ⓘ Sleepwalkers (film)


ⓘ Sleepwalkers (film)

Sleepwalkers is a 1992 American horror film written by Stephen King and directed by Mick Garris. The film stars Brian Krause, Madchen Amick and Alice Krige, who respectively portray Charles Brady, Tanya Robertson, and Mary Brady. The film revolves around the last two survivors of a vampiric shapeshifting species that feed on the life force of human female virgins. It was the first time King wrote a screenplay intended for the screen first, rather than adapting one of his already-existing novels or stories.


1. Plot

Charles Brady and his mother, Mary, are Sleepwalkers - nomadic, shapeshifting energy vampires, who feed off the lifeforce of virgin women. Though they normally maintain a human form, they can transform into human-sized bipedal werecats, their natural form, at will. They have powers of both telekinesis and illusion. Their one weakness is cats, with whom they have a mutual hostility, which can not only see through their illusions, but can inflict severe to fatal wounds upon them with their claws.

Charles and Mary live in a small Indiana town, having recently fled Bodega Bay, California after draining and killing a young girl there. Charles attends the local high school, and meets Tanya Robertson in his creative writing class. Charles feigns romantic interest in Tanya in order to take her lifeforce for himself and his mother, who is starving. Their teacher Mr Fallow has his suspicions about Charles and tells him that his older high school certificates were fakes; he also tries to sexually assault Charles, but Charles kills him.

On their first date, at a picnic at a nearby cemetery, Charles attempts to drain Tanyas lifeforce while kissing her. Tanya tries frantically to ward off Charles by bashing his head with her camera, scratching his face, and plunging a corkscrew into his left eye; though nothing she does seems to cause Charles more than temporary discomfort.

Deputy Sheriff Andy Simpson is driving by the cemetery. When Tanya flees to him for help, Charles kills Simpson. When Charles resumes feeding off Tanya, the deputy’s cat, Clovis, violently scratches him in the face and chest. Mortally wounded, Charles staggers back home to his mother, who is able to make both of them invisible, and thus keep Charles from being arrested when the police storm their house. A small number of cats begin to gather outside their house.

Knowing that the only way for her dying son to survive is to feed, Mary attacks the Robertson household, killing several deputies and state troopers and severely wounding Tanya’s parents. She kidnaps Tanya and takes her back to her house. Charles is near death, but Mary revives him, and Charles makes a final attempt to drain Tanyas life force. However, Tanya plunges her fingers into his eyes, killing him. Tanya escapes with the help of the sheriff who is later impaled by Mary on the picket fence surrounding the house. The cats that have been gathering around their house, led by Clovis, jump on Mary and claw and bite her until she bursts into flames. As she dies, she screams that Tanya "killed her only son". As Mary lies ablaze on her driveway, Tanya hugs Clovis.


2. Production

Sleepwalkers was the first film written by King to not be based on one of his preexisting works. Columbia Pictures initially approached Rupert Wainwright to direct, but at Kings insistence Columbia offered the film to Mick Garris, who had previously directed the horror films Critters 2: The Main Course and Psycho IV: The Beginning. The film was shot in Franklin Canyon, California.


3. Soundtrack

The original music score was composed by Nicholas Pike.

CD track listing: Side 2 of the cassette begins at track 9

  • 13: Nicholas Pike – Fly On The Chicken 2:57
  • 9: The Contours – Do You Love Me 3:00
  • 12: Nicholas Pike – Im Going To Make Us Dim 2:36
  • 6: Nicholas Pike – Lets Go Upstairs 2:46
  • 7: Nicholas Pike – You Didnt Get It 3:05
  • 8: Nicholas Pike – Run To That Jungle Beat 2:24
  • 14: Nicholas Pike – Impaling Doom 3:44
  • 1: Santo & Johnny – Sleep Walk 2:23
  • 10: Nicholas Pike – Am I Beautiful? 1:31
  • 15: Nicholas Pike – Speedster 3:39
  • 3: Nicholas Pike – Cop Kabob 2:25
  • 4: Nicholas Pike – This Is Homeland 4:06
  • 11: Nicholas Pike – Let The Cats Run 4:31
  • 16: Enya – "Boadicea" 3:30
  • 5: Nicholas Pike – Is This What You Had In Mind? 2:49
  • 2: Nicholas Pike – Main Titles 2:06

4. Reception

Sleepwalkers received negative reviews from critics. In Horror Films FAQ: All Thats Left to Know About Slashers, Vampires, Zombies, Aliens, and More, John Kenneth Muir praised the first half of the film stating Sleepwalkers starts out in fine form, as a serious, grim, involving horror film about the last two survivors of a species doing what they must to survive, Krige is incredibly sensual as the half-crazed mother who must be "fed" through the act of sexual intercourse with her son." He then says that the later half of the film "devolves into a campy disaster." On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 25% based on 16 reviews, giving it an average rating of 4.3/10.

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.