Have you ever watched a movie about a fairy tale and wondered, what would this be like if it was way more sinister? To be fair, fairy tales were originally much darker thanks to The Brothers Grimm; however, today we are so used to seeing Disney fairytales that have joyful music and happily-ever-afters and less fire and brimstone. Sure those are great, but I like my fairy tales to have a bit more meat on them and boy did I get more than I bargained for with Pearry Teo’s latest film, “The Curse of Sleeping Beauty.”
I would say out of all the films I’ve seen so far in 2016, this one may have surprised me the most. I wasn’t familiar with Teo’s earlier work so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I can say without a doubt I have no regrets. “The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” is probably one of the most beautiful, horrifying, and fantastic films that I have seen all year. It stars Ethan Peck (“Gossip Girl”), Natalie Hall (“True Blood”), India Eisley (Underworld: Awakening), Bruce Davison (X-Men), and Zack Ward (Resident Evil: Apocalypse). The story centers around Thomas Kaiser (Ethan Peck), a somewhat depressed and forlorn artist who keeps having vivid dreams of a woman, who he pens as Sleeping Beauty, and an unfamiliar mansion. When Thomas finds out that his Uncle has passed away, he learns that he has inherited an ancestral mansion, which turns out to be the one from his dreams. Having never known his Uncle nor about the mansion, Thomas comes to find out that he has inherited an ancient curse that has been in his family for generations. As he acclimates into his new role as “protector” of the house, he learns he must keep the evil demons residing there at bay and unravel the mystery of the home while trying to awaken Briar Rose (India Eisley) the beautiful girl from his dreams who is trapped in a terrifying underworld.
I know I said it before and I’ll say it again, I was so surprised with how fantastic this film was! It had everything that I was looking for, humor – Zack Ward had a brief cameo as Thomas Kasier’s friend and he was HILARIOUS and I wished that he would have been in the film more, horror – there are mannequin dolls that come alive and if that doesn’t sound frightening than I don’t know what does, demons – they like to hide under the sheets, mystery – who is Briar Rose, intrigue – how is Thomas Kaiser really connected with all of this, and an ending that leaves me wanting more. The best way to describe “The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” is this ain’t your family friendly Disney version.