Nightmare Man Review
Written by: jamhorner
As much of an atrocity this film was, there were some hard-core scary parts that were not makeup effects or creature feature effects, but serious jump out scary. However, this movie was very painful to watch in the sense that it would have never made it on it's own had it not been attached to Horror Fest. I guarantee that nobody would dish out more than $3.00 to see it and just the overall acting; lighting and intensity of story would drive people to $1.00 bin. This movie is essentially about a woman, who appears to be mentally ill, who is haunted by a mask-wearing killer called the Nightmare Man. But when the Nightmare Man is released from her mind and starts attacking her, can she stop it? Is the Nightmare Man really real? Can a group of ridiculously hot young teens save her? Will there be any end to this horrible nightmare of a movie? That answer is yes.
The acting…. was pretty bad. Tiffany Shepis, who plays the supposable schizophrenic, does a horrible job at playing her role. There were more than twenty different times were she overreacted to some of the most stupidest things. There were more than a few times were she was heavily breathing so much that it was distracting. Some of the stuff she does to avoid the knife-wielding maniac is so stupid. Blythe Metz, Hanna Putnam, Jack Sway and James Ferris play the young teens that happen to take this mental woman in and one by one they get killed. All of these kids did a somewhat feasible job acting our there roles but they seemed way to over the top and there performances were not natural. Nobody acts like that in that situation. Maybe that was the intention to give this movie that kind of feel, but as far as I'm concerned it did not work. I thought the acting was very poor. Luciano Szafir, who plays husband to the schizoid, has such a poor acting personality. You could tell that he was putting 00001% into what he was trying to portray as a foreign and caring husband.
For a low budget movie, the manipulation of the sets was very well done. This is perhaps one the better aspects of the movie. It brought back that horrible feeling of loneliness and entrapment by having half of the movie take place in a car. This was perhaps one of the best things they did, and the scares that accompanied the car scene were very well done. The lighting and the feel of that scene was somewhat there, not so much the feels as the lighting. It had a very cold and dead feel to it, which I think really captures the moment. The forest scenes were probably the worse scenes in the movie next to the cabin ones, however it still had the cold, eerie and dead feel to it. The cabin set was very carefully and masterfully utilized to make up for the very low budget on this movie. Some of the lighting, and placement of the cameras are very reminiscent of those old 80's slasher and comic book looks to it. It reminded me of Creepshow. With a very low money pile, this movie succeeds in set, camera work and lighting.
I will admit, the scares make up, in part, for the bad acting and the very stale plot. There are points were the jump-out effect comes at some of the most random times, and that's why it's scary, because it's random and you don't expect it. Accompanied with a high orchestra/music component, the scares are very abundant in this movie. There is, unfortunately, a scene near the end and the final confrontation, where they use heavy makeup to make a devilish looking face. This was not scary. In fact, it was more humorous than scary and it was completely random in a bad way. There was no point and I think that if they changed just the eyes, it would have done a lot better. It was just very inappropriate.
All together, this movie had a slightly below average rating to it. For a B-movie, the technical aspects (ie: camera, lighting, set and editing) were very well done and deserve a pat on the back. The acting, makeup and overall plot were very weak, and some of the scares were very cheap. On the contrary, there were a lot of good scares to. I would recommend this movie to those horror fans that have a developed a good taste in b-horror-movies and enjoy movies of that caliber. To those fans who have developed a bit of a sophisticated pallet of horror, I would not recommend this movie for you.