I have a soft spot for fractured fairy tales. This film on the face of it really fits that bill. While much of this film was very enjoyable, ultimately I think it fell short.
A modern day protagonist is troubled by dreams of a sleeping princess, weird-looking creatures and a sinister building. He is surprised when he receives communication that he has inherited a house from an uncle he didn’t know existed, and is given a strange letter telling him that he is under a curse and not to go into the cellar. The house is (naturally) the strange house of his dreams. He is joined by a wise older mentor type and a young female sidekick. The ‘princess’ was suitably beautiful, ethereal and mysterious (and wore interesting make-up and costumes.) So I wasn’t really enthused about the characters – they are not particularly original. I don’t fault the acting, but they did not have a lot to work with.
I did like the protagonist – I think the actor did a very good job with a role that should have been more developed.
The atmosphere, however, is awesome. This house is genuinely creepy, and the attack of the spooky mannequins was nicely frightening. (As an aside, as an old Doctor Who fan I particularly enjoyed the mannequins – they were a fun mix of Autons and Weeping Angels, and I loved it!)
The plot was good up to a point. The problem with the plot is the creators seemed to imagine they were creating a big twist, and I’m sorry but that so-called twist could be seen coming a mile away. The extra character who is translating a mysterious book while our heroes go haring back to the house with insufficient information, only to realise what is really going on when it is too late to tell anyone, is a scene that has been a staple of multiple stories of this type. The moment the obligatory ancient manuscript and then the expert who was going to translate it were introduced I knew what was coming next.
I won’t give away the ending with spoilers, but I will say this. Ending? What ending? There was no ending. The movie just went to a point and stopped. I can only assume the creators were blissfully hoping they’d get a sequel out of it. We can only hope that if they are so lucky, the producer in question will make them write a better script.
“The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” is a film that really should have been good, and while enjoyable up to a point, fell far short of its potential, and ultimately fell in a screaming heap. Mindless entertainment at best.
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