During the month of October (my favorite month of course) I watch nothing but horror movies in honor of Halloween. [Rec] 3 Genesis had just begun streaming on Netflix so that gave me the idea of talking my boyfriend into watching a double feature of [Rec] and [Rec] 2. I forgot how frightening [Rec] had been, so of course I jumped onto IMDb to get some more info on [Rec] and [Rec] 2 director Jaume Balaquero. I was excited to stumble upon Sleep Tight, having never seen nor heard anything about it.
This is nothing similar to the [Rec] anthology, but it certainly delivers on the same tense, edge of your seat viewing. Everything is so on point in this movie- the characters, the atmosphere, the pace, the progression of the plot, the ending, ohhh the ending. So good. Everything about this movie makes me happy. It’s like a horrific soap opera on steroids. And I mean that in a good way. In one scene, the book Oeuvres by Ingmar Bergman is strategically placed in view. This made me smile instantly and appreciate the movie even more. Ingmar Bergman is one of the most influential directors of his time creating beautiful, haunting and psychologically effecting pieces of cinematic art. I can imagine Sleep Tight director, Jaume Balaquero, is heavily influenced by this master of filmmaking.
We are taken on a journey through the point of view of Cesar, our protagonist. He is a chronically unhappy concierge at a posh Spanish apartment complex. His sole goal and existence in this world is to make everyone around him as miserable as himself. But beautiful and cheery resident Clara is a tough case to crack. His secret threatening letters and bug infestations are not enough to break Clara down. He becomes obsessed and must take it further. Having keys to all the rooms in the building can have its creepy advantages. About half way through the movie I kept thinking about what a nightmare it would be to be in Clara’s place- having a man hiding under your bed until you fall asleep is absolutely terrifying. The word Boogeyman kept popping up in my head. As children, we all had an idea of a Boogeyman hiding in the dark and out to get us when we sleep. Cesar in Sleep Tight is the most horrifying, realistic adult version of a Boogeyman that I can think of.
This is a most beautiful example of a psychological thriller. There is little blood and gore (well, except for one unforgettable scene) and so much is left to the imagination. What the camera leaves out, your mind fills with fearful images (like our Boogeyman), leaving you vulnerable with that pit in your stomach. The ending in my opinion is fantastic, but I’m sure many will differ. Whether you love or hate the ending, it will certainly leave you speechless with your jaw on the ground. I recommend this disturbing and unsettling flick to anyone who is looking for a fresh and unique take on the stalker genre.
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