"One night seven friends confess their fears... To a killer."
American Nightmare is a 2002 Direct to Video Psychological Slasher Movie starting Debbie Rochon.
On All Hallows' Eve, a group of friends gather to listen to a radio show. The host implores his listeners to divulge their deepest fears. Our heroes do so, not knowing what will ensure. There's a madwoman listening in, plotting to bring their fears to life...
Not to be confused with the Supernatural episode or the 1983 Canadian film of the same name.
This film contains examples of:
- American Title: Type 3. Named after the radio show that kicks off the plot.
- Big Bad: Jane Toppan is killing everybody.
- Black Comedy Rape: One character's phobia of gang rape by old women is Played for Laughs.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Toppan is the kind of loony who mastirbates with a knife!
- Downer Ending: Most of our heroes are dead. Jessie is tricked into killing her own sister. All the survivors are traumatized, and at least one is going to prison. Then we cut to our killer, taking some medication and bawling on her bed in an oddly sympathetic moment. Her father comes in, and sings her a lullaby. End film.
- Deadly Doctor: The Big Bad was a nurse before taking up homicide.
- Evil Lawyer Joke: One guy references his Louis Cypher costume by quipping "Every attorney is a devil in disguise!"
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Halloween.
- Karma Houdini: Toppan escapes after killing half our heroes and psychologically traumatizing the other half.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: Toppan puts a walkie talkie in the coffin of a victim she Buried Alive so she can hear the screams.
- Named After Somebody Famous: There really was a serial killer named Jane Toppan in the late 1800s/early 1900s, though her favored method was simple poisoning, rather than the more elaborate murders in the movie.
- Shock Jock: The host of "American Nightmare" is the kind of jock who jokes that "the spirit of Halloween is kids in the hospital."
- Our heroes are introduced playing a movie quote guessing game, where From Dusk Till Dawn, Halloween (1978) and Flesh for Frankenstein are quoted.
- The callers on the radio show mention being terrified by Psycho and The Vanishing.
- Villain Opening Scene: Toppan massacring a group of friends to capture the one who sold her out.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The killings are themed based on the victim's phobias.