What really happened to the heroine of the movie “Nightmares”
Year of production: 2020
Director: Anthony Scott Burns
Cast: Julia Sarah Stone, Landon Liboiron, Carly Risky, Christopher Heatherington
For many viewers, Nightmares (originally titled Come True) seemed confusing and pointless. A gray picture, a heap of chaotic visions. At the same time, during the premiere at the Montreal Film Festival, the film received relatively high marks from film critics. To understand the beauty of this movie, you need to analyze in detail the plot and the meaning of the film “Nightmares”.
Let’s start with a brief description and content of the movie “Nightmares”. The story introduces us to an 18-year-old girl, Sarah. Apparently, the heroine has problems in the family, so she does not live at home. The girl sleeps wherever she has to: in a cafe, at school, with her friends. However, she is unable to sleep well. Sarah is tormented by nightmares where she meets the shadow of a man with burning eyes.
Julia Sarah Stone played the role of the main character Sarah. Frame from the film.
One day she comes across an ad. The Sleep Institute is recruiting volunteers to just sleep for $12 an hour. For a girl, this is a real find, because she gets not only a place to sleep, but also the opportunity to earn money.
She passes the interview and turns out to be one of six volunteers: four guys and two girls. During sleep, the subjects are connected to control sensors, fixing the phases of falling asleep: the initial stage, slow sleep and deep sleep.
Sarah spends the first night just great. She sleeps for the first time in a long time. During one of the morning interviews, when the research team shows Sarah black and white pictures, watching her reaction. The pictures do not evoke any emotions in the girl, but in the last picture she has a panic attack.
The heroine runs away from the Institute and is going to stop the experiment that scares her. However, this does not help. A fit of uncontrollable panic seizes her in the laundry, and Sarah passes out. When the girl wakes up, she discovers that her smartphone was stolen from her.
She meets with Jeremy – an employee of the institute, who watches the dreams of the subjects. The guy likes Sarah, but he is not confident in himself, so he is embarrassed to express his feelings and just watches the object of adoration from afar.
Landon Liboiron played the role of Jeremy. Frame from the film.
Jeremy tries his best to convince Sarah to stay, and tells her about the true purpose of the experiment. It turns out that scientists have an innovative development that can read the images that arise in the brain of a sleeping person and visualize them as images.
The head of the experiment, Dr. Mayer, is sure that all people have a subconscious fear of some dark creature with burning eyes. So far, the course of research confirms this, and all the test subjects see a strange shadow in their nightmares.
Sarah begs to visit Jeremy, and sees the same device at his house. Through it, she watches the guy’s dream. When the shadow appears, the girl pulls the scientist out of the deep sleep phase. Feelings arise between the couple, which naturally ends in a relationship. However, while making love, Sarah sees shadows, passes out, and ends up in the hospital.
Jeremy accompanies his passion, and at one point he realizes that the girl has disappeared from the hospital room. The guy tries to find her, and notices Sarah in the underground parking lot. The girl wanders somewhere right in a hospital gown. Jeremy realizes that Sarah is sleeping. He calls up his colleague Emily and asks her to bring a device for visualizing dreams. Together they follow Sarah, who is connected to the sensors. Following the girl, Jeremy and Emily go out onto a country road, along which there are shadows with burning eyes that Sarah sees as she sleeps. The girl goes out into the clearing, and goes to only her visible structure.
Frame from the film.
The phone rings in the grass. Jeremy finds Sarah’s cell phone, but when he picks up the phone, the screen of the equipment goes blank and the girl wakes up. All three are trying to get out of this gloomy place. The shadows materialized in the real world pursue them, taking Emily and Jeremy in turn. Then it’s Sarah’s turn.
As soon as the heroine is swallowed by darkness, she wakes up in Jeremy’s apartment. Sarah is naked and covered in blood, under her is the body of the dead Jeremy. The girl goes to the bathroom, where in the mirror she finds vampire fangs in her mouth. On the lid of the toilet is her cell phone, which receives a message that Sarah has been in a coma for 20 years, and doctors are using new technologies to contact her.
This is the end of the Nightmares movie. At first glance, the ending is quite logical, but the director put into his picture a deeper idea than just a girl in a coma. There is a hidden meaning here, which we will try to find by making a detailed analysis of the plot.
As written above, the meaning of the ending of the film “Nightmares” is unambiguous, and there are no double interpretations here. Sarah is in a coma, and everything that happens on the screen is only the fruit of the work of her subconscious.
At the same time, the interpretation of the film “Nightmares” does not lead the viewer to how exactly Sarah ended up in this state. Probably something happened to her at the age of 18, and now she has been in a coma for 20 years.
The phone to which the message came is a kind of anchor that connects the patient’s consciousness with reality. In the film, we see that Sarah is called by her mother, but she hangs up the call. When the phone is stolen, the patient’s condition will surely worsen and she will lose this anchor. Then he finds it again, and receives a completely meaningful message about his condition. It is noteworthy that Sarah does not use the phone itself in the film at all. It can be assumed that this is just an image that arose in her brain. In reality, she hears the voices of doctors and loved ones, but her consciousness transforms the sound into the image of a smartphone.
If we take the essence of the film “Nightmares” as a basis, then the shadows with burning eyes that frighten the girl will be real people who bend over the patient’s bed. With an explanation of the ending, everything is clear, so you can move on to the general meaning of the film.
Frame from the film.
The meaning of the movie “Nightmares”
Unlike the ending, the interpretation of the content will not be so unambiguous. To find a clue, you need to pay attention to the fact that the film “Nightmares” is divided into separate chapters, the title of which is fully consistent with Carl Jung’s theory of personality archetypes.
According to the Swiss psychologist, the following archetypes coexist in each of us:
- A persona is a visualization of our “I”, which we show to others. In fact, this is a mask of our personality, which everyone chooses for himself.
- Anima and Animus are the opposite of gender in genetic memory. In particular, every woman has a masculine element and vice versa. Jung believes that according to this archetype we choose life partners.
- The shadow is our dark essence, which is carefully hidden in the depths of the subconscious. In fact, we are talking about the darkest manifestations of the human soul.
- Self – individuality or conscious choice. To move into the archetype of the self, a person must throw off the rest of the masks and find his place in the world.
It is to this archetype that the director brings us. The meaning and essence of the film boil down to the fact that Sarah threw off her masks and crushed her masculinity by killing Jeremy.
The fangs of a vampire are a manifestation of her true nature. Here we can assume that having gained peace of mind and dealt with the subconscious, she will soon come out of a coma. Therefore, the fangs are the main mystery here. Of course, the girl will not become a real vampire, but she will definitely need to be feared.