A slasher dud.
HorrorMan | The Marsten House | 06/11/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Sleepover Nightmare" represents a straight-forward modern day slasher that does not try to do too much with its simple plot. As such, it succeeds only in the very basic level of providing the audience a group of young people and a madman killing them off one at a time. The plot, as you might imagine, involves an escaped mental patient and a big party that turns into a sleepover nightmare for some of the guests. The kills scenes are not particularly good, indicative of a low-budget production that viewer gets in "Sleepover Nightmare". The acting is slightly below average for this type of flick. There is no atmosphere, mystery or suspense in "Sleepover Nightmare" and no twist (not that a twist is always a good way to go anyway). In short, there is nothing special or unique about "Sleepover Nightmare" whatsoever.
Aside from its very generic plot, "Sleepover Nightmare" lacks style and technique in its execution which makes for a largely uninspired viewing experience. Also, "Sleepover Nightmare" completely takes the mystery of the unknown out of this movie by not only identifying the killer in the beginning but also shedding light on his motives for killing. The identity of a killer in a slasher or any horror movie for that matter does not have to be a mystery, but if you take the unknown factor out of the equation completely as is the case in "Sleepover Nightmare", you neutralize a great deal of the horror associated with the villain; thus is the case with "Sleepover Nightmare". Although there are quite a few bad slashers as some of my reviews would reflect, anyone who is a consistent reader of my reviews knows that I have an affinity for good slashers ("The Burning", the "Friday the 13th" movies, "He Knows You're Alone", "Madman" "My Bloody Valentine", the original "Black Christmas", "Just Before Dawn" and "House on Sorority Row" just to name a few), but "Sleepover Nightmare" simply does not have much to offer."
Another stereotypical slasher film, but I enjoyed it
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Once again, I find myself defending a slasher film that even many slasher film fans are denigrating. (It's amazing how many people calling themselves slasher fans have seemingly never seen a slasher film they actually liked.) Yes, Sleepover Nightmare is clichéd and predictable and the special effects aren't all that special in places and the script wouldn't pass muster with a Spielberg or Lucas, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. My only complaint is that the director really wimped out on the murder scenes, giving us the obligatory splashes of blood against the wall rather than the actual cutting and slashing. Some complain that there's no nudity, but - contrary to public opinion - nudity is not a requirement for films of this genre. I think the main reason many guys are so disappointed by the lack of nudity is the fact that two of the film's stars, Hayley Sales and Kristine Cofsky, look really hot in their denim shorts.
The premise of Sleepover Nightmare is one you'll recognize. A bunch of kids have a big party at one of their parents' lake house, basically daring a mad killer of some kind to show up and start killing them. Somewhere nearby, a transport vehicle carrying a mad, long-haired killer crashes, thereby supplying a qualified man for the job. It's sort of ironic that the first thing the killer comes upon is a teenaged party, since another such party seven years ago started him on his road to ruin. He sort of lost his temper when he discovered his girlfriend having sex in the back seat of another guy's car. I don't think it was this act of betrayal so much as the fact that the guy actually claimed "Hey, man, it's not what it looks like" (when it was SO what it looked like) that pushed our killer off the deep end. He beats the holy hell out of that guy, providing us with by far the best scene of violent action in the entire film.
Things haven't changed much in seven years. A young jerk named Dwight (Chad E. Rook) brings his new girl Karli (Hayley Sales) to the party, then quickly abandons her to "go help a friend." This friend, of course, is a hot blonde named Shannon (Kristine Cofsky). Not knowing anyone else at the party, Karli ends up stuck with this goof Harry (Richard Olak) who is immediately attracted to her. As Dwight convinces Karli not to bail on him, a few kids start to disappear here and there - but no one is too concerned since dumb, horny, drunk kids are known to do that sort of thing all of the time. We, of course, know that the missing kids are all quite dead at the hands (or should I say crowbar and soda can) of the killer. There would have been even more killings if the party hadn't broken up before sundown (which is when a real party is supposed to begin). As it is, we're left with Dwight, Karli, Shannon, and Harry holed up inside the house while the killer tries to finish what he started.
I thought the film played out pretty well, and I have no real complaints about the ending, either. I don't know much about writer-director Boon Collins, apart from the fact he's directed a string of obscure films of this type, but I liked what he tried to do here. You can certainly raise questions as to why a character did this or didn't do that, but that's the way of any slasher film. I just think a lot of fans and critics have been too hard on this movie. I've seen more than one slasher film far worse than Sleepover Nightmare, which is why I would rate this film on the good side of average."
When Halloween Fell on Friday the 13th....
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 12/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so there's no denying that the low-budget slasher film SLEEPOVER NIGHTMARE steals from the best. A crazed killer escapes from a mental hospital (can you say HALLOWEEN?) and then, one by one, picks off promiscuous teens who are partying at a rural location (is it FRIDAY THE 13TH yet?). Nothing new there. But just because the plot isn't totally original, that doesn't mean it's a bad movie. Most of the young actors in the film turn in pretty good performances, most of the young ladies are cute (a few are even downright sexy), and the direction, the cinematography, and the special FX belie the film's meager Canadian-indie budget. And to be honest, some of the kills are quite imaginative variations on the old standards (e.g., one scene has the killer wielding an outboard motor rather than a chainsaw--too cool!).
Aside from leaning strongly towards the cliche, SLEEPOVER NIGHTMARE really has only a couple of glaring flaws. The first of these is the title: why the word SLEEPOVER when the bulk of the action takes place during the daylight hours...and nobody sleeps? And secondly, where are all the real T&A shots? I mean, ever since the awesome P.J. Soles bared her pert little bosom in John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (1978), slasher fans expect at least one or more gratuitous skin shots. But on that promise, SLEEPOVER NIGHTMARE insolently fails to deliver.
The DVD from Velocity presents the film at the 1.85:1 aspect ratio at which it was shot (alas, it's not anamorphic), and the digital transfer is beautifully crisp and clean (not surprising, actually, since at least some of the scenes were obviously shot with a digital camera). The disc also contains a few cool extras, including a feature commentary with director Boon Collins, sexy female star Kristine Cofsky, and male co-star Chad Rook.
Yes, it's true that SLEEPOVER NIGHTMARE is neither groundbreaking nor Oscar-level cinema, and it does nothing to advance the slasher sub-genre. But if you're a horror fan looking for a little bit of blood and a nice adrenaline fix, then this film will help you score. And what more can you expect for such a low price of admission?"