With inspiration from Japanese ghost stories and Italian horror, Norwegian low-budget director Lars Erik Lie is now working on a horror short about sleep paralysis. Maybe he wants to give you nightmares?
According to Wikipedia, hypnagogia is “the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep”. It is also the title of Lars Erik Lie’s new horror short film, his first solo project after the critically acclaimed feature The Thrill of a Kill (2012). The film was shot in October and is now being edited. Starring Camilla Vestbø Losvik and Kim Ulvberget in the lead roles, the story revolves around Johnny, a rapist and a serial killer. He is haunted in his dreams by one of his victims, but what is dream and what is reality? The terrifying phenomena of hypnagogia (sleep paralysis) is something most people will experience once or twice in their lifetime, but some live with this disorder almost every night. Hypnagogia makes your worst nightmare come true, according to Lie.
Shot in high definition and with English dialogue at a cost of 666 dollars (!), the film is expected to clock in at 20 minutes and is scheduled to be finished early 2014. It is Lie’s first ghost story, influenced by films like The Ring and The Grudge, but also from Lie’s own experience with sleep paralysis. Some 20 years ago, he woke up from sleep, being able to move only his eyelids for 10-15 seconds. During that time, he felt as if half his body floated around above him, before it finally connected to the rest of his body again. Hypnagogia is also influenced by directors like Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci, something that can be seen in the use of colours and lights. For example, take a look at the stills shot at the Trysilgaard manor house, which was lended to the production for free: