In filmmaker Rodney Ascher‘s new documentary, The Nightmare, the Room 237 director interviews people who suffer from the condition known as sleep paralysis—and dramatizes their dreams of being threatened by terrifying, shadowy figures. The result often comes across as more horror movie than conventional doc.
“That’s something that grew organically,” says Ascher. “As I was interviewing people about their experiences, horror movies came up in two different ways. On the one hand, they would compare their sleep paralysis experience to being as scary, or scarier, than horror movies. But they also talked about watching horror movies and seeing their experience reflected in them, which was really interesting to me. Did one inspire the other? Is it an endless chicken-and-the-egg game? Seeing how often the subject came up when discussing sleep paralysis, it seemed completely on message to incorporate horror-movie language and horror-movie situations within the film itself.”
The Nightmare will be released in cinemas and on VOD, June 5. You can see an exclusive clip from the film above. Sweet dreams!