“Old Hag Syndrome” is a state of paralysis where the sleeper usually awakens completely frozen, but conscious and is convinced a supernatural entity is among them and is sitting on their chest. This is where the origin of creatures like the Succubus stems from. Scott Somers is a seemingly normal man married to a beautiful wife named Marie, but every night he awakens to see his wife standing at the window and muttering to herself. Convinced she’s sleepwalking, Scott awakens yet again in the middle of the night, but this time incapable of movement.
When he realizes he’s being mounted by a horrific female hag, he seeks out counseling with Marie, thinking the nightmares tie in with his slowly deteriorating romance with Marie. Despite Marie’s frustration with Scott, and their therapist insisting Scott’s nightmares are merely just natural phenomenon, events spiral out of control as Marie begins displaying odder and odder behavior, and the nightmares increase in terror. “Hag” is a wonderful dark fantasy horror short with incredible direction by Erik Gardner. Apparently inspired by true events, Gardner builds on the tension creating a very compelling mystery and resolves the events in quite a satisfying and imaginative method.
Gardner brings with him an excellent crew, with everything from the editing to the incredible make up effects adding to the mounting terror of the tale we experience. The cast are also remarkable with co-star Megan Duffy stealing the show. She’s not only insanely gorgeous but does a damn good job injecting a sense of mystique to her character, where we’re never quite sure if Scott is being terrorized by a monster (a top notch Eileen Dietz), or if he’s merely manifesting his fears about his wife in to vivid dreams. “Hag” is a slick and excellent short worthy of your time, and I hope we can see more from Erik Gardner very soon.