Horror Movie Review: The Dark Sleep (2012)

The Dark Sleep or H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dark Sleep isn’t just the worst adaption of the great horror writer’s work I’ve ever seen. It’s also one of the worst horror movies I’ve ever seen. Over the course of 80 minutes any attempt to find a redeeming feature is entirely fruitless. Writer and director Brett Piper has put together an absolute stinker here and it is a movie I urge everyone to avoid.

Based off the H.P. Lovecraft story ‘Dreams in the Witch House’ which has seen two adaptions previously. Two strong adaptions in Stuart Gordon’s episode of Masters of Horror and the full length Curse of the Crimson Altar.

This attempt to adapt shouldn’t even been mentioned in the same breath as those.

It stars Ashley Galloway as Nancy, a horrid woman with an ex-husband she can barely stand to be around. She is around him though as he is an estate agent/realtor who gives her a house in return for having to pay alimony.

The conversations or better yet, the bickering between these two is incessant and painful. It makes them both wholly unlikable, a real problem considering Nancy is supposed to be our heroine.

Anyway, in the basement of this house is a mural of occult symbols and she is explicitly told to leave them alone. Which she does at first but when she begins to be terrorised by a hilariously bad stop-motion ‘rat’ she paints over the mural of symbols believing them to be related.

This doesn’t fix her problem, instead it makes it worse as reality and dreams begin to blur.

Where to start in regards to breaking this trash apart? Dreams in the Witch House is not H.P. Lovecraft’s strongest work but it has plenty going for it. What we have here with this adaption is the poorest possible way to tell it. Any promise, such as the idea of dreams and reality affecting each other is lost in a blur of cringeworthy acting, embarrassing visual effects and attempts at comedy that fall completely flat.

This is an embarrassment of a movie and it would be in everyone’s best interest to pretend that they weren’t even involved. As for those unlucky enough to witness its putrid stink? Follow suit and just pretend you never saw it. I will.


  • Carl Fisher

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The Dark Sleep
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