Don't Go to Sleep
Don't Go to Sleep Directed by Richard Lang Produced by Richard Lang (producer)
Douglas S. Cramer (executive producer)
Aaron Spelling (executive producer)
Claudia Myhers Tschudin (associate producer)
E. Duke Vincent (supervising producer)
Written by Ned Wynn Starring Valerie Harper
Music by Dominic Frontiere Cinematography Chuck Arnold Editing by Patrick Kennedy Distributed by ABC Release date(s) December 10, 1982 Running time 93 min. Country United States Language English
Don't Go To Sleep is a 1982 made-for-TV movie that was produced by Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer. The movie featured Dennis Weaver, Valerie Harper, Ruth Gordon, Robert Webber, and youngsters Kristin Cumming, Robin Ignico (fresh off of a supporting role in the film Annie) and Oliver Robins of Poltergeist fame. The film was shot at Warner Brothers in Los Angeles, California on soundstage 15.
The premise of the story is that a father, Phillip (played by Weaver) and mother, Laura (played by Harper) and their two children Kevin and Mary (played by Robins and Ignico, respectively) move out of Los Angeles (as seen in the opening credits) to a house up north in the countryside. Moving in with the family would be their grandmother (played by Gordon), whom nobody in the family other than Laura cared for very much. The family had just suffered the tragedy of losing their oldest daughter Jennifer (played by Cumming) and hope to regroup and start a new life without her.
Just as they move into their new home, Mary begins hearing the voice of her dead sister under her bed. Soon enough, Jennifer's ghost begins appearing to Mary in secret. Jennifer hopes to kill off her family as an act of revenge. Immediately after these meetings with Mary, one by one her family members meet twisted fates. Grandma suffers a heart attack from being spooked by Kevin's pet iguana, which was released onto her bed one night, Kevin is thrown off the house roof while retrieving a Frisbee and father Phillip is electrocuted in the bathtub when the radio he is listening to falls into the water.
After it is discovered that Mary committed all of the killings (at the urgings of her demonic sister's spirit), she is placed in a mental institution where it is revealed to viewers through a flashback the fate of Jennifer. Riding home from their grandma's house, Kevin convinced Mary to play a prank on their sister, so Kevin tied Jennifer's shoes together. Apparently they were both jealous of the favoritism their sister was receiving as well as her constant bullying. When their car is accidentally struck by a van and begins to spark, all except Jennifer are able to get out of the car. Just as Phillip is about to go back to get her, the car burst into flames.
The final scene of the movie is memorable to viewers who have seen the movie in the past: As Laura lays sleeping one night, alone in her dark bedroom, she is awakened by a sound at the foot of her bed. It is the ghost of Jennifer who pops up and says, very sinisterly, "Hi, Mommy!" Jennifer's eyes widen evilly. The camera cuts and zooms into Laura, who screams just as the closing credits begin.
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