Saturday, March 03, 2018

Self-Induced Nightmares – review

Director: Ian Lawlor (segment)

Release date: 2013

Contains spoilers

Whilst Amazon have listed this as Sin, it is listed on IMDb as Self-Induced Nightmares and is a portmanteau film. The surround has a woman (Morrigan Hel, credited under Amber Erlandsson) in a bar where she meets a blind date (Mik Crone). She suggests she is a writer and the four shorts are her stories. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t really his date…

The surround works as a framing device and Mik Crone stars in one of the shorts, allowing him to say that a character sounded like him. Unfortunately, with regards the surround, the sound is all over the place, with background hiss at some angles and not at others and the dubbing out of sync. But it is the second tale that we are interested in, entitled Summer’s Night.

We begin with corpses, two young ladies (Derrin Atkins & Rochelle Kneale) clearly dead by unnatural causes. A third woman (Kookie Katana) is in the forest and looks panicked as a man, Sam (Simon Craig), appears – his shirt bloodied and his face badly injured. He lifts a stake with a metal tip aloft… We do not see the staking but we do see blood hit the vegetation. Now, the studio that originally made this do have the film on their YouTube channel and the blurb describes Sam as a serial killer (I’ve embedded their YouTube upload below).

the man in the hat
Summer (Juliette Strange) is driving out to the countryside, she arrives at a cabin and, when exploring calls out for Ash (Sara Rose Dickson). This, I hope was a neat nod to the Evil Dead films and, of course, at this point we don’t know Ash is a woman. Summer is alone in the cabin and outside a man in a hat (Graeme Donaldson) watches her through the window.

going for a walk
The man is attacked by a woman (who is, of course, Ash) and the kerfuffle intrudes over the noise of the TV and Summer hears something. She goes out to investigate and fails to see the man’s body. A hand on her shoulder and Ash reveals herself. As Sam finds the corpse, Ash and Summer go for a walk. Summer tells her about some farmers she met when travelling to the cabin and how one looked like the man who attacked her. Ash tells her that she was once attacked but it made her stronger and will never let anyone hurt either of them.

truly together
Summer wants to be with Ash – and when they get back to the cabin it is clear that Summer knows what she is. What is she… well I’ve assumed vampire. She has fangs but her hands turn black and she gets a makeup vein effect on her profile. All in all, she looks pretty darn cool. Of course, Sam is out there and I will say that if the makeup effects looked cool for Ash, they looked blooming poor for Sam. It just looked false, but the washed-out colour probably didn’t help (some nicely bright red blood might well have distracted).

fangs on show
The short itself is ok and all in all was probably my favourite segment in the portmanteau – the next segment Bear Scary should have topped it but was hamstrung but a poor location (it just didn’t look right), and some stilted dialogue and really sub-par acting. The acting in this was neither earth-shattering or atrocious and I guess that passes on to the segments over-all impression – it neither rocked my world or made me hate it. 4 out of 10 might be a tad generous but anything less feels harsh.

The imdb page is here.

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