Friday, November 11, 2016


In The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, a tortured artist is sure he can end his nightmares by finding and waking a mysterious woman named Briar Rose. Little does he know, the nightmare has only just begun!

There was recently an article in The Ringer about Blumhouse and how they make bold, serious dramas that are also scary movies. Apparently, if you add a possession here and an Ouija board there, you can make the kinds of movies that serious filmgoers want to see.

I wouldn’t know!

Because those are NOT the films we’re reviewing here. If Blumhouse produces art camouflaged as B-horror, our movies are the camouflage! The Curse of Sleeping Beauty is a fine example. It tells the story of a young artist named Thomas who inherits a haunted mansion, its mysteries, and a cursed bloodline! The curse means he can’t leave the mansion, but when he sleeps there, he usually wakes up to things like this:

That’s a djinn waking him up by vomiting on his chest, which I assume was embarrassing for everybody. Also, remember the whole vomiting djinn thing, it comes into play later!

Anyway, there’s one scene I want to show you, and it encapsulates what is right and what is wrong with The Curse of Sleeping Beauty.

So, Thomas has inherited this mansion, and he calls out an appraiser to tell him its worth. Of course, the appraiser comes when Thomas isn’t home, and so Thomas has to wait a whole month to get another appointment. Ugh!

Just kidding! That’s what would happen in the real world, but in The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, the appraiser just lets himself into Thomas’s unbelievably creepy mansion:

 Why the eff not, right? Hmm, no one appears to be home, but let's go upstairs just to check!

Well, nothing up here but terrifying mannequins. Screw it though, I wonder what's down this hallway?

Huh. Just more incredibly creepy mansion. Guess I'll just go back the way I came. Should be fine. Oh, hello there!

Why, there's a mannequin with a clown head coming out of its chest in the place where I was just standing! Let's get a closer look.

You know what happens next? Think of the scariest possible thing. And then...a cockroach crawls out of its eye. 

The appraiser, who has balls of steel when it comes to satanic mannequins, is finally scared, and tries to hide in a closet. But, it's a closet full of mannequin parts and they attack:

Then the appraiser does this two-part move:

And winds up trapped under the fucking bedsheets:

And then, of course, the djinn comes to barf on his chest:

And it's kind of embarrassing for everyone.

Questions for Paul:

1.  If you were the Uncle and you had to leave instructions for your nephew, what would you have included? 

PH:  I feel like you can’t just come right out and write: “I keep an unconscious girl locked up in the basement.  Don’t kiss her or it will start the apocalypse!”  You kind of have to work up to it, like: “I should tell you: there’s something living in the basement.  It’s just my housecat, Skittles, though, so it’s not creepy at all.  Just don’t kiss Skittles, because Skittles has rabies.  Just kidding!  Skittles doesn’t have rabies!  How funny!  But there’s something else I should tell you: Skittles isn’t a cat, but an unconscious human girl.”  That way it eases my nephew into it!

2.  A girl is talking to you, and her voice suddenly drops 4 octaves, before returning to normal. Deal breaker, or deal maker?

PH:  You had me at “a girl is talking to you.” 
3.  Is it just me, or do mannequins make terrible guards?

PH:  So you’re saying I shouldn’t have ordered the value pack of “Total Home Defense” mannequins from Amazon?   But the reviews were so positive!

4.  What was the veiled demon doing at the spinning loom? 

PH:  I think she was making mannequins.  Which I know doesn’t make sense.  But maybe they didn’t have room for an industrial injection mold in the basement.  Plus, this way the mannequins are artisanal, Etsy store material!

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