We all need to sleep to heal our bodies. If you get enough sleep you get the power to take on a brand new day, no matter what you do, if you study or work. We can´t forget parents who may have young children, they need sleep as well when it is possible. I have had issues with sleep in the past, but have found ways to take more time to relax when i can. Especially if i am driving long distances, then power naps is a great way to reload your batteries to do travelling more safe. But what if you can´t sleep normally because of a sleep disorder such as insomnia, or neurological disorder such as narcolepsy ? Or what if you can´t sleep because if you do, a sleep demon might end your life ? If you have no idea what i am talking about, have no fear. There is a connection to the sleep demon, in an independent horror film known as Mara. This was a film i was supposed to review about 2 years ago ( at least that was my plan, but other movies were chosen instead ). The reason why i mention this film, is because this is actually a great horror film from director Clive Tonge. This film tells the story of criminal psychologist Kate Fuller ( played by wonderful actress Olga Kurylenko ) is called to a crime scene, where a father of young daughter Sophie, was killed in his bed. No one can really explain what happened to the man, but his body have been twisted. Young Sophie tries to tell Kate that Mara did this, who is supposed to be a sleep demon. At first Katie wants to be realistic and investigate this case further, but as she digs into the truth, she is about to see another reality. Mara is a effective horror film, that reminds me of Japanese horror films with creepy sound effects and creepy body movements. But the one detail that makes Mara interesting, is that the film brings up the difficulty of living with sleep paralysis. If you have not seen Mara, i suggest you pick this film up on DVD or Blu Ray. Speaking of sleeping problems, i recently came across an Australian horror film known as Awoken, that looked pretty interesting. I have heard about this film since early summer, but finally got a chance to sit down and watch it. Is this horror film one of the best choices to watch this fall, or is Awoken as predictable as a Hallmark Channel film usually is ?
Young medical student Karla ( Sara West ) is trying to do the best she can to help her brother Blake ( Benson Jack Anthony ) who is suffering with Fatal Familial Insomnia. Since treatment is not helping, things are not looking good for him. But thanks to a team of experts, who is trying to give treatments to similar patients inside a secret location, Karla still hold on to hope, that he will get better. But as this treatment begins, Karla is about to find out that this location may have a dark past.
If you are interested in medical horror films, and especially where the film is focues on sleep ilness, then Awoken does have something that will probably fit with your taste. This is a horror film that especially focus on treatments of patients who have serious problems with sleep illness. But there is also another twist into this film, that there might be a demonic possession that is causing damage to these young patients. This part may not sound very original, and it isn´t. But the combination of a medical horror, combined with a classic ingredient as possession, turns out to be an effective combination. The one thing i have to say that Awoken manage to do, is to bring out the importance of patients who are in need of medical treatments. You see the patients struggle every day, while you can sense that there is an evil entity in the room. Let us get into the cast for a bit. One of the characters that i wish we could have seen more of, is the patient known as Angela ( played by actress Felicia Tassone. This is my first time seeing her in a film, and i have to say that she gives a great performance as Angela, a young woman who is clearly suffering with her diagnose. Actress Sara West, who plays medical student Karla, is really trying to do all she can to help her sick brother. Sara manage to balance her performance in a natural way, how most of us would feel and react, when you have a family member who is ill. One of the most interesting characters in Awoken, is without the patient known as Blake ( played by actor Benson Jack Anthony ). When you see the behavior of Blake changing, from being one of the most sick patients, you get a sense that something is seriously wrong with him. And Benson bring out one of the strongest acting performances in this film, since he manage to make us believe that he is really sick. As a horror film, i have to say that Awoken manage to work well through great performances, an effective plot and with some simple but creepy moments. Director Daniel J. Phillips first directorial debut full feature film is actually a pleasent surprise for me, and i am looking forward to see what he will direct in the future. If you are a horror fan, i suggest you pick up Awoken on DVD or Blu Ray, and prepare for Halloween. I guarantee you will be pleased.