Bank teller Vince Grayson wakes from a nightmare in which he and an unknown woman murdered a man in a strange, mirrored room. Only a dream...but Vince finds that he has physical objects and bruises from his "dream." His cop brother-in-law dismisses his story...until the family, on a picnic, takes shelter from a thunderstorm in a deserted mansion containing that mirrored room. Is doom closing in on Vince?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
What the movie lacks in believability it makes up for in sheer visual imagination. That opening sequence is a real grabber. Just what the heck is going on with the fuzzy focus and dreamlike images. People are going here and there in front of a bank of mirrors. Then, all of a sudden, someone hands Vince a drill. But Vince doesn't stick it into a chunk of wood. Instead he plunges it into a man's heart! Good thing Vince wakes up in bed, maybe sweaty, but at least inside a focused reality. Must have been a bad dream, but then why the bloody wrist and where did that weird key come from. From what we see, it's almost like he's come back from a strange parallel world.
So did Cliff actually kill someone or was it just a bizarre subconscious. Good thing he's got Mr. sober-sides Cliff as a cop brother-in-law. Maybe Cliff can figure it out since it's driving Vince nutty. Trouble is Cliff thinks his in-law really did kill someone, but in the interest of family harmony resists turning him in. So how will all this weirdness turn out, and what's suddenly the big deal about a candle.
Kelley really nails his part as the hapless Vince. Catch his many shaded expressions as he suffers through the nightmare. Paul Kelly too nails his part with a no-nonsense demeanor that keeps things anchored. But the real star is the production itself that manages to dangle us between two worlds with the many off-center effects. Sure, too much storyline stretches over the edge. Still, it's pretty gripping stuff, straddling the murky line between noir and horror. The premise was loaded enough to get re-made a few years later, Nightmare (1956). But this one, I think, is better. So don't let it slip by.
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