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"Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

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"Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Old 09-23-13, 12:37 AM
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"Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2





Don't Go to Sleep (1982)



Selected by Undeadcow



IMDB ENTRY

ON YOUTUBE
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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.
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Last edited by Chad; 09-27-13 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 10-02-13, 05:47 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

With a great title like this, I figured I would at least get some chill bumps, hopefully. But instead, I did what the title told me not to...I fell asleep. I went back and watched it all but this one was a snoozer. Kinda similar to The Amityville Horror except duller (which is saying something since so many people consider the original TAH to be dull as well). The one thing it does have over TAH is that most of the main characters die. But for whatever reason, despite the good reviews I read for this, it just didn't do it for me.

I could see this scaring the piss out of me at 9 years old (which I would have been in 1982) and wish I had seen it back then (especially the pizza cutter scene which comes across as silly to an adult though). It was nice to see Dennis Weaver and Ruth Gordon, though.

And be warned, the Youtube link is exceptionally poor quality picture and sound wise, especially if you try to watch it thru your PS3 or Xbox on a normal TV and not your computer screen. Thinking about it, I added a half star to my rating due to all the deaths which are a little unexpected like Darkgod mentions below.

My rating: **1/2 out of *****

Last edited by Spiderbite; 10-02-13 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 10-02-13, 08:06 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Did not expext Robbie from Poltergeist to go rolling off the roof into an early grave...
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Old 10-02-13, 09:16 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

One of the effective things about Don't Go to Sleep is the family friendliness and TV quality of acting. It seems like an unassuming Disney movie but so much of the focus is on deceptive/deranged children that it almost parodys family friendly tv entertainment to a chilling effect. It seems ballsy that there was so much death in the film.

There was a lot happening in DGTS; a ghost kid drives another kid mad - so it seems like the killer is never really revealed - ghost or psychotic kid? There a subtle ambiguity there was nice.

I wish there was better audio/video quality than what YouTube has but for an early 80s tv movie I imagine it my not have looked much better on air back then.
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Old 10-02-13, 09:51 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Just had my first bizarre coincidence of the Challenge. Last night as we went to bed I squeezed in one last film of the day with one of the Nightmare on Elm Street films. Those films always mess up my sleep/dreams, so I had trouble falling and staying asleep. Finally decide to watch another film around 0430, decide to make it the subset choice of the new day, and what do you know, a perfect segue-way from Nightmare to Don't Go To Sleep.

Didn't expect much, but loved it. The unexpected deaths, creepy voices, and work from some of my TV star favorites made it interesting from start to finish. And that finish? Has there ever been a more evil wink in movie history?
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Old 10-02-13, 10:15 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
One of the effective things about Don't Go to Sleep is the family friendliness and TV quality of acting. It seems like an unassuming Disney movie but so much of the focus is on deceptive/deranged children that it almost parodys family friendly tv entertainment to a chilling effect. It seems ballsy that there was so much death in the film.

There was a lot happening in DGTS; a ghost kid drives another kid mad - so it seems like the killer is never really revealed - ghost or psychotic kid? There a subtle ambiguity there was nice.

I wish there was better audio/video quality than what YouTube has but for an early 80s tv movie I imagine it my not have looked much better on air back then.
I think if there had been a better quality version to watch, I might have enjoyed it a little more. I made the mistake of watching it last night when I was tired (and to be fair, I actually dozed off some watching An American Werewolf In London after it...a movie I consider to be the best of the best).

I also made the mistake of watching it thru my PS3 on my big screen. Watching this mess blown up onto an 118" screen was dumb of me. I rewatched most of it this morning on my computer in the normal sized youtube window and actually enjoyed it a little more.

I still feel the pacing is a bit off, which I can't explain since it is a short hour and a half. The watermelon/falling off the roof edit is good. The pizza cutter scene is not.

And am I wrong in thinking that Dennis Weaver has THE voice of the nicest sounding guy in the world? Even when he tries to play it angry, he still comes off as a pussycat. Could be because I watched too many reruns of Gentle Ben as a kid.
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Old 10-02-13, 02:19 PM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

I enjoyed the last 20 minutes, but the first 70 bored me to tears
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Old 10-02-13, 05:04 PM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Man, what a frightful little flick this is, even though it dragged it parts. I thought the ending was the creepiest part...that wink/voice gave me chills and I don't scare easily. The whole idea of this film is disturbing, really made me uneasy which is awesome in my book as a horror fan.
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Old 10-02-13, 09:16 PM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

For those wanting a better quality picture than the link provided at the top of the thread try this: http://youtu.be/uRP2KQd_lEE
The movie is split into parts but that's a minor inconvenience.
Now, I consider myself a made-for-TV horror connoisseur but I had never heard of this film. It starts out as standard ghost story and then veers off into the killer kid sub-genre (of which I'm not a fan) and throws in some family drama for good measure. Having a kid die is pretty ballsy, and even more so for a made-for-tv movie and I liked how the shot of the watermelon falling and breaking into pieces echoes the off-screen death of the kid.
Still, even though I'm a big fan TV terror I must concede that it's not terribly exciting but does have it's moments here and there. The creepiest thing were all those gratuitous iguana close-ups.
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Old 10-02-13, 09:27 PM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Was I hearing things or was the family's last name Hogan? Kind of ironic if true, given Valerie Harper's later series. Wait, maybe the series was a sequel.....
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Old 10-02-13, 10:07 PM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Enjoyable, but not exceptional. I took the ending as revealing she suffered from multiple personality disorder, and the 'ghost' was just a figment of her demented little mind.

