Monday, 21 March 2016

BITE-SIZED REVIEW: Sleep Tight (2011)

Over the last 20 years, Spain has built a fine tradition of cinematic nail biters. I had heard about Sleep Tight a while ago, and finally got a chance to check it out.

A quiet, unassuming doorman at an apartment complex (Luis Tosar, Cell 211) has a secret: he is unhappy. He is so unhappy that he frequently stands on the roof of the building and contemplates suicide.

The only thing that keeps him going is making other people unhappy. His latest target is a young woman whose optimism and high spirits drive him insane with rage. He makes it his mission to break her -- by any means necessary.

This movie is excellent. I have not spoiled what the protagonist does, but suffice it to say that it is extremely odious. It is a testament to how well this movie is made that it never comes off as exploitive.

Luis Tosar, so arresting as the head inmate in Cell 211, delivers an extremely brave, unsympathetic performance as an irredeemable sociopath, an alien predator who watches his unassuming victims without ever betraying his hand. While we learn little of his backstory, the filmmakers fill the film with incidental details through which viewers can infer some very nasty ideas.

From the director of the classic zombie found footage movie REC, Sleep Tight is a disturbing, arresting thriller that is deserving of more exposure.

Check it out. With the lights on.

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