The Sandman gives you good dreams. The Sleepwalker doesn’t.
Those two sentences perfectly describe our newest short, rightfully named, Sleepwalker which is written, directed, and edited by the talented Calvin Weaver of Second Nightmare Films. The short follows a woman named Sam (Katie Parker) who is coping with the loss of her beloved husband James (Dustin Boyett). Sam has constantly been having nightmares and then afterwards, waking up with black sand sprinkled on her face. In addition, she suspects that an animal has been living underneath her house as she often hears sounds beneath the floorboards. All of these strange occurrences do relate to one another and the end result is nothing short of terrifying.
One thing that stands out about this film is the cinematography. From the heavenly dream sequences to the grim rural nightmares, Gabriel Alan Gallant (cinematographer) beautifully executes Calvin’s twisted vision. Natural light flows into the shots adding a sense of purity and hope to the isolated location. In contrast, dark gloomy shadows are cast upon the environment as terror sets in underneath the moonlight. The actual entity or creature featured in this film is sparingly given the full attention of the camera. This choice lets the viewer only receive brief terrifying glimpses of the fiend, which leaves more to the viewer’s dark imagination (similar to the likings of Psycho or Jaws). On one occasion, the creature unexpectedly entered the frame and nearly bolted me upright. I don’t remember the last time a horror short made me jump like that.
Another incredible aspect of the film is Max Ablitzer’s scoring. The film’s visuals are accompanied by beautiful music that elevates the emotion or tension seen on screen. Soft piano melodies are used when the protagonist is reminiscing over happier times while atmospheric risers suggest the entrance of an unwanted guest. At one point Max combined the pleasant piano notes with a dark looming suspenseful sound which lent itself to an unknowing and terrifying feel to the scene.
Sleepwalker is an incredible short film that really succeeds in its visual storytelling and use of score. The creature design is also very impressive and I highly encourage you to stay until the end to fully encounter the wrath of this nocturnal predator…
We look forward to more creepy goodness from the team at Second Nightmare Films!
-Noah Levine: Zomboy Productionz
World of Death is the web series that fans of independent horror have been waiting for. Featuring short horror films from all over the globe created by the largest variety of talent that a collection has ever been able to boast, WOD provides plenty of blood, guts, screams and laughs for all fans of the macabre. And with episodes averaging around eight minutes in length, WOD is the perfect entertainment for a fan base constantly on the go. Watch it anywhere, at any time, for FREE! New episodes premiere every Monday and Thursday at 10am CST.