Dead Asleep True Crime Documentary Review, Randy Herman and the Sleepwalking Defense

What Dead Asleep is all about without spoiling the show

The true crime documentary Dead Asleep covers the case of Randy Herman and the murder of Brooke Preston. Why is this one worth a documentary? Randy admits to the crime immediately and later uses sleepwalking as the defense.

Dead Asleep examines the details of the case, whether the sleepwalking defense is legitimate, and if Randy has a legitimate “excuse” for taking a friend’s life.

Did you know anything about the Dead Asleep story before watching?

This one seems too strange to not know about and yet I didn’t know a thing. Maybe I was asleep when it happened a few years ago. It did take place in Florida. Maybe it all blended together with the other weird news stories to come out of the state.

Will Dead Asleep make people feel uncomfortable?

There are a few crime scene photos of blood, but nothing over-the-top. This documentary is very tame compared to others in the genre.

What was good about Dead Asleep?

The presentation was exactly what they needed it to be. I enjoy true crime documentaries that aren’t so much about who did it but whether or not they have a good enough defense as to why it happened. We know from the start that Randy killed Brooke. We get interviews with him in a prison jumpsuit to explain his side of the story. It felt a lot like The Thin Blue Line, possibly the best true crime documentary film to come out of the 1980s.

Because there aren’t really too many twists or turns, a single film rather than a two or three part series works for this documentary. Series as opposed to films tend to need a cliffhanger moment. This wasn’t that kind of film. It’s very straight to the point.

Dead Asleep kept my attention throughout. Not every true crime documentary can accomplish this. Honestly, it’s the primary way to tell whether or not I like it. The more I drift or feel distracted, the worse rating it’ll get. I’m almost regretful that I can’t make a pun about falling asleep during this one. I enjoyed it enough. Two cups of coffee helped, too.

What could have made Dead Asleep better?

A little more mystery could have helped this documentary. We knew the outcome by the end. Parts about the trial were almost unnecessary.

The psychological side was lacking at times, too. It’s all theory. Dreams are such a mystery to us all even though it’s something each of us regularly does.

Those details weren’t too unbalanced. I don’t have an issue with it. I just wish there was a bit more. I was able to come to my own conclusion in the end about what did or didn’t happen. This left me feeling satisfied.

Is Dead Asleep worth watching?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, it is! Dead Asleep isn’t a masterpiece of the true crime genre, however, it’s definitely a good watch. No new grounds or broken with this one and you might not be on the edge of your seat. It was well-made, paced well, and a fascinating subject.

Overall Score: 7 out of 10

Dead Asleep accomplishes the goals it sets out to do. It only suffers because of the finality of it and how little hope we’ll have of knowing whether the crime can be blamed on sleepwalking or not.

If you have a series or film you want to know my opinion on, please leave a comment below. I may have already written about it. I can save you some time from watching a dud.

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