There have been numerous adaptations and re-imaginings of both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty that have a dark tone, but this is the first one I’ve run across that is straightforward horror. I was writing a screenplay using many lesser known Grimm’s fairy tale monsters as the basis (future Fairy Tale Fridays will explore them, so stay tuned!), so when I found out about this one I knew I needed to check it out for research.
What is The Curse of Sleeping Beauty About?
The movie came out in 2016 and is based on a graphic novel by the same name from 2015. The story centers on Thomas, a young man tortured by his nightmares and the sleep paralysis that comes whenever he dreams of the beautiful young woman trapped in an enchanted sleep. He draws her compulsively, and despite seeing several different therapists, the dreams are coming more and more often.
As it happens with many a horror story, he finds out that he has inherited a weird old house from some relative he’s never met, and goes to check it out. Once within its walls, the dreams become even more vivid, and for the first time, Briar Rose wakes. She tells him about the djinn who trapped her in the dream world and begs for his help to set her free. But nothing is as it seems…
What did I think of The Curse of Sleeping Beauty?
There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this film. The costuming was excellent, the effects were pretty awesome. The acting was good, and I definitely felt my pulse quicken after at the suspense.
However, the ending was a TOTAL LETDOWN. I’ve been doing a lot of research about thrillers specifically and storytelling in general lately, and one big, important pointer is that you don’t make promises you don’t keep. This movie promised an epic ending with a pitched magical battle and didn’t even come close to delivering. I haven’t read the comics, but I have to assume that they don’t thud to a halt the same way as the film. It was really frustrating, and an excellent example of what this research is talking about.
Is it still worth watching? Sure. Especially if you love fractured fairy tales as much as I do. But just be warned that you’ll probably be left wanting more, and not in a good way.