually molesting her though she is (again due to her sleepiness) entirely unable to consent or resist.

Our suspicions as to why he would feel this connection are pretty soon confirmed. He is of course more or less unable to form any mature adult friendships, let alone sexual relationships, so instead falls back on this essentially infantilised woman, who because of her permanent sleeping has a mental age corresponding to a lived experience of only a few years. The scene where she discovers ice cream is particularly cringe-making, and the coyly knowing look she gives him when he gloatingly says he'll have to clean her up again causes a particular shudder of horror. But again, I'm afraid, not that shudder of horror the film makers were hoping for, but a much more straightforward spasm of revulsion. We can all see clearly what's on the end of our forks here - it's the paedophile's perfect dream of innocence, sexual compliance and utter dependence. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

What else have we got in this mish mash? Twisted dreamscapes not quite as good as del Toro. The compulsory "You need to go to the police" argument, where the lead character always has a reason for not doing so even though it's the only sensible course of action. The automaton sequence, much praised in the comments here, though completely and utterly pointless ("It serves no function!", as Sigourney Weaver memorably protested in Galaxy Quest) and looking to me just like the Abominable Doctor Phibes rehashed in one of the Saw derivatives.

Jeffrey Combs does his best though, so a star for that, and a couple more because you have to keep lower rankings for films that are even worse than this, and in general this is well-shot and competently performed.


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