"Parasomnia" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

7/20/2010 Posted by Admin


DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

By our guest blogger, Jeremy Wilkinson

"Parasomnia" started out promisingly. Viewing the trailer gives the impression the film will be filled with creepy imagery, including a mirror-filled dream world reminiscent of something Clive Barker might concoct. Right from the start of the film, the audience is treated to a jarring scene involving some excellent cinematography. Sadly, the movie quickly loses steam and the few wonderful aspects of the film only serve to remind you of what could have been.

One of the quickest ways to ruin an attempt at a serious horror film is to not pay close enough attention to the mundane aspects of the movie. When one begins to question the realistic parts, it makes it harder to suspend your disbelief and go along with the supernaturally charged scenes. It is that lack of care for the 'real world' that is "Parasomnia's" major downfall. Let's take a look at how many times the magic of cinema is broken within the first 20 minutes.

Our protagonist is Danny Sloan (Dylan Purcell), an art student who works at a local record store. During a visit to a friend in drug rehab, he wanders into the building's psych ward. It is here that the first problem with the movie materializes. How is Danny able to just walk into a psych ward? What kind of security does this place have? A psychiatric hospital that just lets people wander around inside should probably be investigated.

Danny then glances into a padded room where a man has his arms tethered to the walls, and there is a black hood covering his head. The man is able to lift the hood, revealing black eyes. Why is he there? This man is a murderer by the name of Byron Volpe. Apparently, he can hypnotize people if they look into his eyes, which places them under his control. Why on earth would they allow him to easily be able to show his eyes if they are so dangerous?

Finally, Danny comes to a room where a woman lays sleeping. The woman's name is Laura Baxter (Cherilyn Wilson), who has a condition that causes her to sleep for long periods of time. While she dreams, she is trapped is the previously mentioned dream world. Danny discovers that she is to be taken to a sleep clinic where patients have mysteriously died. To save her, he does what any rational person would do--he kidnaps her.

Danny matches the hospital's shocking ineptitude with his own displays of sheer stupidity. Since he lacks feeding tubes, he tries to feed her cereal. When she falls asleep, he not only leaves her sleeping in a chair, he does not attempt to the remove the cereal in her mouth before going to work. This is the guy we're supposed to be rooting for? What if she choked? Why would anyone act this way? Why am I still watching this god-forsaken movie?

Not since the debut of Paris Hilton's BFF have I seen such a lack of the basic ability to use one's brain. The dream sequences are the only good part of the whole film, and had more been done there, "Parasomnia" might have turned out to be an enjoyable film. Instead, we are treated to a bunch of creepy or stupid characters who would have been more entertaining if they banged pots together while wearing soup cans on their heads. At least that would have supposed to have been funny.

There is simply not enough here to warrant further viewing at this point. You have no reason to care for any of the characters aside from Laura. The peril Danny finds himself in is his own fault, almost completely negating any sense of terror. Don't bother with this one--it's just not worth it.

Grade: D

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