John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare

Briefly: The first film from Rodney Ascher, Room 237, investigated horror by diving into the deep strangeness that develops when film fans take the auteur theory so seriously that they can’t imagine that Stanley Kubrick didn’t have specific intent in mind when he assembled parts of The Shining.

Ascher’s next film will be another documentary, and one which focuses on a different sort of real-life horror. The Nightmare will be “a disturbing investigation into the demonic visions experienced by victims of sleep paralysis and provoked by Ascher’s own unsettling experiences with the condition.” The doc likely takes its name from the painting of the same title, seen above. Henry Fuseli painted the image in 1781 as a vision of sleep paralysis rooted in demonic visitation.

Sleep paralysis can manifest in slightly different ways, but in general it is a condition where a person finds themselves unable to move during a period between sleep and waking; it can be associated with fears of imminent threats that the paralysis leaves the sufferer unable to react to or escape from.

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