Title: Sleep Tight

Also known as:
Mientras duermes (Original title)

Year: 2011

Genre: Drama / Thriller

Language: Spanish

Runtime: 102 min

Director: Jaume Balagueró

Writer: Alberto Marini

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1437358/

César is a lonely, depressed man that works in an apartment complex, helping people with a little bit of everything. Every day that he works down in the reception he watches the beautiful Clara as she walks in and out, always with a smile on his face. César has an obsession about Clara, and it's not out of love, but out of destroying her happiness. Every night he sneaks into her apartment only to smother he with chloroform after she has fallen asleep, and sleeps next to her.

Our thoughts:
"Sleep Tight" is a movie that a lot of reviewers/bloggers/podcasters were talking about around the time of making Best of 2011 lists, but I had yet to see it. I suppose I was too busy trying to find films I hadn't heard of (as I often do around that time). But I had remembered the name of the film because it seemed like a perfect match for me: a creepy little thriller to burst you happy-bubble with. So now I finally got a chance to sit down and watch it, and while I can't say it lives up to every expectation, it certainly fits into the category with "creepy thrillers".

Our lead man César is a guy that you are literally forced to care about. He's a depressed man without sympathy for other humans, and is just overall a big fucking creep. But we have to follow him around, and we become a part of his sick rituals. Whether we like it or not, it's impossible not to unconciously hope for him to win in a fight that ends fairly brutal. Even though we know HE is the bad buy. This is something that has been done in a lot of movies and it's always fascinating when it works like it does in this one. I think the reason it works so well here is because even though he is an evil bastard, it's all laid upon us in small doses.

César works in an apartment complex, and he has grown an obsession for one of the tenants. Her name is Clara. She lives a rather good life, and every time she walks through the reception she has a smile on her face. A smile that César wants to get rid of. César's sick routine is to sneak into her apartment before she comes home, and lay under her bed waiting for her to go to bed. Once she is sleeping he comes out from under the bed and smothers her with chloroform. And then he does his business - whatever it may be this time. Every night he sleeps next to her, but he also does a few things to mess with her happiness. These small things become more and more cruel. Yes, César is a creepy fucking bastard.

What I really liked about "Sleep Tight" is that it's never really a horror movie. It could've easily became more like "The Strangers", "Ils", or whatever other home invasion film that actually managed to have creepy moments in the past few years. But this is definitely more towards drama and thriller. Which is good! It saves it from becoming another one of those horror films, that never really dug into your head. "Sleep Tight" does that. It's psychological, creepy and cruel, but never scary. It makes a big difference, as being scared can shut off certain parts of your brain that makes you aware of things and instead shove them away. "Sleep Tight" stays in your head, even if just for the night.

It's not a perfect movie, and I did feel I had slightly different expectations, but it got the deed done. You can question plenty in this film: whether it could happen or not, if he'd get caught straight away, why certain people do certain things. And I never cared for the young neighbor girl. There is a rather interesting scene with her, but I'm not sure she was needed.

The flaws aren't huge and I can't say it made a negative impact on the movie. They're washed away quickly because the rest of the film is as interesting as it is. I highly recommend this film one late and lonely night (or with a scared partner by your side). It won't scare you because you're always on the wrong side of the situation (with César), but I'm sure it will have an effect on you in one way or another!

Positive things:
- Creepiness and cruelty in small doses makes it effective!
- Good acting.
- Never turns into a horror movie.
- The scene where he talks to the old lady in the end was heartbreaking.

Negative things:
- Definitely flawed in places, but it's a movie. What do you expect? Sometimes I have to play nice.
- The young girl.
- Certain expectations made me enjoy it slightly less, but still plenty!

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 0.5/5
Story: 3.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 0/5

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