Thursday, October 08, 2015

"The Nightmare": Paralysis of sleep leads to alternate realities, encounters with ephemeral aliens

The Nightmare” (2015), directed by Rodney Ascher, looks at the medical problem of “paralysis of sleep”, though the narratives of eight people, some of them with actors (as in a docudrama), such as Siegfried Peters playing “Chris”, who describes (from boyhood) what sounds like aliens, rather like the Grays, tickling him, shown in funky overlaid animation.  He experiences even inspired a Halloween costume.  (I may mix him up with Stephen Michael Joseph.)  He also talks about trying to drive away his captors by setting up TV’s in his bedroom, which worked “for a while”.  Later, he describes a female partner’s sharing the experience.

One woman in New Jersey describes “Shadow Man” as a visitor, and I thought about “Slender Man”.

The experience happens to me once in a while.  It may happen once with falling asleep.  There may be a brief sense of nausea. There may be the sensation of colored lights near the ceiling. It’s possible to wonder if I am still alive, or are already in some different place. Presuming there is an afterlife, and short of the trauma of an NDE, how would you know that it had stated? Another variation could be that you are awake, and driving or walking somewhere, and get caught in some sort of loop, and wonder if you’re no longer on Earth.

On a few occasions, I have dreamed that I had caused a car accident, or that the car had been stolen, and wanted to wake myself up, and finally succeeding after repeated attempts.  

Medically, sleep paralysis is a kind of disrupted REM sleep.  ABC 20-20 has documented rare crimes committed by sleepwalkers.  There is a good question as to whether masturbation before sleep makes it (deep rem sleep and possible paralysis) more or less likely.

At the end, one of the young men anticipates that his life could end this way, and that he might not wake up even for his girl friend, as the new reality is finally rewarding. 

The official Facebok is here (Gravitas Venturas, Zipper Brothers, and Campfire.  The film is set up in two parts, with credits at the end of each part.

It's ironic that right after I had finished watched this, composer Timo Andres tweeted that his piano piece "Heavy Sleep" (among others) had been published.
The film is available on Netflix or Amazon (3.99) instant play.

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