1 x 1hr
Through chilling reconstruction and the shocking testimonies of sufferers from around the world, we establish the astonishing universality of entity experiences. The sensation of a bodyweight pressing down on the chest, a roaring in the ears, an uncontrollable pulling at the arms and legs are common; in the most distressing cases there is a feeling of sexual violation too. Confused and petrified, the only thing that the victim seems certain of is that they are experiencing an encounter with pure evil, an encounter that can psychologically scar them for life.
For an unknown number of men and women in Britain and across the world, this terrifying experience is a common night time occurrence, and yet their identical stories often remain untold. Modern medicine has labelled this horrifying phenomenon Hypnagogic Sleep Paralysis, claiming that up to 40% of all humans will experience it at some time in their lives. But to this day very few people have closely studied the phenomenon, and no one has yet explained it.
One researcher who has struggled to find an answer is Doctor Al Cheyne at the University of Waterloo. He believes that the condition is caused by a neurological disorder at the liminal state between wakefulness and sleep, known as REM. We talk to some of the world’s most acute sleep disorder sufferers many of whom find this unconvincing.
But there is something more that leaves scientists at a total loss for an explanation. This demon of the night has the curious ability to pass from one person to another. Friends and relatives of sufferers, or those who stay in the same house, frequently find themselves being plagued in the same way by the same thing, suggesting that the phenomenon may not be rooted in the deepest recesses of the human mind, but rather somehow invested in physical space. In addition, the sheer terror of sufferers is hard to disregard.
The Entity combines ancient folklore, art and literature with modern science, psychology and the profoundly unsettling testimonies of sufferers across the world whose lives have been irreparably altered by their experiences. Exploring the mystery of this primeval horror - an experience much more complex and mysterious than modern reason allows - this film will keep viewers awake long after the final credits have rolled.
Optomen for Channel 4, UK
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