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Blu-ray Review: Sleep Tight

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Another terrific post-Christmas gift comes our way from our friends at Dark Sky Pictures, who sent out a copy of “Sleep Tight” for us to review. While some may not get the same kind of visceral thrills as they would from others in the line, “Sleep Tight” will prove to be no slouch in suspense when it makes its appearance January 8.

“Sleep Tight” follows Barcelona apartment doorman Cesar, a man with a bizarre secret. Cesar’s one true joy in life isn’t chess or needlepoint or chocolate or anything else that might commonly be considered a true joy in life. No, Cesar’s true joy in life is making other people suffer. The happy are a target to Cesar, and Cesar’s out to make a lot of people’s lives very unpleasant. But one in particular draws his attention: Clara. Cesar is going to use every trick in the book to make Clara’s life a living hell, and his obsession will only get darker and more disastrous as time goes along. Clara, meanwhile, may not survive.

What’s important to note about “Sleep Tight” is that it comes from director Jaume Balaguero, a name you might recognize  from such delightfully high-tension horror as “Rec” and “Rec 2″, as well as “Darkness” and Fangoria FrightFest delight “Fragile”. That’s a pedigree to conjure with, but the question which inevitably follows is “can this one follow up on the previous?”. The answer here is, unequivocally, yes.

Fair warning, “Sleep Tight” has a Spanish-only soundtrack, and there’s no way to change that. But as for the movie itself, it’s kind of a shame. I found myself feeling bad for Cesar. They set him up in the first few minutes as an honestly nice if somewhat put-upon guy. But then he turns into this wackadoo for little in the way of reason. I suppose that he’s being ridden sufficiently hard is part of it–his boss is an utter tool and what is I’m guessing a 12 year old is running a blackmail ring on him–but it’s still a little odd.

But moreover, there’s a lot of sound suspense in here. There’s this absolutely breathtaking sequence not an hour in that goes on for the better part of ten minutes, and features a lot of hidden cat-and-mouse action but some great surprises involved to boot. It is some absolutely thrilling work, and suspense buffs should have plenty of cause to stand up and cheer.

Overall, it may have a few things in common with some earlier releases–personally, I spotted a lot of one of Hammer Films’ newest launches in here, “The Resident”–but it still does a great job. There’s a fantastic ending here too that does wonderfully in wrapping the whole thing up, and all around, great performances make this whole enterprise sparkle.

Extra features on this one are oddly limited, which is particularly strange for a Blu-ray release. Naturally, you’ll get your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, but you’ll also get access to a featurette called “Sleep Tight: Cesar’s World”, as well as a set of deleted scenes and trailers for “The Innkeepers”, “My Sucky Teen Romance”, “Hypothermia”, and “Sleep Tight”.

“Sleep Tight” is delightful suspense, packed with powerful suspense and the occasional dollop of humor of the darker variety to make it all complete. It’s a package that few horror, suspense or thriller buffs will want to pass up, and one to make you want to keep the light on at night.

 

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