Friday, October 10, 2014

#1,516. Nightmare Man (2006)

Directed By: Rolfe Kanefsky

Starring: Tiffany Shepis, Blythe Metz, Luciano Szafir

Tag line: "Your dreams won't save you"

Trivia: Blythe Metz kept to herself and stayed away from the other cast members in order to get into character

For a while now, Ellen Morris (Blythe Metz) has been having a recurring nightmare in which she’s running for her life from a masked demon. Ellen’s husband, William (Luciano Szafir), concerned for his wife’s well-being, agrees to drive her to a specialist who, hopefully, will get to the bottom of what’s been causing her horrific dreams. On the way there, however, the car runs out of gas. So, William decides to walk to the nearest gas station (which is miles away), leaving Ellen all alone in the middle of nowhere. What was already a bad situation gets even worse when Ellen spots the masked creature from her dreams staring at her from the nearby forest! Believing her nightmare has become a reality, Ellen takes off running into the woods. Before long, she comes to a house where two couples: Mia (Tiffany Shepis) and Ed (Jack Sway) as well as Trinity (Hanna Putnam) and Jack (James Ferris), are enjoying what to that point had been a fun vacation. After dragging Ellen, bruised and bloodied, into the house and listening to her story, the four begin to fear for their own safety, and for good reason: Ellen’s “Nightmare Man” is still out there, and will stop at nothing to get what he’s after.

A slasher-style horror film with just a hint of the supernatural, director Rolfe Kanefsky’s Nightmare Man is a wild motion picture that, at times, feels like an homage to the movies of the 1980s; aside from the fact most of the action takes place in the middle of the woods (a la Friday the 13th and its many imitators), Nightmare Man also features a masked killer and some sex-crazed potential victims (before Ellen showed up at their house, Mia and the others were playing a rousing game of “Sexual Truth or Dare”). Yet another similarity between Nightmare Man and ‘80s horror is the movie’s inability to fully develop its characters, with the exception of Tiffany Shepis’s Mia, who, it turns out, is as tough as she is flirtatious (when Ellen warns them that a killer is lurking nearby, Mia pulls out a crossbow for protection, and later on manages to get her hands on a rifle). The kill scenes, while not entirely over-the-top, are certainly bloody, and there are even a couple of plot twists thrown in for good measure: one I saw coming from a mile away, and another I wouldn’t have predicted in 100 years.

If you’re a fan of ‘80s horror films, odds are you’ll enjoy Nightmare Man, a movie that starts off crazy and gets more insane with each passing minute.

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