Sometimes in horror, films can take a deep and psychological approach and can make you ask yourself some pretty hard questions. Questions like, ‘How far would I go’? or ‘What would I do in this situation’? and ‘Can you hurt the ones you love’? Movies can also make you look at your own deepest, darkest fears and your most twisted secrets, if you have any. Today’s movie tackles some of these issues. So join me boils and ghouls, as I prepare my customary popcorn and adult beverage and dim the lights. IT’S MOVIE TIME!
Don’t Sleep (2017)
Zach (Dominic Sherwood, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments) and his girlfriend Shawn (Charlbi Dean Kriek, Blood in the Water) move into a new neighborhood together. A nice neighborhood with attentive and decent neighbors. Everything is a giant slice of suburban American pie. Until something sinister triggers Zach’s dark and tumultuous past of repressed memories and his fears begin to flood back. Can this young couple make it through and what lives may be lost in the process?
“If a demon were to steal after you in your loneliest loneliness… Would you not curse the demon who spoke thus …or would you answer, ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.’”
This haunting quote from Freidrich Nietzsche in 1882, booms onto the screen and sets the pace of this turbulent horror/thriller written, produced and directed by Rick Bieber (Rehab). Bieber was able to seamlessly ask the types of questions I mentioned above. While effectively giving the audience a front row seat expose of the long term adverse effects of mental health and what people can go through on a day to day basis. Bieber’s film boasted a few familiar faces throughout. Jill Hennessy (Crossing Jordan, Law and Order), Cary Elwes (Saw, The Princess Bride), the ageless Alex Rocco (The Godfather, The Entity) and Drea de Matteo (Sons of Anarchy, The Sopranos) all had solid cameo performances in this one. With de Matteo’s performance as the doting and almost motherly next-door neighbor being the highlight.
While Don’t Sleep is not your typical horror film, there’s a lot going on here. But it was the emotional overtones and the twisted ideas that were horrific. The idea that everyone can have their own inner demon. There were some things to enjoy in this flick. Sherwood’s portrayal as the confused and downright dark and twisted Zach, was extremely well paced. Casually evolving into what he has strived for since childhood not to be, a monster. There were also some things that were off about this flick. The third act felt rushed, without much of any explanation and the off-balanced ‘twist’ ending left me giggling, with a sour taste in my mouth.
If you don’t go into this expecting a straight horror film and take it for what it is, a thrilling emotionally-charged drama, then there is much to like. It may take me another viewing of Don’t Sleep to truly be able to decide how I feel about it, I think.
IMDb: 3.5/10 (Not at all this bad)
Don’t Sleep in limited theaters and VOD now!
Thanks for reading and remember…