The Sleepwalker comes down the lane. Tap, tap, tap, sounds his cane. Bolt the shutters, lock the doors, Or see your children nevermore.

This past Saturday marked the launch date for the new web series Il Sonnambulo.  The series, directed by Douglas Rath, follows the famous and controversial artist Atticus Hurst.  Hurst’s claim to fame, and infamy, is his series of gruesome photographs of murders committed by the legendary serial killer known only as ‘Il Sonnambulo,’ or ‘The Sleepwalker.’

The first chapter of the series, titled “The End of Everything” begins with a date.  A man brings a woman upstairs to his lavish Los Angeles apartment.  The woman, while surveying her date’s eclectic choice of decorations, is struck by one particular work of art he possesses: a framed photograph of a chopped up baby.  When her date tells her all about the artist (Atticus Hurst) and his exploits photographing Il Sonnambulo’s crime scenes, she becomes disgusted and leaves.  We then see a shot of Hurst (played by Dean Christie) in his home, a caption reading “2:37 AM.”  Despite the odd time, Hurst receives a phone call. And it seems as if he’s been expecting it.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 12.45.11 PMThe next scene follows a woman walking the streets of London.  Holding an infant, she briefly stops at a fair grounds before going on her way.  On the street, a young girl stands in her path and tells her that she’s a “bad bird” and is “going to get plucked.”  The girl tells her that her baby will suffer the same fate.  Rattled, the woman walks home and finds a sigil carved into the doorpost of her flat.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 12.47.05 PMWe are then formally introduced to Atticus Hurst himself, in a bar being interviewed by a journalist, Roberto (Rob McLoughlin), for Face Magazine.  The interview is not going well.  Hurst quickly reveals himself to be an egotistical snob who spends the interview drinking absinthe, smoking an e-cigarette, and correcting the Roberto’s grammar.  Irritated with him, Hurst finishes his drink and tells him that the interview is over.  Roberto asks him one more question: did Hurst ever go back to the Natural History Museum (presumably after taking a photo of a murder)? Hurst doesn’t know what the journalist is talking about, and he tells the artist that the police found a symbol on the floor, and didn’t release the detail to the public.  Hurst becomes irate and tells Roberto to “fuck right off.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 12.44.31 PMThe next scene is Hurst in his home, again at 2:37 AM.  We hear voice-overs of Hurst’s critics condemning his work as obscene and exploitative.  Hurst receives another phone call. “36 White Chapel Lane, one hour,” the unknown caller says.  Hurst immediately goes to the location– the young mother’s flat.  As he starts to take photographs, we see a man, obscured by darkness, walking down the street with a cane.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 1.09.31 PMThe first installment of this web series is only 15 minutes long, but is packed with details, plot, and beautiful cinematography and music by Matthew Beecroft and William Yates, respectively.  Despite the short run-time, “The End of Everything” is everything a pilot should be: engaging, intense, and leaving the viewer craving more.  The premiere of Il Sonnambulo predicts an addictive series that will satisfy fans of both the horror and mystery genres, and also entice others to the proverbial dark side.  You can find the first episode below, as well as here for more details about the series and mythology behind Il Sonnambulo.

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