The Curse of Sleeping Beauty – USA, 2016

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‘The fairytale was only the beginning…’

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty is a 2016 American fantasy horror film directed by Pearry Reginald Teo (Ghosthunters; Dracula: The Dark Prince; Necromentia) from a screenplay co-written with Josh Nadler. It stars Ethan Peck, India Eisley, Natalie Hall and Bruce Davison.

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Thomas Kaiser, a painter, has recurring dreams in which he sees a beautiful sleeping girl named Briar Rose (India Eisley), but is unable to wake her. When he attempts to kiss her he is awakened by searing headaches. While painting he sees an elusive apparition of Rose and receives a phone call from a law firm informing him of an inheritance from his uncle, Clive.

Thomas is informed his uncle left him a letter and property known as Kaiser Gardens before committing suicide. The letter tells him to never go to the lower levels of the building and that the family is cursed…

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Reviews:

“Director/co-screenwriter Pearry Teo succeeds in investing the silly proceedings with spooky visual stylishness, providing enough scary demons and possessed mannequins to deliver the requisite jump scares. Unfortunately, the film also features sound, which results in the audience being able to hear the inane dialogue accompanying the familiar horror tropes.” Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“Blood must be spilled to open secret doors, and there’s a nasty Djinn who drools yuckiness, but nothing truly horrifying ever appears … It’s obvious that Teo is dealing with budgetary restraints, but as his film currently exists, a generic haunted house thriller is simply drawn-out in lieu of a short, open ending. Talk about a case of doomsday blue balls.” Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

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“This movie is just over 80 minutes, and it feels like (a) they’re stretching to fill that much, since so much of what happens is redundant; and (b) that they didn’t actually do a lot of takes, since so many of these conversations are stilted…” Mark Abraham, Paste magazine

“It’s a strong script. The acting throughout this one is of a high standard with a quality cast demonstrating genuine ability. The cinematography is cleverly deceptive with ‘reality’ being filmed in the smoky blue-greys of a dreamy dusk, and the dream sequences being shot in the obscene brightness of wide awake equatorial noon. It’s also fair to say that the special effects are sufficiently striking to startle and unsettle.” Ashley Lister, UK Horror Scene

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“Vengeful demons; weird, mannequin-like creatures; spinning wheels and lots of mumbo jumbo all factor into the fright-lite proceedings. Director Pearry Teo, who scripted with Josh Nadler, pushes the brooding atmospherics, entrapping us in so many dingy, dustily lit spaces that, like Thomas, we just want to escape.” Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

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Cast and characters:

  • Ethan Peck as Thomas Kaiser
  • India Eisley as Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose
  • Natalie Hall as Linda
  • Bruce Davison as Richard
  • Scott Alan Smith as Billings
  • James Adam Lim as Daniel

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California

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