In doing research for a film that I am going to be writing on sleep paralysis, I decided to watch the documentary "The Nightmare". I had heard mixed reviews about the film, and I would say that my feelings towards the film were mixed as well.
To begin, I would say that this film is definitely a subjective look at the condition. Instead of giving facts about sleep paralysis, Ascher instead decides to use personal accounts from people who have suffered from the condition. This is definitely effective in creating a documentary in which the audience sympathizes with the subjects and eliciting fear within the viewer. This does, however, leave the element of the extent to which the subjects are telling the truth ambiguous. As such, I don't think that this method was as effective as it could have been.
The film is a pretty well-made documentary overall. It is made up of a combination of interviews and reenactments. The reenactments are of good cinematic quality with good cinematography. The score is also used well to create suspense. The quality of the interviews is variable. Some are very good, but some have some weird creative choices, like a cut or camera move in the middle of the sentence or starting the interview before the action begins. Other than these few weird cuts, the editing is good, with the documentary assembled into different parts addressing an aspect of the subject.
Overall, I thought that "The Nightmare" was a good, but not great documentary with an interesting topic and some cool reenactments. It is effective in creating a sense of dread involving the condition of sleep paralysis.
Big Tuna's Rating: B-
How Did I Watch It?: Netflix.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Maybe.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.