Rodney Ascher’s follow-up to “Room 237,” his collation of mad conspiracy theories about “The Shining,” doesn’t have the same crazy tingle, although “documentary-horror” is a genre dying to be confected and delved. Debuting at Sundance 2015, “The Nightmare” mixes testimony of subjects who share with the filmmaker a form of sleep paralysis that is often precipitated by very similar “shadow men.” The first several enactments suggest a creepiness that does not come to fruition and the on-camera recitations remain very much the same. The lighting of the interviews is richly imagined to no cumulative impact. Where’s the freakout? I could breathe, but I didn’t want to! 89m. (Ray Pride)
“The Nightmare” opens Friday, June 5 at the Music Box.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.