epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,
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Movie Review: Don’t Go To Sleep (1982)

A nearly 30 year old TV movie ghost story. They don’t make TV movies like this anymore. Phillip (Dennis Weaver), Laura (Valerie Harper) and their children Kevin the brat and Mary the unfavourite move to their new home. Laura’s vile mother Bernice (Ruth Gordon) joins them. Bernice loved Jennifer the eldest daughter who died. All this makes for tension in the new house, number 13666.

Laura doesn’t want Jennifer’s photographs displayed. Kevin is a brat who needs a slap. They don’t seem to have any neighbours and the area looks like the sort of place where the main entertainment is a tramp around the golf links. Mary hears voices but this is overlooked as Bernice complains that cigarettes cost a buck a pack.

But the rota fortuna is not done with this family. Mary’s bed catches fire prompting Bernice to hack out: “Kids shouldn’t be smoking in bed.” Phillip is irritated he has to revarnish the bed. Kevin annoys. Mary freaks out and is ignored except for Kevin tormenting her.

So when Mary finds the dead Jennifer is still hanging around, she’s glad. The clothes in this are vile. Jennifer wore braids and a dress that looks like a reject from ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and Mary looks like she escaped from a street theatre performance of ‘Heidi’.

Laura says Mary should see a shrink, Phillip objects because he doesn’t want to be shamed by his new work colleagues. Phillip gets drunk and blames Bernice for plying him with drink the night of the car crash that killed Jennifer. How Phillip wasn’t arrested for drunk driving and Jennifer’s death isn’t explained.

Jennifer tells Mary her parents don’t miss her or care. So the isolated Mary listens as Jennifer intones: “We’ve got to take care of Kevin.” The rest of the clan collude in the pretence of being a happy family at least until Bernice and Kevin are taken care of.

Phillip sits in the bath mixing martinis. Laura brings home a vile looking pizza. Mary gets her hands on the pizza cutter and things get out of hand. Cue a death, the pizza cutter being used in non-approved of ways, someone ending up in a tiny padded cell with unbrushed hair and a flashback that reveals Jennifer was a mean bully who for some reason couldn’t get out of the car the night she died. This was good with a memorable final scene.

Best Lines:
“Double kisses!”

“Everybody lost their jobs.”
“Well not everybody as your mother so carefully pointed out.”

“Mary, what on earth are you doing under the bed?”

“Kevin, how in the world did the bed fall down?”

“You’re going to be put in the nuthouse.”

"Big pieces for daddy, little pieces for you and me."

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