The world of sleep and dreams is no stranger to horror film directors. Dozens of films, of varying quality, have delved into this universe — remember Freddy Krueger, who continues to haunt his victims' nightmares almost 35 years after the release of A Nightmare On Elm Street. And now a different facet of this micro-genre has finally been addressed, thanks to Mara.
This indie film, which we'd heard nothing about until this first trailer (which definitely gives too much away), transforms sleep paralysis into a true horror. Starring the impressive Olga Kurylenko, the feature film turns the disorder into a kind of curse, embodied by a demon with the deceptively sweet name 'Mara'. The symptoms seem to be the same.
The pitch is simple: a psychologist (Olga Kurylenko), helped by the police, is investigating the case of a man killed in his sleep. The man's daughter, the only witness to the murder, explains that the culprit is Mara, a demon who enters our minds while we sleep and haunts us. The investigator begins to feel haunted herself. You get the idea.
While the movie appears to be rather simple and unoriginal, and even a little bit cheap, we welcome the effort to address this disorder which affects around 20% of the population. Sleep paralysis keeps affected people in a state between wakefulness and sleep, without being able to move or speak. This is often accompanied by hallucinations and the sense of an evil presence. Plenty of material in there for the perfect horror movie.
You'll have to wait for a while, as no release date has yet been set.