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Review: ‘Sleeping Beauty’ gets a drab makeover

‘The Curse of Sleeping Beauty’
Ethan Peck and India Eisley in the thriller film “The Curse of Sleeping Beauty.”
(XLrator Media)

“The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” is a hard-working but dreary horror-thriller inspired by the classic Grimm’s fairy tale. 

Ethan Peck, the imposingly handsome grandson of Gregory Peck, plays Thomas Kaiser, a depressed loner (there’s a thin back story) long-plagued by frightening dreams involving, yes, a “sleeping beauty” (India Eisley). 

When he inherits a mysterious house from a late uncle he never knew, Thomas goes to check out the place only to discover that it’s a big, old, haunted wreck.  But instead of fleeing for the hills like a normal guy, Thomas spends a spooky overnight there, after which he learns he’s “cosmically bound” to the property. OK. 

With the help of a pretty real estate agent (Natalie Hall), whose brother may have died in the house, plus a game “paranormal cleric” (Bruce Davison), Thomas further investigates the cursed dwelling that, of course, proves connected to the drowsy girl of his dreams.  Her name: Briar Rose.

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Vengeful demons; weird, mannequin-like creatures; spinning wheels and lots of mumbo jumbo all factor in to the fright-lite proceedings. 

Director Pearry Teo, who scripted with Josh Nadler, pushes the brooding atmospherics, entrapping us in so many dingy, dustily lit spaces that, like Thomas, we just want to escape.  

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‘The Curse of Sleeping Beauty’

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Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood; also on VOD May 17


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