Crimes of Passion: Sleepwalker (1997) Review


*Original title – The Sleepwalker Killing

Mark Schall kills his mother-in-law and injures his father-in-law in the middle of the night and turns himself in covered in blood with no memory of what crime he actually committed. His defence comes that he was sleepwalking when he did it . . .


A very interesting story in all honesty as would it actually be possible for someone to “sleepwalk” and drive whilst asleep as that is what we are meant to believe when it comes to Mark getting to his in-laws home. Lauren his wife is very concerned the following morning with her husband gone and the police turning up at her house to tell her that her mother has been murdered and her father is in hospital with his injuries. They do not tell her about Mark to begin with, they want to find out if she actually knows anything first.

The film is actually based on a true story as well, which I guess makes it even more interesting. Especially when Lauren goes to see Mark and cannot actually believe that her husband would knowingly do such a thing. It makes you doubt everything as you slowly find out that Mark wasn’t as innocent as it may first seem with gambling problems and getting into a lot of debt. The film pushes you both ways and then leaving you unsure what to believe.

The theory from the defence is built around the fact that Mark was asleep during the attack therefore it wasn’t actually his fault. Diving into family history and finding out that many of his family members suffered from sleepwalking. I guess its quite a crazy notion really that you could so something like that when in fact your asleep and not conscious to what you are doing?

With that though it does not seem very plausible and Lauren’s family decide not to speak to her when she defends her husband against killing her won mother. It certainly created a very tangled web and was therefore left to the jury to decide what to do with the information presented within the case.

The film was based on an episode from Unsolved Mysteries and even during the closing of the film it is stated that Mark might have just used it to get away with the murder.

I am a big Hilary Swank fan and this seemed to be quite a stepping stone before bigger roles came her way, I always find her impressive and it was no different in this film which was a made for TV movie.

4 thoughts on “Crimes of Passion: Sleepwalker (1997) Review

  1. I apologize as this comment doesn’t have to do with this movie – but I’ve been very curious to know if you saw Tolkien and what your thoughts were. If you did a write up and I missed it, let me know!

    Liked by 1 person

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