Film Review: Hulu’s “Dead Asleep” is a Haunting True-Crime Documentary

In 2017, Randy Herman Jr. called police to tell them that he murdered his friend and to meet hiim at a park. He claims he did not remember what happened, but he acknowledged that he did it. What could explain this situation? According to Mr. Herman and his attorneys, it was a case of violent parasomnia, aka sleep-walking. That’s the subject of the new Hulu documentary Dead Asleep.



In the documentary, director Skye Borgman shares the perspectives of attorneys on both sides of the case, medical experts, journalists, and family members, each of whom share their own stories from the case. The filmmakers also had access to Randy Herman Jr. himself. The fact-based narrative shares the backstory, the crime, the trial, and the debate surrounding this controversial case and defense.

By trying to share all sides of the story, the audience can form their own conclusions. The frustrating thing about the journey is that there isn’t a clear-cut answer as to what happened. But in the end, I believe that is the point. While we are used to narratives that have a point to make, this film makes you realize that sometimes the facts are not as cut and dry as we would like. In the real world, narratives can be muddled.

Dead Asleep continues the trend of fascinating documentaries that have made their way to Hulu. Ranging in tone, scope, and subject matter, Hulu continues to make their case as being a premiere destination for diverse documentaries. Fitting into the true-crime genre, this is one that haunts you after it ends.

Dead Asleep debuts on Hulu on December 16.