Night Terrors – aka Tobe Hooper’s Night Terrors – is a 1993 American-Israeli horror feature film, directed by Tobe Hooper (Lifeforce; Salem’s Lot; The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) from a screenplay by Rom Globus and Daniel Matmor. The Harry Alan Towers production stars Robert Englund, Zoe Trilling and William Finley.
A young woman, Genie Matteson (Zoe Trilling), travels to Alexandria, Egypt, to visit her deeply Christian archaeologist father, and becomes unwillingly involved with a bizarre sadomasochistic cult led by the charismatic Paul Chevalier, who is a descendant of the Marquis de Sade (both played by Robert Englund)…
“The way this plays out later in a rather unforgettable and surreal sequence suggesting sex with a snake demon while watched by the looming figure of the Marquis de Sade (further voyeurism) brutally crucified is as baffling as it is cathartic, visual, and breathtaking. Hooper allows himself to eschew logic for such off-the-wall winks and jabs.” Jarrod White, Film Static
“This movie sucks. It’s not fun. It’s not entertaining. It’s boring. It makes no sense. There’s not enough gore. There’s not enough action. There’s not enough anything […] The production values are shoddy. The acting is horrible, particularly Zoe Trilling’s acting… Actually, even Englund’s pretty poor. ” Absolute Horror
“So why am I recommending this film? It is weird. There is an extended sex scene. For the ladies, hunky Egyptian rides a horse completely nude. Englund is marvelous. Do you like snakes? This film is full of them. This is like Roger Corman with a bigger budget. Knowing Hooper somehow came up with Crocodile after this is rather sad. Night Terrors is not perfect, but definitely worth a winking, unserious look.” Charles T. Tatum, Jr.
“Unfortunately, despite pretensions otherwise, Night Terrors is never anything more than a standard corruption of the innocent story. All the flashbacks to Robert Englund as the Marquis de Sade, the hint that Zoe Trilling may be a reincarnation of his lover, the running subplot about her father’s uncovering of the Gnostic tomb have nothing whatsoever to do with the main story.” Richard Scheib, Moria
“The script is often horrendous – sloppy, incomplete, inane or plain nonsensical. Robert Englund – as intelligent, of sharp mind, and possessing of a true actor’s gravitas as he seems in real life, and as capable he is at performing broadly and engaging a role at his unique and committed wavelength – is just the hammiest of actors. Production design and make-up is pretty woeful at times.” Tobe Hooper Appreciation Society
“Many Tobe Hooper films admirably shatter taboos and film decorum, but there’s little intellectual, stylish gamesmanship in this underwhelming film.” John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films of the 1990s
Main cast and characters:
- Robert Englund – Paul Chevalier / Marquis De Sade
- Zoe Trilling – Genie Matteson
- Alona Kimhi – Sabina
- Juliano Mer-Khamis – Mahmoud
- Chandra West – Beth
- William Finley – Dr. Matteson – Silent Rage; The Funhouse; The Fury; Eaten Alive; Phantom of the Paradise
- Irit Sheleg – Fatima