Monday, September 11, 2006

Recurring Dream Films

I have two favourite recurring dream films. Well OK, one is a TV thing...but you know what I mean.

Dead Of Night (1945)

Dead Of Night

Architect Walter Craig, seeking the possibility of some work at a country farmhouse, soon finds himself once again stuck in his recurring nightmare. Dreading the end of the dream that he knows is coming, he must first listen to all the assembled guests' own bizarre tales.
(from imdb)

This is a standard anthology horror film, little stories linked by a framing story - the recurring nightmare. One of the stories is quite famous - it's the one where the ventriloquist dummy comes to life. But the framing story is just excellent and really chilling, as the architect realises he is stuck in the loop of the recurring nightmare and even predicts things that will happen later in the film. Go seek it out.

Hammer House Of Horror: Rude Awakening (1980)

Rude Awakening

The real estate agent Norman Shenley (Denholm Elliott) hates his old wife Emily Shenley (Pat Heywood) and wants to divorce her to marry his secretary Lolly (Lucy Gutteridge). When a new client wants to sell an old and isolated mansion, Norman begins to have odd nightmares, and he becomes confused between reality and dream. When Norman awakes, a surprise waits for him.
(from imdb)

This really gives me the willies. Denholm Elliot is just awesome, and as his confusion and desperation rises, the whole thing is just frightening in the great way those seventies/eighties horrors do. The cycle of his recurring nightmare goes on and on with similar scenarios, but with people playing different roles each time. Track this down, I think there's a box set DVD somewhere with it in.

Now I look at these two films together, it looks like the older influenced the younger. Or maybe it's just coincidence.

(I have a recurring nightmare I've had since I was around 6. I hardly have it anymore, but I'm not ready to share it yet.)


* (asterisk) said...

Shep, I love Dead Of Night. It's probably one of my favourite films. Certainly top 50. A true classic.

Los said...

As a child, ventriliquist dummies always gave me the creeps ... I still get shivers just thinking about them.