The Sandman

Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Fanatics!

It’s the Halloween season. The calm before the ‘Holiday Storm’ so to speak. That time of year where the ghosts and goblins be it imaginary or real (and by real I mean your family or friends dressing up in either incredibly elaborate or incredibly cheesy costumes in order to charm you out of your candy and to play the lamest practical jokes on you they can possibly formulate) and, wait for it, scary movies and scary movie marathons. While I don’t have a scary movie marathon to suggest (other than my personal favorite the entire ‘Friday The 13th’), I can present to you a film produced by none other than Stan ‘The Man’ Lee that features horror movie icon Tobin Bell, and stars Haylie Duff. Yes .. Haylie Duff. Wait … just wait … read through this and hear me out.

‘The Sandman’ is a horror horror film directed by Peter Sullivan and co-written by Sullivan and Jeffrey Schenck. The film stars Haylie Duff, Shae Smolik, Tobin Bell, Jason-Shane Scott, Ricco Ross, Amanda Wyss, Shaun Sipos, Lyn Alicia Henderson, and Mick Ignis as ‘The Sandman’.

Colton (Scott) is on the run. A wanted man in connection to a growing number of unsolved murders across the country. Accompanying him is his daughter Madison (Smolik). Unbeknownst to the authorities, Colton is on a desperate journey not to kill, but to save lives first and foremost his daughter until he succumbs to a mysterious heart attack and perishes. Claire, Colton’s estranged sister is a pin-up/boudoir photographer in Los Angeles and operates a studio in her home along with her boyfriend Wyatt when she learns of the death of her brother. After being questioned by the police who were tracking Colton’s movements and a run in with ‘aggressive’ social worker Abigail Farmer (Henderson), Claire takes Madison home with the intention of becoming her guardian being Madison’s sole living relative. It soon becomes clear to Claire that despite the claims of law enforcement, her brother was not the person responsible for the deaths that seem to take place in the wake of Colton and Madison’s journey across the country. Claire and Wyatt discover that Madison is the key and that the killer is in fact, a manifestation of Madison’s fears brought to life in the form of a monster. ‘The Sandman’. Brought to life by Madison’s unique and powerful mind and triggered by anyone who attempts to harm her. In a desperate bid to prevent any more deaths and to protect Madison, Claire attempts to retrace her brother’s journey across the country and hopefully find the solution at his ultimate destination. Simultaneously, a shadowy figure Valentine (Bell) has a been secretly investigating the whereabouts of Colton and Madison at the behest of a shadowy organization. Not with the intention of bringing the killer to justice, but to capture Madison in order to utilize the power she possess.

This film has ‘B-Movie Cult Status’ written all over it. The film (not a tie-in to any of the current Marvel movies, television shows, or online shows) seems to resonate as though it takes place in that universe but goes off in a completely different direction. Even before I learned of Stan Lee’s involvement, I was halfway through watching it when I thought to myself “This is something that you’d imagine a bunch of folks thought one night while sitting at a late night poker game if that group included Stan Lee, John Carpenter, and Stephen King amongst others”. The acting is genuine and serious but not over the top which also contributes to the film’s fear factor. It’s at a point where it’s going to give you a fright, but not enough to where you’re going to run out of your house screaming like a wild banshee. It may inspire a nightmare or two but if a good scary movie doesn’t level up to that at least, then it isn’t worth watching right?

I’d give the film 4 out of 5 stars. The acting in the film is what carried the film on my opinion. Major kudos to the actors and actresses involved. You can have a damn good writer draw up a killer script (pun intended and not intended) but without the right cast, it’s just a script. Definitely que this one up and add to the list of scary movies to have on deck during the Halloween season or for whenever you have the hankering for a late night scary movie.