Under the Radar
This year's Halloween special kicks off with, of all things, a documentary. And, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it, it's one of the more disturbingly frightening documentaries I've had the pleasure of viewing. It covers a phenomenon that many must unfortunately go through, called sleep paralysis - and having never suffered through it, it's a whole lot that I hope I never have to deal with. I further completely sympathize with those who have gone through it 'cause to me, a bad nightmare is more than enough.
The documentary covers (I believe) eight separate cases going from an ongoing, nightly problem for some to a fairly resolved issue for others. The whole thing basically involves being caught between asleep and awake, unable to move, and having to deal with dark, seemingly demonic presences looming over you the whole time. Sometimes they hover over your bed and stare at you, others, they sit up on your chest, pinning you down, red-eyed, telling you you're gonna die. Considering that this whole thing is a real deal people have to suffer through, believing in demonic forces or not, is actually pretty terrifying.
I never could have predicted that I'd find the next movie to make me lose sleep over fear to be a documentary about a horrible sleep disorder. This was actually my second time around with it after about two years. Tamer the second time around, but I do recall that first viewing causing me to stare out my bedroom window upon trying to sleep, hoping to myself "shit, I hope that doesn't happen to me tonight" because, surprise, it can happen to anyone!
The whole thing is perhaps a little over-dramatized with actors portraying these strange and unusual creatures, demons, shadow men, and whatever else the whole thing entails. But the real scare here comes from, again, the reality of it all.
If you wish to check it out for yourself, it can be found quite easily on Netflix nowadays, and I have to admit that I DO recommend it for this Halloweenish time of year to get one in that dark/fun mood. Yeah, there's a bit of religious talk here and there with this one, but it's actually well-balanced with an opposing scientific perspective as well. It turns out that no one quite knows exactly how sleep paralysis works altogether, especially considering that over the centuries, the shapes and forms found within this phenomenon have seemingly always been a thing.
So, demonic forces at work, peeking from behind that veil of reality, or just a really messed up dream where the body doesn't work properly? I'd tend to go with the latter, considering I get the "fall/jump" dream all the time (that dream where you lose your balance and are startled awake, having a jump scare in your bed and feeling dumb about it). I could see paralysis being a very similar phenomenon. Just a whole lot creepier. It's an eye-opening doc, to be sure.
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