The Curse of Sleeping Beauty (2016), 1 hr 29 min, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
“The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” is an entirely new, dark vision of the classic Brothers Grimm adventure. Thomas Kaiser (Ethan Peck) inherits an ancestral mansion that has been in his family for generations — only to learn that he has also inherited an ancient curse stemming back to the Crusades. Forced into his new role as “protector” — the guardian appointed to keep the evil demons in the house at bay — Thomas must unravel the mystery of the house, while struggling to awaken the beautiful Briar Rose (India Eisley), held captive in a terrifying netherworld seen previously in his dreams.”
Thomas, a young man stuck and half-living since his girlfriend/fiancée died, and subject to sleep paralysis and a strange recurring dream, suddenly inherits a house from an uncle he’d never heard from. The uncle was obviously crazy, as evidenced by the bizarre mementos he left behind and by the deranged warnings and instructions in a final letter. Thomas’s one goal is to unload the house as fast as possible. But strange things begin to happen. Dozens of people have disappeared in or around the house for decades, it has a reputation and may be haunted (if you believe in that sort of thing).
The movie follows the typical haunted house pattern:
- weird shit happens in an ancient house with hidden rooms and a sinister back story
- a plucky female investigating the disappearance of her brother
- the wizened paranormal investigator who comes in to help our heroes navigate the hidden world of the supernatural
While those markers may be clichés, the movie never felt stale. The mythology is interesting, the atmosphere was truly disturbing. There were nice surprises, and the unanswered questions didn’t leave me feeling disappointed because the story was lacking, but because I wanted to know more. The ending was superb! We know he’s going to kiss her — she is Sleeping Beauty after all — but the consequence of that action? Delicious!
You can watch it on Netflix, or Amazon, here: The Curse of Sleeping Beauty