The Curse of Sleeping Beauty (2016) Putting a Spin on Grimm (Review)

Briar Rose

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty attempts to put a spin on the Grimm’s fairytale Briar Rose. The film is adapted not from the original telling of the story but is adapted from a comic book by Everette Hartsoe.  Directed and co-written by Pearry Reginald Teo the film manages to have a little something for everyone, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. (Josh Nadler is the other scribe who worked on the screenplay.)

There is a Djinn, a few demons and not one step parent or evil witch to be seen, at least not at first. Starring Ethan PeckNatalie HallIndia Eisley and Bruce Davison the  film follows Thomas. He is an artist who suffers from dream paralysis and he dreams nightly of a beautiful sleeping woman who must be awakened with a kiss. 

The dreams turn sour and Thomas believes he may be going crazy. While attempting to learn what the dreams mean, Thomas learns that his uncle has left him a dilapidated old mansion.  When he goes to claim the building  he learns it has a horrible reputation and the place seems to be cursed.

He teams up with a local woman; Linda (Hall) who lost a brother to the rotting mansion. She initially comes to find out if Thomas’ uncle murdered her sibling but then helps Thomas to learn the secret of the house.

Briar Rose (Eisley), the young woman in the dreams, turn out to be much more than a Sleeping Beauty vision, she is real and not what she seems to be at all.

As Linda and Thomas research the mansion and try to find out what the curse is and how to break it, they enlist the help of Richard (Davidson) a specialist in all things supernatural.   Despite warnings from his dead uncle, Thomas searches for the underground facilities that house the curse.

As the film progresses, the artist learns that it is not the house that is cursed but his family. He must try to stop the curse from destroying not only him but the world as well.

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty  is a regular mishmash of fairy tales with an evil Djinn and a slew of demons who are not as bad as they look. The imagery is impressive however and even Davidson’s character spouting some sort of gibberish to ward off  evil spirits is not off putting.

With a running time of 89 minutes, the film does drag a little in the middle and despite the best efforts of all involved, it takes a long time to get to the “good stuff.” The effects are okay although the mannikin theme does feel very Silent Hill.  (Although more the game than the film.)

Peck does an adequate job as the lead protagonist and Davidson does his usual excellent job as the fairy tale expert.  Eisley, however,  is burdened with a role that gives her little to do till the end.

The film may not be overly impressive with its convoluted storyline and blurred fantasy lines, but it is a stunning film to look at. The dream sequences are gorgeous as is Eisley’s Sleeping Beauty, aka Briar Rose. The sets are also impressive.

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty is streaming on Netflix and it is a sold 3 star film.  It is definitely worth at least one viewing, but not two.  Check out the trailer below and see what you think.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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