You’d think a guy looking for some stupid so-bad-it’s-good horror could rely upon a movie titled Parasomnia to deliver. But no. Parasomnia has to go and betray me and be good. Thanks a lot, William Malone. You ruined my evening.
Of course when I say ‘good’ I really mean ‘student film good’ with a ridiculous amount of blue light filling the scenes and Lawnmower Man level special effects in the dream sequences and scads of amateur acting throughout and earnest lines that made me giggle. Still, good. Unexpectedly competent and creepy with an excellent discovery as its central performance. What the hell is going on here? I went in expecting a knock-off of those three movies that start with the same four letters as this one, something cheap and stupid. What I got is wholly its own thing, with some cool ideas and a decent payoff. Cheap, yes. Corny, sure. Still…good. And just when you thought spiral-eyed clowns had run their course!
When the name Dylan Purcell appeared in the opening credits I got nervous, thinking it was that slab of meat from The Gravedancers (see it while drinking with friends). Nope. Dylan Purcell is the son of actress Lee Purcell, and he’s really good in a Zach Braff kind of way. I don’t think he’s acting anymore, which is too bad. You don’t expect to find someone like him in a movie like this, especially when the female lead is…uh…let’s just say it’s a blessing her role calls for her to spend 90% of the movie asleep.
Some reasons you should watch Parasomnia, besides the lead actor: Sean Young gets an “And” before her name; the protagonist drives an AMC Pacer; great use of nose tape; one of those cute Starbucks bears makes an appearance; gum-chewing cops are always welcome; “He was a rare book dealer and a mesmerist” is how the killer is described. Also, it totally wins the Weird Nudity Award.
Parasomnia is available on Netflix Instant Watch Watch Instantly here.