NIGHTMARE on Shudder is a new horror movie from Norway (org. title: Marerittet). It’s a brutal story featuring a folklore-based demon causing sleep deprivation and crying babies. While it’s good, it’s a little too long, which is a shame. Read our full Nightmare movie review here!
NIGHTMARE is a new Shudder horror movie from Norway (org. title: Marerittet). It’s a brutal story featuring a demon causing sleep deprivation and crying babies. I’m oversimplifying, but you get the gist. While it’s good, it’s a little too long.
Also, the main characters are portrayed by two actors you might recognize from other genre productions.
Continue reading our Nightmare movie review below. Find it on Shudder and AMC+ from September 29, 2023.
Based on Nordic folklore
The story is based on Nordic folklore that features a demon. One that causes you to have nightmares and be unable to sleep, which in turn means you’re so sleep-deprived that you’re unsure when you’re dreaming and when you’re awake.
Also, there’s a lot of sleepwalking and a crying baby. This baby doesn’t live with the couple that are our main characters, but in the apartment next to them.
It’s actually quite stressful to watch at times because you can relate to the main character who is desperate for sleep, but also fear sleeping due to nightmares. I’m sure anyone who has suffered from nightmares or night terrors will recognize this. Oh yeah, and sleep paralysis is also part of the terror for our poor main character.
The demon, which is called the “Mare” (read up on the Mare folklore via Wikipedia here) wants desperately to be born into the real living world. As you might imagine, this results in a situation that feels quite Rosemary’s Baby adjacent. Oh yeah, this one is bound to hit harder for women, I suspect.
Two Norwegian genre actors star
The couple trapped right in the center of the story in the Shudder horror movie Nightmare are portrayed by two actors you’ll recognize if you’ve watched some of the most popular Norwegian genre productions in the recent decade.
Starring as the young woman Mona, who is brutally targetted by the folklore demon (the Mare), is Eili Harboe. She also played the title role in the brilliant Norwegian horror movie Thelma (2017). I was absolutely mesmerized by Eili Harboe as Thelma, and I’m sorry to say I’ve been a bit disappointed by her performances in everything since then.
To be fair, this probably has a lot more to do with Thelma being an amazing movie (and character) than anything else, but still.
As her boyfriend, Robby, who tries his best to support her but also struggles with a stressful job that they need since just buying their first home, is Herman Tømmeraas. You may not recognize this name, but he played one of the key characters in the Netflix series Ragnarok and in the Shudder horror movie Leave (2022). Also, he was in the worldwide Norwegian phenomenon Skam.
Watch the horror movie Nightmare on Shudder!
The writer and director of Nightmare is Kjersti Helen Rasmussen. This is her feature film debut as a director, while she has written a few feature films already. For me, the one downfall of this horror movie is the pacing. It’s either too long or too slow. I’m not entirely sure which, but it loses some momentum along the way which results in a lower rating than initially expected.
Aside from having Eili Harboe and Herman Tømmeraas starring in the movie, there’s also Dennis Storhøi in a key role as a doctor trying to help the sleep-deprived Mona. And believing what she tells him about her experiences, which is a nice change. Usually, no one believes the person suffering. You may recognize Dennis Storhøi from the Norwegian Netflix genre movie Troll which was recently greenlit with a sequel.
One of the most simple plots I’ve read of this Shudder horror movie is “Not all nightmares are over when you wake up”. And really, this does tell you all you need to know. If you’re pregnant, you may want to skip this one. The crying babies and other pregnancy-related issues may be a bit too might. Or not, but now you’re at least been warned.
Nightmare (org. Norwegian title: Marerittet) is on Shudder and AMC+ from September 29, 2023.
Director: Kjersti Helen Rasmussen
Writer: Kjersti Helen Rasmussen
Cast: Eili Harboe, Herman Tømmeraas, Dennis Storhøi, Siri Black Ndiaye, Peter Førde, Gine Therese Grønner, Preben Hodneland
Mona and Robby are a young couple in love. Robby has just landed his dream job, and they’ve scored an amazing deal on a spacious, if run-down, flat. Never mind that it requires quite a bit of renovation. Never mind the neighbors’ constant fighting, and screaming baby… Never mind that Mona is suddenly plagued by night terrors which grow more intense every time she falls asleep… Robby is eager to start a family, despite Mona’s hesitation. Eventually, Mona’s issues spiral dangerously out of control as she becomes convinced that she is being attacked by a mythical demon – the Mare – intent on possessing her unborn child.