I don’t know about you, but one of the things that makes me incredibly anxious is epidemics. Seriously, outbreaks of illnesses and infections scare me more than serial killers—you can’t fight off ebola with pepper spray and the bubonic plague doesn’t give a rat’s ass about luring you to a secondary location. Because plenty of people are terrified of outbreaks, the “disease” subgenre of horror is tried and true. Horror audiences are itching to have this completely rational fear played out on the screen.
NIGHT SWEATS, written and directed by Andrew Lyman-Clarke, is about a mysterious illness making its way through New York City. A terrifying thought, for sure, especially when you’re talking about a place that’s already essentially a petri dish for viruses and parasites. I lived there for six years; I would know. Anyway, NIGHT SWEATS centers on a guy named Yuri, whose roommate, Jake, has a seizure out of nowhere and dies. The medical examiner discovers brain abnormalities indicating some kind of prion disease.
Jake isn’t the only victim; there are others. And they are all connected to a “self-help” company that he worked for. Suddenly, Yuri finds himself in the middle of a Big Pharma conspiracy.
While the concept of NIGHT SWEATS was right up my alley, the film itself missed the mark. Despite its ambitious and interesting story, the dialogue was dull and, in the case of the medical examiner and CDC scientists, did not seem to be well-researched. Or researched at all. To add to that, the pacing of the film was way too slow, especially for a movie in the horror-sci-fi genre. There was also a sex scene in the beginning that dragged on for much longer than necessary. It wasn’t as bad as the sex scene in The Room (thankfully), but it was vaguely reminiscent of it.
There was a cool ending though.