Waking Nightmare

“What if I woke up evil?”

Blending elements of comedy and horror is no easy task, yet Waking Nightmare makes it look all too easy.  The result is an interesting mix which results in a reality that you can’t always trust.  Some of the things you have to accept about this narrative is that the world is completely fucked up.  And that makes the people who dwell in it fucked up, too.


"a spine-chilling rollercoaster of fear"

And  co-directors Steven Craig (Running with Fear) and Brian Farmer (Blue Call) absolutely enjoy playing with this as Yan Birch (The People Under The Stairs) sleepwalks and stabs the people who get in her way.  Waking Nightmare is a great example of independent filmmaking as all of the elements combine to create an unforgettable narrative about PTSD.

Jordan (Birch) is suffering manic episodes after her friend’s death.  She’s a college dropout and thanks to her sleepwalking, she’s on Ambien,  Yet, the nightmares aren’t stopping and neither are her violent tendencies.  Everything is just getting worse.

It’s when her sleepwalking takes her out of the house, where things get really twisted.  Standing in the middle of the road in a pitch black evening is a standout for this horror film . . . and what follows is even more horrific.  So much so that it will leave you laughing . . .

. . . that’s how joyously demented this film is.Waking Nightmare

With solid cinematography and stunning imagery, Waking Nightmare comes in with a solid entry in the whole somnambulist subgenre of horror offerings.  Props need to be given to cinematographer Seth Wessel-Estes, editor Patrick Kennelly, and Production Designer Arnella Barbara for elevating this film to the level it achieves. 

But, honestly, the story is quite shocking, especially when it is revealed what her parents have been doing in response to their unhinged daughter.  These scenes are wickedly funny, gory as all get-out, and completely in keeping with this atmospheric horror gem.

Pitch Perfect’s Shelley Regner, The Last American Virgin’s Diane Franklin, An American Werewolf in London’s David Naughton, and The Lost Boys’ Jamison Newlander also star in Waking Nightmare, a spine-chilling rollercoaster of fear hitting VOD August 18 from Terror FilmsStephen Wu (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Every Heart (Return to Me) co-star.

4/5 stars

Film Details

Waking Nightmare

MPAA Rating: Unrated.

: Steve Craig; Brian Farmer
Brian Farmer
Diane Franklin; David Naughton; Jamison Newlander
: Horror

Memorable Movie Quote:
Terror Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 18, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Jordan suffered manic episodes after the loss of her friend. Her mother has a family doctor prescribe her Ambien to help with her sleepwalking. As time goes on, Jordan has issues remembering what happened.


Waking Nightmare