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Eight people experience sleep paralysis, a condition which leaves them unable to move, speak or react.

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The Nightmare movie full length review - Amazing look into an understudied phenomenon

I thought this documentary was very well put together. I liked the personal feel, it almost felt like you were along for the ride with the interviewer as he dug into these wild stories that were seemingly stranger than fiction.

The editing was good as well in the way it hopped seamlessly back and forth through each interview to paint a larger picture of what sleep paralysis means to the sufferers and the commonality of their experiences. The theatrical reenactments were hokey overall but didn't detract from the main point of the film, set a spooky tone and made it slightly more watchable as it goes through the stories.

As for the subject matter, I wish I could give this 10 stars! This was an incredible look into the anecdotal evidence that continues to support the enigma that is sleep paralysis. The director did a great job of portraying their belief of the significance of SP through the jarring stories recounted by actual SP sufferers. Some of the biggest hints revealed in this exploration is how SP seems to seed itself in others simply after sharing experiences verbally. I think this phenomenon would be well studied with a mimetic lens and would perhaps be aided by ideas from the fields of biofeedback and mindfulness. I think the way some interviewees describe the entity as consuming the substance of their fear is very powerful in portraying the mechanism of parasitism of certain types of memes. The experience of the interviewee named Forrest with the hippy girl and how he was given the message of not fearing the manifestations so as to not empower them supports the idea that somehow these manifestations consume fear or negative emotion. And perhaps more importantly it suggests a reason why humans all over this planet can be experiencing very similar details of their dreams (the colour red, red eyes, the shadow people).

It is my belief that when you dream, your soul is activated by dmt that your brain produces and this allows the reduction of the conscious projection of reality. This allows you to receive information from the source. Some people would call this god or gaia, but to be clear it is the source of all consciousness and all beginnings stem from this point. In aboriginal cultures worldwide, there is the archetype of the "see-er". This is someone who is gifted with messages from realms between this one and the source and teaches humanity these messages and to "see" as well. I think that the people in this documentary are all "see-ers" to different extents and Forrest and the guy in plaid (sorry didn't catch your name!) are the most gifted.

As for the message that is being received, I believe it is fairly clear. I think that first of all it should be realized that the powerful fear typified by these experiences is natural and very human but it is something that is meant to be overcome and not oppressing. This is proved when the shadow people are confronted they retreat immediately. So then why are SP suffers being constantly berated by such powerful themes of fear? Because it is meant to awaken them in their waking state and call reality into question. The guy in plaid said when he has these experiences, it doesn't make him want to go out and work a 9-5 (who would) obviously he isn't saying it makes him lazy but that he feels he doesn't ft into society anymore. So it seems axiomatic that these experiences are pushing us away from our modern construction of reality. It is my belief that the shadow people etc. are a manifestation of the illness that exists in human culture today and that is why each individual will attach a different narrative to the information they are receiving (i.e. the woman seeing a cat with red eyes and the guy in plaid seeing an 8' tall being with red eyes). Like the guy in plaid tried to explain, when they are in this sate they are receiving "raw data" as he put it, so the source information is always translated by the narrative of the individual.

So a pretty heavy message overall but I think its actually a message of hope. and to me the fact that there is a place for this discussion in western media, albeit marginalized, is also very hopeful. I think the more we share stories like these, that really confront out beliefs about what dreams are and what reality is, the more room we have to grow scientifically and build a terminology of dreams. The next step I would suggest in studying this would be collecting severe SP sufferers on a broad scale and examining the egg results via machine learning and just see what kind of patterns come out. As well I think it would be wise to organize group therapy for SP sufferers with a base in mindfulness to raise awareness about these experiences internally and externally in the community.