"For many, sleep is fraught with things worse than bad dreams."
This Week's Essays
Related Review: Room 237
Thankfully, despite being filled with people talking about these theories, Room 237 isn’t exactly about them. Instead, the film is an exploration of obsession. While listening to these people go on about the details of The Shining, I started to understand how certain movies can lead to this peculiar form of madness.
Interview with Rodney Ascher
We’ve been flapping our gums about Rodney Ascher’s inventive [and deeply chilling] 2015 documentary The Nightmare all week here at the Cinessential, but who better to shed some light onto the film’s unique blend of horror, compassion, stylish execution and psychological insight than the director himself.
Making Scary Faces
Brilliantly, the film is held up by a series of recreations of the dreams and visions that are recounted. The screen is both dark and colorful in a strange, otherworldly place. The monsters we see on screen aren’t over-designed, nor do they have to be—the simplest recurring character, the “shadow men” is the most creepy.
Documentary, Truth, and Horror
The film doesn’t argue that any of these people are right or wrong; it merely presents their perspectives without comment. The viewer can then align themselves with whichever person most lines up with what they’re already inclined to believe. You’re free to take from it what you will.
The Nightmare has only grown in my estimation during the intervening years; a steady ascension that at present moment has it placed it above not just Room 237, but above It Follows and The Witch as well. What makes The Nightmare so scary, you ask? Simple: this movie has the potential to literally kill you.