WHILE WE SLEEP (2021) Reviews of possession horror

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‘I pray the Lord my soul to keep’

While We Sleep is a 2021 American horror film about a radiologist battling to discover the cause of a teenage girl’s sleeping disorder.

Directed by Polish-born Andrej Sekula (The Pleasure Drivers; Cube²: Hypercube; Fait Accompli) from a screenplay co-written by Brian Gross and Rich Ronat.

Produced by Brian Gross, Yuriy Karnovsky, Aleksandr Omelyanov (line producer), Yuriy Prylypko and Rich Ronat.

The CinemAday production stars Brian Gross, Oliver Trevena, Jacy King, Pavlo Shpegun, Darya Tregubova and Lyra Irene Gross.

Plot:

After observing a hauntingly familiar abnormal CAT scan of a thirteen-year-old girl, radiologist Nina Evanko battles to find the source of the young girl’s sleeping disorder. What she discovers is darker and stranger than she could have imagined…

Our review:

While We Sleep begins intriguingly and somewhat promisingly with some mildly unnerving low-key creepy demonic manifestations, such as cake candles that reignite in a fridge to ruin the contents. It also benefits slightly from a Ukrainian setting that’s at least different from the norm.

Unfortunately, once the obligatory clichéd broken-soul priest turns up we’re in familiar territory and the plot begins to trot out all the Exorcist rip-off tropes we’ve seen many times before. While some of this rote possession stuff is laughably entertaining it certainly doesn’t inspire and viewers will be left waiting for the kind of inevitable coda that supernatural horror films of this ilk almost certainly always deliver. Perhaps worth a look if you’re really desperate but there’s really nothing new here.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“It’s all rushed through in order to tack on a twist ending. But by that point, it’s the audience who will be sleeping. Overwhelmingly dull with almost nothing happening until the last few minutes, While We Sleep suffers from a script by star Brian Gross and Rich Ronat (Grand Isle) that spends too much time on talk and not enough on scares.” Voices from the Balcony

Release:

In the US, VMI Releasing released While We Sleep On-Demand on October 1, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Brian Gross … Derek
Jacy King … Jennifer
Oliver Trevena … Father Andrey
Pavlo Shpegun … Alex
Darya Tregubova … Nina
Lyra Irene Gross … Cora
Aleksandr Omelyanov … Petro Hubenko
Slava Babenkov … Wino

Filming locations:

Ukraine

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)

Fun facts:

Director Andrej Sekula was the cinematographer on Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

Trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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