Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 3/18/2011...
This is a fun and entertaining movie. Stephen King wrote the screenplay and appears in a cameo. A modern day monster movie. It has some problems, but never loses it's sense of manic fun. Not to be taken at all seriously.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
C. T. Mikesell | near Eugene, Oregon | 07/16/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Stephen King's Sleepwalkers is a fairly-good B-movie. Most of it is enjoyably watchable, due mainly to the easy-on-the-eyes-ability of its lead cast members Brian Krause, Alice Krige, and Madchen Amick. Then there are the cringeworthy moments: the violent moments that are both poorly executed and overly gory, as well as the disturbing dance sequences (creepy incestuous slow dance/hottie teenybopping with a carpet-sweeper ) early in the film. There are a number of nicely put together scenes in the movie: the Trans Am chase, Krause and Amick at her house, as well as Krige's first two scenes with Amick. The "superpowers" of the Sleepwalkers are nice and original, but much of their history is left to our imagination. We are given some backstory via an "encyclopedia" definition, a snippet of Krause's creative writing assignment, and a few comments dropped here and there by Krause and Krige, though more would have been helpful. Questions remain as to why Krige can't "feed" herself and whether or not the Sleepwalkers are actually made of Meow Mix (how else can you explain the scene where cats troop through downtown Travis, Indiana, in pursuit of Krige)?Plot holes? Certainly. Cameos by directors who ought to stay behind the camera instead of in front of one? Definitely. While the movie isn't exactly played for laughs and never fully descends into the campy netherworld, it's hard to take it too seriously. DVD extras are severely limited - although if you want to learn to read in Thai or Portuguese you're in luck because those are two of the seven sets of subtitles included on the disc.For an original screenplay, Stephen King has put together a decent story. Were it a novel, we'd likely get the missing backstory (frustratingly, the movie wasn't novelized), but as it stands the story is pretty good - okay, the corn killing is lame, but for the most part things make sense. It would have been nice if some of the effects were less fakey or there had been a few more extras on the DVD (Sleepwalkers movie trailer, Writer/Director commentaries, deleted scenes), but for a few bucks you still get your money's worth. Netflix it first if you want, but I'm not ashamed to have it in my library collection."
x_opp | Ohio | 11/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must say I always have enjoyed this movie and as I was breezing through the reviews it seems like I was one of the few. Sleepwalkers is by no doubt the best movie I have seen, but I thought it has some merit as being a good movie. Sleepwalkers introduces you to these mysterious creatures that cats don't like. They appear human most of the time but can change either voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily into their cat like forms. They feed off human virgins it seems they suck their souls right out of them per oral. The plot is kind of thin and it could have been more developed, but it was still pretty good. The movie leaves a lot of questions about what these things are. If you are a movie watcher that likes to know all the facts this may not be the movie for you. The special effects were not all that great and I think the monster's appearance could have taken a little more attention, but I have never rated special effects above the plot. I think maybe Sleepwalkers would have turned out better as a book opposed to a movie, where there would be more time to develop the plot, but this didn't happen, so I guess I will settle for the movie."
This is Barely a Horror Movie, but it is VERY Entertaining
Lead Cenobite | Cape Breton, Canada | 08/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sleepwalkers has all the elements of a horror movie, and yet it isn't one. The first scene is very effective, and sets the tone for a good horror movie. We see Mark Hamill (unrecognizable from his Luke Skywalker days) as a cop checking out some odd goings-on at a house. But I wonder - did the girl scream or was she already dead? Or was it a dead body that screamed? The music and imagery during the opening credits is great. There's a definition of a sleepwalker from an old occult encyclopedia. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and art look really cool. The sketch of a sleepwalker breastfeeding an infant looks scary. The thought that the infant might actually be a human being makes the sketch even more unsettling. Anyway, that first scene and the opening credits create an atmosphere of dread that we would expect to last throughout the rest of the movie. But Stephen King (who wrote the script) and director Mick Garris wanted to make a movie that was campy AND scary at the same time. Unfortunately, they failed to deliver with regard to the scares, but they do provide us with some good laughs. Sleepwalkers is a good movie, it's just not as good as it was meant to be. It's almost impossible for a movie to be both campy and scary, but I regard House of 1000 Corpses as a rare exception.
