The indie horror film “Nightmare” envisions a whole new reason to regret random hookups.
The movie stars an unnamed film student (Jason Scott Cambell) who has spontaneous sex with a stunner (Nicole Roderick) he meets at a party.
The two wake up, bleary but satisfied, and discover a video camera at the foot of their bed.
Neither put it there. Neither recalls the camera being in the room at any point during their rendezvous.
But when they play back the last material recorded on it, they see themselves taking part in a murder.
“Nightmare” is only getting started. The horror film within a horror film requires a roadmap to find your way to the finale. All the while, first time director/co-writer Dylan Bank obliterates the thin line between inspiration and desperation, as well as the toll creativity takes on the artist.
Or none of the above. “Nightmare” is confusing – David Lynch meets Stanley Kubrick confusing – and by the time the bloody finale arrives it’s hard not to be exhausted, not exhilirated.
Campbell, “Nightmare’s” nameless lead, keeps us engaged until the credits mercifully roll. His budding auteur is that heady blend of arrogance and talent, but he cares much more about The Work than the well being of those around him. That leads to some marvelous bickering between him and his feisty camera team.
“Nightmare” isn’t your typical horror quest. It’s dense and demanding, and a second viewing is almost mandatory – if you’ve got the stomach for random stabbings, copious nudity and an ending that refuses to play by the rules.
NOTE: “Nightmare” can be seen via IFC’s video on demand service available on Cox, Cablevision, Brighthouse, Time Warner, Insight and Charter cable setups.
(Photo: A film student (Jason Scott Campbell) gets hands on with the horror movie he’s creating in “Nightmare,” now showing on IFC Festival Direct)