[Review] “Sarah’s Dream”: Voices and Visions Plague a Young Woman

Prolific filmmaker Wendy Keeling delivers another terrific horror short with Sarah’s Dream. This tale of a possibly sociopathic young woman haunted by perhaps more than just a guilty conscience is highlighted by solid performances and a macabre sense of humor.

Sarah (Bailey Ingersoll) is having a tough go of it after her father has committed suicide, and she blames her judgmental mother Claire (Wendy Keeling) for his death. Fed up with her daughter, Claire sends Sarah to see therapist Dr. Matthews (frequent Keeling collaborator Wynn Reichert, who also wrote the screenplay). These two authority figures are the least of Sarah’s problems, though, as she is having a hard time coping with the grisly murders of her boyfriend Jimmy (Sam Brooks) and her best friend Amber (Allison Shrum). Voices and nightmares ensue for Sarah.

Keeling has a terrific eye for framing shots and a fine sense of timing in both the horror and humor departments, and Nolan Uebelhor’s cinematography is marvelous, so the pacing is super and the short looks great. Reichert’s screenplay is tight and clever.

The cast members give strong performances throughout, with Ingersoll playing Sarah as a rebellious, possibly psychologically ill young woman but giving the character just the right amount of vulnerability. Keeling and Reichert both do a crackerjack job of portraying thorns in Sarah’s side, and Brooks and Shrum add a nice touch of dark humor to the proceedings.

Sarah’s Dream is just starting its film festival journey, and has already picked up nominations for the entire cast from the Bare Bones Film Festival, which will be held April 24—29 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. It’s well worth adding to your need-to-see list when it heads your way. For more information, visit the film’s official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SarahsDreamfilm/.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.