American films

Slumber film review: Maggie Q supernatural sleep horror is so bad it’s entertaining

Jonathan Hopkins’ ridiculous horror story of a sleep researcher who consults Google and the janitor for advice on a family’s sleep-related problems is so bad that it’s almost worth watching

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 March, 2018, 7:04am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 March, 2018, 7:04am

1/5 stars

The fun of watching this inept supernatural thriller comes from wondering just how much worse it can get. The answer is, unfortunately, “a lot”, as it moves effortlessly from clumsy, to ridiculous, to risible.

Even the worst contemporary horrors tend to be slick affairs, but Slumber manages to be so bad it’s borderline entertaining. Its premise is quite original, as it deals with sleep research, a relatively new form of scientific inquiry that could change the way we live – even if there’s no actual science in this story.

Alice (Maggie Q) is a sleep researcher at an institution which helps patients overcome problems such as sleepwalking. She’s surprised when a whole family check themselves in for observation, claiming that strange things are happening at night.

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After she’s attacked by the father when he’s sleepwalking, Alice, like all good doctors, seeks the advice of the hospital janitor. He says that the family are threatened by a nocturnal spirit who operates in the zone between waking and sleeping. Alice then calls on the janitor’s mad old uncle (former Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy) to save the family.

Oddly, Alice knows nothing about sleep research, even though that’s her job, and has to Google the most basic facts about it. The arrival of the mumbling uncle, replete with big sunglasses and an awful shirt, reminds me of the grade Z films of the early 1970s.

As in those old Hammer House of Horror television shows, the events might have actually been the ramblings of a lunatic mind, but even that is not clear.

Slumber opens on March 8

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