04 February 2015

William Malone's PARASOMNIA


Alternate Title:
William Malone's Parasomnia

German Titles:
Parasomnia - Dreams of the Sleepwalker / Das Dornröschen Massaker

USA, 2008
Director: William Malone


"Never finance your own films!" is probably one of the most important rules in the traditional film industry because in most cases, it seems to be impossible to make money off a self-funded film. However, after director William Malone ("House on Haunted Hill", "Scared to Death") wrote the script for his latest film "Parasomnia", he was so enthusiastic about it, he eventually decided to give a shit about this rule and put up half of his own money to make it happen.

The result: a highly flawed but still pretty interesting and quite fascinating blend of horror-thriller and love-story, following Danny, a young art student who falls in love with Laura, a woman who suffers from an abnormal form of "Parasomnia" which keeps her asleep for very long periods. Unaware to both of them, an insane murderer with striking supernatural hypnosis powers lurks in the dark, claiming that Laura belongs to him, willing to do everything to 'get her back'...

It's a really bizarre film that tries very hard to be unique and one-of-a-kind by combining all kinds of nightmarish visuals, various horror/fantasy/thriller-elements and memorable characters into a remarkable cinematic phantasmagoria, but fails to fully impress due to Malone's direction which is good, but not good enough to carry such an ambitious project. Just like Imdb-user tyler-and-jack mentioned in his review, it would have been better if Clive Barker or Stuart Gordon directed it, two directors whose works clearly influenced Malone, as well as movies like
"A Nightmare on Elm Street" or "The Sender".

Several scenes and sequences are gripping and tense, while others are ether tedious, repetitive or simply boring - a shame. There's tons of awesome stuff here: the automaton orchestra playing Sergei Prokofiev's "Entrance of the Montagues and Capulets" (see vid below), all the gory kills, the mirror-maze, the opening suicide, or the creepy ghoulish creature (an unused design from the
"Masters of Horror" episode "The Fair Haired Child", probably the best thing Malone has ever done).

Cinematography and camera work are excellent (Christian Sebaldt, "Resident Evil: Apocalypse"); lots of beautiful shots, great angles and terrific panning. There's also powerful and highly effective music by Nicholas Pike ("Critters 2", "C.H.U.D. II") (snippets below!) and the cast is just brilliant: there's the sweet Cherilyn Wilson ("Chain Letter") as sleeping beauty Laura, the great Jeffrey Combs ("Re-Animator") as grumpy detective and Patrick Kilpatrick ("Minority Report") as hypno-killer - plus: cameos by the still-super-gorgeous Sean Young ("Blade Runner") and director John Landis ("An American Werewolf in London") as... um, department store manager!

"Parasomnia" is neither sleep-inducing nor insomnia-curative. It's a pretty cool flick for open-minded fans of slightly obscure contemporary horror, even though it begs... nah, screams for some kind of remake/reboot, maybe by one of the above-mentioned filmmakers.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Oh btw, here's the wonderful scene with the Automaton Orchestra:


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