Sundance 2015: New Photos From Rodney Ascher's THE NIGHTMARE Keeps Things Creepy

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)

Set to enjoy its world premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, The Nightmare, directed by Rodney Ascher (Room 237), explores "sleep paralysis." Here's the official description:

What if you knew that every night when you went to sleep, you were not alone? That you were surrounded by dark forces watching you - and that you could wake up paralyzed, completely helpless, with these beings standing next to you? Welcome to the spine-tingling horror/documentary hybrid The Nightmare from Rodney Ascher, who last rocked Sundance with his portrait of Kubrick-obsessed fandom, Room 237.

In this film, he uses atmospheric cinematic recreations to get the audience into the heads of everyday people in the most vulnerable situation imaginable: suffering from "sleep paralysis," a terrifying condition in which sufferers regain consciousness but are unable to move or act - and where they find themselves visited by menacing shadow people.

The subjects all hail from different backgrounds, but share eerily similar visions of malevolent, near-human beings that grow increasingly aggressive the longer the sleep paralysis goes unchecked. Afraid to discuss these surprisingly common and extremely realistic visions in waking life, many attribute it to supernatural powers - is this where we first get the legends of the Succubus, Demonic possession? Vampires?

Ascher, who has also experienced the condition, brings the intensity of this experience to the screen while maintaining empathy and respect for his subjects, in a unique experience that overlaps the lines between reality and the imagination.

Feast your eyes on the two new pics below, as well as a previously-released still and a headshot of director Ascher. (Click through to see all the photos and/or to embiggen them.) More information is available at the official Facebook page and also at the Sundance festival site.

THE NIGHTMARE, directed by Rodney Ascher.

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documentaryRodney Aschersleep paralysisSundance

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