At least the Elm Street kids could fight back against Freddy Krueger. In Dead Awake, from the writer of Final Destination, the victims suffer from sleep paralysis, which means they can’t move a muscle when confronted by night terrors. Which, since this is a horror movie, are actual monsters, not hallucinations.
Dead Awake seems interesting because sleep paralysis—as seen in the chilling documentary The Nightmare—is a very real, and very scary phenomenon. The casting of veteran star Lori Petty, The House of the Devil’s Jocelin Donahue, and “that guy” actor Jesse Borego (Dexter, 24, Con Air) also bodes well. But you gotta wonder if that bathtub scene is a Nightmare on Elm Street shout-out—or just yet another use of what’s become one of the most tired horror clichés? And if it’s the latter, how familiar will the rest of this movie be?
Dead Awake has its premiere at the FEARnyc festival on Oct. 26; so far there’s no wider release date set.