Don't Go to Sleep (1982)

June 22, 2009 - 12:52pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: 80's, Dennis Weaver, don't go to sleep, evil child, evil kid, ghosts, haunted, haunted house, haunting, made for tv, Richard Lang, spirits

Your rating: None Average: 6.3 (3 votes)
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Richard Lang
Dennis Weaver, Valerie Harper, Ruth Gordon, Robert Webber, Robin Ignico, Kristin Cumming, Oliver Robins, Claudette Nevins

In the 80's ABC would deliver several made-for-TV flicks and a number of their genre efforts were surprisingly decent and their highly sought-after VHS tapes go for high numbers at auction sites. Don't Go to Sleep is a flick that sounded like a strong addition to the genre, but sadly it came out rather flat. However, the movie still proved to be better than a lot of other films at the time due to its above-average acting and somewhat-decent story. Actually its these made-for-TV flicks where you can find the only believable acting for the genre, since they generally cast nothing but television-vets for the lead roles. Sadly, that sometimes backfires when they go into 'TV-drama mode' and overact the crap out of certain scenes (I.E. falling down the stairs!).
So the story is pretty standard horror -- the older sister of three siblings dies in deadly car wreck and the family decide to move to a new home in hopes of mending any open wounds within the family. Little-do-they-know, the spirit of the deceased girl doesn't want them to forget her and manipulates the other sister to kill off each remaining member of the family in ways that seem to be only accidents. It's hard to actually categorize this an a "horror flick" to be honest, as there really aren't any scenes that would back up that statement. The deaths of the family are made to look like accidents, so there's no blood, which I suppose could be the filmmakers cop-out way of not worrying about censorship.

The spirit of the girl holds a grudge with the family, but you'd never really know it since she acts pretty normal when she converses with the middle sister. In fact, the said-sister isn't really all that evil either (although there were a couple exceptions). So what's up with the title? Well, the spirit of the girl would originally only appear when everyone was in bed, but that later changes when she finally appears on-screen. The final moments of the movie offer a somewhat bland and predictable (by today's standards) twist. In the end, I was left with mixed feelings. It kept my interest, but didn't really offer a whole lot for the viewers. I think had the filmmakers gone a more "horror" route with the deaths and the spirit of the girl that it could've been a pretty good movie.

A bland made-for-TV supernatural flick to come out of the 80's. Although has some good actors that produce some nice performances, there's not a whole lot more to say about the film. Despite that, it's not a bad movie by any means, it just didn't have much to offer the genre. If you like hard-to-find 80's horror or "killer kid" flicks, then you may want to give this a check. Otherwise, I'd recommend finding something more fitting for the genre.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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