Monday, 27 August 2012

Frightfest 2012: Sleep Tight aka Mientras duermes

As Sleep Tight begins, we see Cesar (Luis Tosar) climb out of the bed he is sharing with Clara (Marta Etura), get dressed and leave for work. Work is not far away however, in fact it’s the very building he slept in, he is the concierge of an apartment block. Cesar’s day is laced with both promise and threat, and as the day draws to a close, he heads back to the apartment he slept in, and crawls under the bed. Cesar is not a staying guest in Clara’s apartment, in fact she does not even know he is there, but each night he drugs her and sleeps in the bed with her, but the worst is still to come. 

Sleep Tight is a tense, well-paced and totally compelling journey, a journey that is incredibly dark from the offset. A rollercoaster ride in every sense of the word, although it is very much a slow-burning tale.

Your emotions get confused as one minute you feel sorry for Cesar, the next you are completely repulsed by him, and everything he stands for. The story is so well wound, that even though you know he is the movies villain, you cannot help but be on his side. Watching him bullied by the schoolgirl in the apartment next to Clara’s, and abused by a busybody tenant, while adored by the elderly lady in 3C, who he is incredibly vile too; takes you on a really bizarre emotional journey.

Sleep Tight is every bit the movie, that Hammer’s dreadful The Resident was not, it has real emotion, a story, and a lot of development involved in telling its story.

Visually the movie is a treat, set pretty much in the apartment block for the films entirety, it is clear that an awful lot of thought has gone into framing every shot. From the perfection in the life of the victim Clara, to the darkness that manifests itself in Cesar and the apartment he lives in.

The movie has some real humour to it, its not all dark, in fact it’s a clever balance, the humour moves from being very light to very dark, and there is a definite flow from light humour, dark humour, and then onto something that is really not very nice at all.

It is said that Sleep Tight divides the audience, when it aired as part of the 2012 Film 4 Frightfest, there was no division, it seems it was adored by all. It’s a tale that really works, and a foreign language movie that outpunches a similar style Hollywood in every single frame.

Spencer Hawken @Views From The Edge

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