Picked mostly on a whim, I was kind of excited to watch this to trash talk it as what reviews I had seen weren’t very kind. But The Curse of Sleeping Beauty is actually really watchable. Of course it isn’t great, but it’s certainly not the train wreck I was led to believe. Parts were actually scary, with a bit of a silent hill vibe to them and while the ending is more than a little on the predictable side of things. That in no way hampers the enjoy ability of watching it all play out.
Thomas Kaiser (Ethan Peck) is an artist and a recluse with few friends. Since childhood, he has had a recurring dream with a sleeping woman, Briar Rose (India Eisley). Though he always awakens before he can kiss and wake her. One day he inherits an old mansion estate from an uncle he never knew he had and goes to have it appraised for sale. Though things change after inheriting the property, in that he kisses and wakes Briar Rose and the two now speak. He also revives a letter warning him that he, like his uncle are cursed, not to enter the hidden rooms below the basement and that some things are locked away for a reason. When he goes the property he meets Linda (Natalie Hall), a real estate agent. That night he dreams of Briar Rose again and she tells him that he can wake her now that he is close to her in the physical world and her body is located on the estate grounds, before he woken by being attacked by a demon. In the morning he wakes to the appraiser, who tells him that there’s hidden rooms in the basement. As he can always tell when there’s some missing square footage. This leads Thomas to exploring the basement where he finds a strange shrine. He starts to research the property, learning its been in his family for as long as they’ve kept records as well as that someone else has been looking into the property. Which leads him back to Linda, who confronts about it. She confesses as her brother went missing on the estate grounds as have numerous others over the years, before he collapses. He awakens back the house, where he informs Linda, having been informed in a dream by Briar Rose, that he is now cursed and his body will weaken if away from the property for too long. The pair explore the basement again and manage to active the shrine, which moves revealing a hidden study that has a locked door leading to bellow the basement. They find Thomas ancestor’s journal and open, which causes mannequins that were scattered among the house to come alive and attack them. After narrowly escaping with the book, Linda calls up a paranormal investigator to help them, Richard (Bruce Davison). He informs them the house if filled with Djinn, supernatural entities that can inhabit inanimate objects, though is unable to read the journal as it is written in code. But Linda knows just he person to call for that too….
The parts where the Djinn are involved, chasing or attacking via the mannequins is actually pretty great. It really adds to the creepy atmosphere already laid down by the old house and the cursed nature of it. It’s even better when you learn why they’re to begin with as it gives them a sense of purpose. Though to Veil Demon feels off, when you learn it’s purpose and goals. Creating a series of small plot holes. Though nothing I have a hard time overlooking.
The acting is pretty ok, with the exception of Ethan Peck, who feels like he’s walking through a daze. Though I have a feeling that was kind of the point of the performance, it just doesn’t play that well of Natalie Hall and Bruce Davison’s more serious and focus approach. India Eisley is also bland, well right up until the twist at the end when she actually does a fair amount of shinning.
My one of my two issue’s with The Curse of Sleeping Beauty is that it’s a bit too slow to get going. Though once it got going it was great. My other being the predictability of what’s going to happen. Maybe I’m just jaded from seeing too many horror films over the years, but I saw the twist from about the thirty minute mark.
Final thoughts, overall I really liked it. Was it a masterpiece? No, of course not as few films are. But it was entertaining and I don’t consider watching a complete waste of time. The visuals are nice, the pacing is solid and it has a great dread location that is dripping with atmosphere. Would I recommend it? Yes, I just recommend going into with an open mind and a six-pack. 7/10
PS, why is the import need to know information always written in code? Wouldn’t you want your decedents to know this stuff?