I think of Sleepwalkers as more of a comedy than a horror movie, just because there are so few moments that anyone would find scary (even though this movie terrified me when I was a kid). There's a lot of moments when this movie tries to be scary, but falls short, because the suspense is undermined by jokes or humorous incidents. All the murders are amusing for one reason or another. How can a murder be amusing? Watch this movie and you'll see what I mean - a lot of the murders look really silly, like when a Sheriff is bodyslammed on a picket fence. I think this movie works best as a comedy anyway. If the guys that made Sleepwalkers cut out all the funny stuff and just tried to go for the chills, then I think I would have enjoyed this movie a lot less.
In a nutshell, a mother and son are demonic shapeshifters called sleepwalkers that feed off the life-force of virgin women. Normally they take the form of human beings, so that they can go about daily life unnoticed. The incestuous behaviour of Mary Brady (Alice Krige) and her son Charles (Brian Krause) is disturbing, but for some reason it doesn't have any shock effect at all once it becomes apparent they aren't human. I suppose it's because I expect non-humans to do things that humankind considers perverse. But I also liked the way this movie made a nice instrumental like Santo and Johnny's `Sleepwalk' sound evil and creepy. Enya's `Boadicea' makes for good background music in the opening scene, but not when it shows Charles leaving the theatre - it just doesn't seem to suit the light-hearted nature of that scene. But when it plays at the end of the movie it suits that scene perfectly, and it runs on through the end credits.
I also like how the heroine Tanya Robertson (Madchen Amick) is a klutz, socially awkward, a nerd, and can resort to extreme acts of violence to defend herself. And I like how the teachers use corporal punishment on the kids, like rapping their knuckles with plastic rulers, or dragging them by the ear to the principal's office. The entertaining teacher Mr. Fallows (Glenn Shadix) has a few hilarious exchanges with Charles. Even Mr. Fallows' fatal run-in with Charles is somewhat of a light-hearted moment, thanks to Charles' wit. And the high-speed chase with the stressed out patrolman Andy Simpson (the excellent Dan Martin) is hilarious. I've seen Dan Martin in all kinds of stuff, so why is he still not getting the recognition he deserves?
The scene where Andy gets out of his car and stands in the middle of the deserted highway was good, but it would have been more effective if the viewer didn't know that Charles' car was invisible until AFTER Andy drove away. And that scene would have been more effective if he didn't curse (and say some really goofy words) out loud. A rather chilling scene was when Mrs. Brady puts the rose in Tanya's hair and says "There. It finishes you somehow." The coolest scene of the movie is when it shows Mrs. Brady lying on the ground, completely engulfed in flames. The most disturbing scene is when Tanya's arm gets cut on the broken glass of a police car window. And it was pretty cool when Mrs. Brady blows up the police cars, even if there was no realistic way they could have blown up like that.
I like cats, but all the cats in this movie are annoying. The scene of the cats running down the street to the Brady house is completely preposterous. But if there were no cats in this movie then there would be a problem, because a cat's scratch is the only thing that can harm a sleepwalker. I'm not sure if sleepwalkers are an actual legend or if Mr. King dreamed them up himself. If he did, why would he make a cat's scratch the only thing that can kill a sleepwalker? Something a little less complicated would have been better.
The guys that made this movie deserve a round of applause - it's hard as hell to make a movie that's funny AND scary, but in the case of Sleepwalkers they weren't just trying to be funny - they were trying to be HILARIOUS. Can a movie that's hilarious be scary? Some (but certainly not all) movies work because they don't take themselves seriously, like Sleepaway Camp 2. But in the case of Sleepwalkers it tries so hard to be funny that it can't be scary."
Not to be catty, but
tmp | Solar System, MA USA | 05/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't a very good movie. The gore effects are not great, there are plot holes big enough to drive a Trans-Am through, and most of the acting is board stiff. The only bright spot is Alice Krige- she turns in one of her usual, ..performances. Why this woman is not the biggest star on the planet, I'll never know. She made this character, Eva in "Ghost Story", and the Borg Queen in the Star Trek movie so incredibly ..compelling I can't think why she doesn't get bigger jobs. Worth seeing only for her."