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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Monarch Movie Minute: ‘The Nightmare ‘Dark’ and 'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse’

Monarch Movie Minute: ‘The Nightmare ‘Dark’ and ‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse’
Tyler Passarge
Staff Writer


‘The Nightmare’ (2015) | NR | 90 mins | 🎬🎬🎬🎬🎬

In the 2015 documentary “The Nightmare,” documentarian Rodney Ascher explores the subject of sleep paralysis, a disorder that leaves the sufferer unable to move as they are asleep or awake. As the film goes on, audiences come to learn that while people with sleep paralysis are in a petrified state, they begin to experience frightening hallucinations that perpetually haunt them.


Ascher investigates the phenomenon by interviewing the people who struggle with the disorder and the nightmarish hallucinations that occur during paralysis. Although the interviews themselves can be quiet spooky, Ascher decides to go the extra mile and recreate the scenes laid out by the interviews using professional actors to show the true nature of the unruly condition.


A film like “The Nightmare” is one that will make viewers afraid of the dark and what lies within it. The scenes that Ascher recreates for the viewer are downright terrifying and serve the film greatly. Although he is only known for documentaries like this and “Room 237,” Asher shows that he truly knows horror and how to let it play out on screen.


The only real shortcoming of the film is that it never really stems past being an experimentation in dramatized recreations. Sleep paralysis itself is never explored as a medical condition and really gives no answers to explain what it is. However, “The Nightmare” is worth a viewing just for the brilliant and effective atmosphere and suspense that build throughout.


This film is available on Netflix


‘Dark’ (2015) | NR | 93 mins | 🎬🎬🎬

Taking place during the 2003 blackout that engulfed New York City, “Dark” follows the character of Kate (Whitney Able), a former model turned yoga instructor. When Kate’s girlfriend leaves the city to see family, Kate finds herself trapped in the darkness that overtakes New York soon after her departure. As Kate maneuvers through the dark of the city, her mental state begins to unravel.


Things begin to take a suspenseful turn for Kate when she starts to fear that someone may be lurking in her apartment. As Kate wrestles with the personal demons that play tricks on her, she must also maintain her composure to survive a stranger that may or may not be lurking in the shadows.


To get the most out of “Dark” the audience has to understand two things. For one, “Dark” isn’t so much of a horror movie then it is a slow-burn thriller. Many of the scares come from the insecurities and doubts that stem from the film’s main character. Admittedly it takes “Dark” a while to get going, and this could create a problem for the film’s audience.


The other thing to understand about “Dark” is the fact that this is a character study first and foremost. Able gives the audience a layered character who lives with regret and shows doubt about her future with someone she loves. Kate is not always likable, but she still makes for an interesting character that can successfully carry the film.


This film is available on Netflix


‘Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse’ (2015) | R | 92 mins | 🎬🎬🎬


Since the death of his father, Augie (Joey Morgan) along with his friends Ben (Tye Sheridan) and Carter (Logan Miller), have devoted a chunk of their friendship to the boy scouts. While Augie still finds enjoyment from the uniform, Ben and Chuck begin to question whether or not they have gotten too old to be boy scouts.


As the three friends deal with the idea of growing up and moving on, a virus strikes through the town they live in causing a zombie outbreak. Using the skills they’ve learned as scouts, the boys have to fight their way through an army of the undead in order to save their town and their loved ones.


While “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” never truly reaches the potential of being a great zombie comedy like “Shaun of the Dead,” the film certainly offers a fun, and at times chuckle-worthy, romp. Although many of the gross-out set pieces can come off very juvenile, director Christopher Landon shows that he has an eye for visual comedy. This visual comedy offers a majority of the film’s comedic hits.


Though the film does have many comedic moments that work, there are far too many instances where the jokes fail to make any impact. Landon shows many instances of creativity with the disgustingly bloody moments of the movie, but he relies far too much on cheap sex jokes that appear at random moments throughout the movie. He does no favors for himself by lingering on those moments with misplaced confidence.


This film is available on Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.



Rating System:

🎬 — Straight to DVD.
🎬🎬 — Well, there goes 2 hours of my life!
🎬🎬🎬 — Add to my queue.
🎬🎬🎬🎬 — A must see.
🎬🎬🎬🎬🎬 — Mind blown!