How Can You Sleep at Night?

ON

The Nightmare - Shadow Man

This June on Shock, we’re having nightmares.

I hope you’re enjoying Shock Till You Drop in the months since I’ve taken over as Managing Editor. One of my goals, alongside an emphasis on fun, meaty film writing next to the news, was a zine-like quality with thematic content and connective tissue throughout each month. We really pushed that in May, looking toward Poltergeist to explore remakes and branch off into other areas like PG & PG-13 horror. 

This June sees the release of both Rodney Ascher’s sleep paralysis horror-doc The Nightmare and Romain Bassett’s lush lucid dream tale Horsehead. The two films, as well as this fall’s Before I Wake, give dreams or a dream-like state a real prominence in the narrative. They aren’t simply used as sequences for scares, or quick trips to a character’s psyche; though there’s nothing wrong with that, as you’ll see in We Are Still Here.

Maybe it’s nothing, but I do find it a bit fascinating to see this resurgence. We’re currently entrenched in an online atmosphere of outrage. Though many with truly horrid intentions can reveal themselves via public comment and social media, simple missteps in language for others can snowball to something much greater, while words are actually being weaponized. It’s worrisome, and I’m interested in the idea that our unconscious, our subconscious and our dreams might feel like the last safe space to let everything roam free. To pervert that, to invade that like a nightmare, well that’s just scary.

Am I on to something? Who knows? But we’re going to run with it and explore nightmares in scary movies, with pieces on nightmare sequences, waking nightmares, dissociative states in horror, Elm Street and more.  

We’ll also be getting into the big June releases, which just June 5th includes Hungry Hearts, Insidious: Chapter 3, The Nightmare and We Are Still Here. That’s not to mention this month’s absolute must-sees, the dreamy metaphysical tale The Midnight Swim and the challenging, feminist thriller Felt. We’ll also be kicking off summer camp season and taking on whatever else pops up along the way.

Below, find June’s releases and let us know which you’re most interested in seeing and hearing about. Again, I hope you’re enjoying and discussing Shock, and I thank you for reading.