Jordan’s (Shelley Regner) life is anything but ordinary. Being plagued with guilt over the death of a friend that she couldn’t prevent, she spirals into a life filled with trauma and mental health issues. Her everyday life seems fine and her social life is still good, even if her best friend Zoey (Kelly Leon Guerrero) has to drag her out herself.
However, Jordan starts experiencing night terrors and it’s taking its toll on her and her family. So, her mother Danielle (Diane Franklin) gets her some prescription drugs to deal with her problems. Starting to see her life put right again, Jordan feels like she can finally put her past behind her. The problem is that when she kills a man in a fit of rage, she starts to realise that not all her problems have been solved.
Waking Nightmare is a horror movie directed by Steve Craig and Brian Farmer. The kind of film that would be a typical set up for a horror movie, Waking Nightmare unfortunately feels a little outdated and confused.
Jordan’s life is all too ordinary besides her best friend trying to bring out her wild side. She seems well adjusted and despite her night terrors, the audience may never think she could do something so bad. However, this is where Waking Nightmare falters as it uses this contrast to instil an image of mental health in the audience’s mind which is a dated stereotype.
Whilst almost completely unexplained, it feels like the movie is blaming her past trauma on the incident. With things like psychedelic visions on TV screens and a short delve into her remorse for her actions, it feels more like a trippy Oliver Stone movie than anything substantial.
Then there’s the issues of the pacing and the tone. It seems that a story of a woman who inexplicably kills a man for no apparent reason wasn’t good enough for the directors as they seemingly decide to throw in anything they can. Including previously mentioned images, it also feels like Waking Nightmare wants to be a horror comedy at times, so while Jordan’s inner turmoil is going on, the audience is meant to laugh at the excessive blood and gore of other acts of violence.
All of this adds up to a movie that has no clear direction and a meandering plot which may lose the audience’s interest.
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