It’s that time again, and this week, I’m sharing another film. Sort of. I’m not going to be gushing about this one as I did with Song of the Sea, that’s why this is not a ‘Film Spotlight’ post. The spotlight is reserved for brilliance.
I stumbled across this film while trawling Netflix for something to watch, I started watching it but then had to stop because I am a wimp and I need people to watch scary things with me (even if they’re not that scary). Luckily, I was meeting with two of my closest friends, both of whom love fairy tales and wanted to watch some horror films. The Curse of Sleeping Beauty seemed like a perfect fit. The trailer made it look like a beautiful film but didn’t give much away. We knew it was going to either be: a terrible film, a terrible film that was also an adventure due to its terribleness (we love these), or a film that surprised us and was actually quite good. You never know what you’re going to get when you find yourself in the deep corners of Netflix, sometimes what you find is brilliant.
Alas, we were not so lucky. The film revolves around tortured artist Thomas, who has, we discover, inherited an incredibly creepy house and with it a series of dreams about a mysterious and beautiful sleeping princess. Of course, the house is at the centre of multiple disappearances. It started well, sort of.
For a large part of the film, we were scared. Faceless mannequins which move when you’re not looking are, after all, terrifying and if it had stuck to the creepy doll theme, it could have been a great movie. But no. It had to bring religion and the crusades and a lot more random pointless things into it. It was like they decided they wanted to write a completely different movie three-quarters of the way through. The first three-quarters were exposition. The plot didn’t really move until right at the end. We were shocked when we realised that the film ended in 15 minutes and yet we had no plot progression at all.
For the first three-quarters of the film, it was a creepy and suspenseful mannequin themed horror movie with fairy tale-esque elements. For the last 15 minutes or so, it was suddenly an apocalypse movie. In the time they had left themselves to conclude the story, they included a pointless, long-winded montage scene which really didn’t serve any purpose other than allowing them to show some ~edgy~ techno special effects. We could have done without it.
The highlight of my watching experience was witnessing my friend, Bekah, go into a full blown rage at their misuse of religious texts – her ranting and correcting was actually more exciting than the film.
Some of the scenes are beautiful, and Briar Rose’s costumes are beautiful if impractical but not even that can save this film.
Do you know of any great horror films based on fairy tales? I would love to find an actual decent one!