Dead Awake

Independent horror flick DEAD AWAKE latches on to a promising if obvious premise: sleep paralysis as an encounter with supernatural menace. And the leads, a faux “Famke Janssen” (Jocelin Donahue) and stockier “Justin Theroux” (Jesse Bradford), turn in convincing enough performances even without the skills of their lookalikes. (Never mind Jesse Borrego as the Enigmatic Stranger Who Alone Knows What’s Really Going On; his wild-eyed shenanigans nearly push the whole thing into camp.) But the key to horror, regardless of budget, is pacing and panache; the creeps must build, not be given outright, and need to come in unexpected, stylish ways. DEAD AWAKE’s chills get repetitive quickly and sag in the middle; despite the film’s promise, you may find yourself not so awake. —YSM

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We love to sit in the dark with a big tub of popcorn amid a roomful of strangers. Reports on what we witness there come in two varieties: Bullet Reviews quickly and concisely convey our take on a film, always in spoiler-free fashion; Trailer Trash reveals Your Sacrificial Moviegoer's best prediction on whether an upcoming movie is worth seeing, based solely on the trailer (the short "previews" before the feature presentation).

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