A totally random pick from the video store, SLEEPSTALKER has some interesting ideas but never really gets off the ground. The real question is: is this a TV movie? I mean, lots of the things portrayed in it are definitely not made-for-TV stuff. Yet, on the other hand, there's no real gore, no nudity, and no bad language. What gives? Read on if you haven't already lost interest.
What makes this movie interesting is its whacked-out plot. Basically, there's a killer on the loose (oooh, original, I know, but read on) named the Sandman. He is named such because he kills his victims and then drops sand on their eyelids. The Sandman is portrayed by a scary-looking Michael Harris, complete with nasty scars around his lips...why? You'll find out. Anyways, the Sandman kills this one kid's parents, but is stopped by the police just before killing the kid.
Jump ahead about fifteen years. The Sandman is on death-row about to be executed. The kid who he almost killed is a grown-up journalist named Griffin (Jay Underwood) trying to make it big. The Sandman is successfully executed, but his spirit somehow manages to take form in the shape of...(hint: a grainy natural substance)...you guessed it: SAND! His is now, literally, the sand-man. Anyways, the Sandman goes on another killing spree, but this time it is of friends and people close to Griffin who escaped him fifteen years earlier.
Of course, there's a big surprise as to why he's going after this one kid. And why is The Sandman himself so nutty? Well, as a young boy his father sewed his lips shut to keep him from screaming when beaten. The film, of course, neglects to explain how the young Sandman ate, but that's neither here nor there. There are some pretty decent special effects of sand flowing through ventilation tubes and through cracks in walls, and more.
But, in general, the thing which kept me watching was the plot. I have to admit, the film was mostly poor, but I still wanted to find out what the big secret of the movie was. But, let's be honest, you guys aren't interested in a film which isn't chock full of nasty gore and various disgusting things, and therefore I'd understand if SLEEPSTALKER isn't the film for you. But, it's not all bad, either, and if nothing is in at the video store and it's a slow night, you could do a lot worse.
RATING: ** (out of four)