By: Darryl M. Yo (Three Beers) –
I decided to give this movie a go since it is from the writer and co-director of [REC] which I am a huge fan of. It is a foreign film and, just like [REC], it was filmed in Spain and the whole thing is in Spanish with English subtitles. Sleep Tight (or it’s original name Mientras Duermes) isn’t a horror movie with monsters or ghosts. It is a deep psychological thriller that starts off unsettling and just keeps going down the spiral. There is no motive. All you are doing is watching the depressing life of a man that lives to destroy the happiness of others. This man just does what he is born to do. It’s embedded in his DNA and there is no stopping him. He hides under the guise of innocence so no one ever sees his psychological attacks coming. They are subtle. He breaks people down to the point of depression. If you are in his radius and you show genuine happiness then you have entered his cross-hairs. Even if you love psychological thrillers like Black Swan, Memento, Seven, I Spit on Your Grave, etc. you will come away from this movie unsettled. There is no poetic justice; just his intentionally cruel masterpiece revealed. Sometimes there are no happy endings…
This film accomplishes what it sets out to do. What does it do? It leaves you soulless. I don’t mean depressed; I mean it will feel like your soul couldn’t take it anymore and just up and left your body. You will be tapped out of emotion. Director Jaume Balagueró allows us to walk through the shoes of someone who is void of a soul and passes his time by making those around him suffer. Does he enjoy what he does to others? Well, he can as much as anyone without emotion can possibly enjoy things. In most horror movies we live through the eyes of the hero and there is satisfaction when we see the hero live and the bad guy, monster, ghost, etc. perish. Here we watch through the eyes of an apathetic man spreading misery. There is no need for zombies in this movie. Here we see the horrors of what man can do to each other. That’s what makes this movie gloomy; I’d even say it even takes it a step too far.
As I just mentioned, I think Jaume Balagueró takes it too far. Believe me, I love horror movies and psyhcological thrillers. I love the [REC] series and Darren Aronofsky films for instance. Even in last year’s Compliance justice was eventually served. In Sleep Tight, the bad guy wins. And he wins with ease. <- Spoiler Alert! Highlight with your mouse to reveal. That’s the part that leaves your stomach curling and your brain twisted. I can handle twisted but this took it one step too far. I’ll leave that up to you all if you want to consider that a good thing or not.
This is not your typical horror movie with jump-scares, however, it is still successful in being suspenseful and creepy. Don’t expect a high body count. If you’re looking for the typical halloween type of horror movie to watch with your friends you may want to skip this one. However, if you do enjoy (for lack of a better word) movies that leave you stunned, emotionless, and mentally drained then go ahead; give this a watch. Just don’t watch it with anyone without warning them about the type of movie this is. Your friends will hate you for it.
For most people I will say pass on this movie. There is no real satisfaction here. For serious fans of horror and psychological thrillers this will really test your limit. I would be very much interested in what other people think of this movie, especially all you horror fans out there, so please drop a line once you’ve checked it out!
Take a Drink: every time César is hiding from someone
Take a Drink: when someone breaks down emotionally
Take a Drink: every time you see the little girl watching César
Do a Shot: when the little girl stands up to César
Do a Shot: when César’s masterpiece is revealed