‘The Sandman’: Spoiler-free review of Stan Lee’s new SyFy film

Fans of the horror genre, and film in general, will love Syfy’s new Stan Lee produced horror film, The Sandman. The film follows Madison, an eight-year-old girl plagued with night terrors, after her father dies and she goes to live with her aunt Claire (played by Haylie Duff.) There are so many great things about this movie, but we don’t want to give it all away, so instead let’s quickly break down some spoiler-free highlights.

11-year-old Shae Smolik shines as Madison

The Sandman

In a movie as compelling as The Sandman, it’s hard to steal the show, but Shae Smolik makes it seem easy. She absolutely owns every scene she appears in, and her acting ability far exceeds her age group. She has an incredible ability to switch from a terrified and heartbroken young girl to an emotionless horror movie icon in mere seconds. Keep an eye on this young actress — we see an Oscar in her future.

These effects get a little too real

The Sandman

Traditionally, the Sandman is supposed to help you sleep. Not so in director Peter Sullivan’s world. The creature created in this Syfy film is so horrifyingly realistic, you may never sleep again! At the very least, you’ll probably avoid the beach (you won’t want to be near sand ever again.) All of the effects in this film are fantastic, but the creation of its monster is where the film really shines. Just look at that face!

The Sandman secures itself a place in the horror movie canon

The Sandman

Some call them cliches, but we call them staples. The Sandman pulls visuals and plot points from various iconic horror films, while keeping its own unique identity intact. A cursed little girl, flickering lights, opening cabinets — The Sandman doesn’t shy away from references to its genre, and it executes them beautifully.

At its core, this is a film about family

The Sandman

The strongest part of The Sandman lies in the relationship between its two leads — Madison and her Aunt Claire. You get the sense very early on that Claire will do anything for this young girl, and you will be quickly rooting for the two of them to become a permanent family. We won’t spoil anything — you’ll have to tune in to see how that works out.

“Madison is a lot of things, I wouldn’t say lucky is one of them.”

The legendary Stan Lee doesn’t attach his name to anything less than brilliant storytelling, and The Sandman is no exception. It’s clear why Lee thought this film was worth producing — it’s got a terrifying plot, fantastic relationships, and the acting talent to pull it all off. Be sure to clear your Saturday night plans, you’re staying in with The Sandman.

The Sandman airs Saturday, October 14th, at 9/8c on SYFY.

Stick with Pure Fandom for more spoiler-free reviews of upcoming shows and movies!

(Featured image courtesy of SyFy)


Reagan Pierce

Reagan studies English and Film Studies at Texas Tech University. She aspires to be a film and television critic or entertainment writer. She loves all things TV and film. She spends her free time obsessing and blogging about Arrow, Teen Wolf, and Supergirl. Her favorite superhero is Lois Lane.

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