On a Made-for-TV horror scale, I'd sandwich it between Moon of the Wolf and Snowbeast. C+
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Old 10-03-13, 12:36 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Originally Posted by Chad View Post
On a Made-for-TV horror scale, I'd sandwich it between Moon of the Wolf and Snowbeast. C+
Excellent call, Chad. I'd heard for years what a scary TV-movie this was, but I got nary a goosebump or raised hackle. Once the sister's ghost showed up and started hanging out with Mary, having conversations and being bestest pals, I knew that it was pretty much a lost cause. The whole film came across more like a dysfunctional family drama that they had shoehorned horror bits into rather than a true horror film. I did like the final interview with Mary, however. The kid that played her had some pretty good acting chops.
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Old 10-03-13, 01:01 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

You know, just for a moment there at the end I thought they were wheeling Valerie Harper off to her padded room, pinning the whole thing on her and letting Mary off the hook. That would have been a much more evil ending. Instead, we find out that Jennifer has somehow lost the ability to scream for help after having her shoes tied together. Oh, well.
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Old 10-03-13, 05:53 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

I love Dennis Weaver and television. While this is not nearly as good as Duel or his amazing over-the-top turn in Cocaine: One Man's Addiction, it's still a fun little flick for the era and has that look and tone that you don't find in film's much anymore. Had a good night of TV films, and this was probably the best overall, but Cruise Into Terror was absurdly entertaining. Good stuff.
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Old 10-03-13, 09:34 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

I generally enjoyed it. There were a lot of moments full of family melodrama and they wouldn't have worked if the actors weren't likable, but I thought they were. There was a surprising amount of tragedy and a general depressing tone about this film that was surprising for a TV movie that seemed so innocuous at first. I didn't expect some of the characters to be killed off, especially the kid. I think Ed was the only one to make it out alive. And that final shot was really creepy. The lighting and quality made it hard to tell but I'm assuming that was Jenny? Either way that smile was very spooky.
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Old 10-03-13, 09:58 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

This was a decent made for TV movie helped greatly by having familiar actors in key roles. There were some good moments--the cut to the grandma looking at all her pictures of Jennifer, Kevin's death scene, and Mary in the padded cell.

How Jennifer used Mary as a conduit to kill their family, and then leave Mary to haunt their mother was spooky. It's a pretty neat twist.

Dennis Weaver's sarcastic voice made me laugh. I liked how he sneered at Ruth Gordon--it gave their relationship a realistic touch.

It's a nifty watch if you're looking for a 'light' horror movie and you're OK with some date imagery.
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Old 10-03-13, 10:55 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Someone got Ordinary People in my horror flick. I thought the film was pretty good for made-for-tv fare. I like Valerie Harper so that was a plus. And I found the film to be fairly creepy. Unlike some others, I liked the family drama segments, especially the scenes between Dennis Weaver and Ruth Gordon. That little drunken blame-placing scene was really awesome and made me long for a sidecar (preferably a Boston sidecar which has rum in it).

So far, both of the subset films have features families that are systematically slaughtered.
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Old 10-03-13, 10:09 PM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

This one didn't do much for me. As others have said, I might have enjoyed it more if the quality had been better. Even still, I just wasn't able to get into it. I found the little girl to be shrill and annoying. Maybe that was her real evil power. Maybe if a better young actress was in the role it would have worked better. As it is, I found it frequently laughable and was surprised at how poor at times the acting was (and I'm not talking just about the girl).
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Old 10-04-13, 07:57 AM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Originally Posted by Darkgod View Post
I enjoyed the last 20 minutes, but the first 70 bored me to tears
This for me.
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Old 10-05-13, 02:23 PM
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Re: "Don't Go to Sleep" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 2

Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
One of the effective things about Don't Go to Sleep is the family friendliness and TV quality of acting. It seems like an unassuming Disney movie but so much of the focus is on deceptive/deranged children that it almost parodys family friendly tv entertainment to a chilling effect. It seems ballsy that there was so much death in the film.

There was a lot happening in DGTS; a ghost kid drives another kid mad - so it seems like the killer is never really revealed - ghost or psychotic kid? There a subtle ambiguity there was nice.
Both excellent points, yes.

I didn't like - and I may have written this already - that for a long time the family seemed to get over all the deaths very quickly. They should have all fallen to pieces a lot earlier, I think..
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