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February 2, 2013

Movie Review: Sleep Tight (2011, DVD)

Sleep Tight is the latest film from Jaume Balagueró who cut his teeth on Spanish horror cinema co-directing both Rec and the far superior Rec 2. Jaume was obviously smart enough not to return to direct the disappointment that was Rec 3, leaving the lesser talented Paco Plaza to go down with the ship on that one. Luckily Jaume will be returning to direct the final Rec 4: Apocalypse.

Jaume has actually been around in the Spanish horror scene long before Rec. Having directed the underrated chiller “The Darkness” with Anna Paquin, Nameless and Fragile (one of the few effective PG-13 horror films). But this time around Jaume isn't tackling supernatural ghosts or demon zombies, this time around for this taught thriller “Sleep Tight”. Jaume takes the horror into a place that hits home (Literally.)

César (Luis Tosar) is a miserable person who gets off on making everyone around him miserable. He's a sociopath with a capital S and he just so happens to be concierge at an upper-crust apartment complex. The people he enjoys making miserable? The unlucky residents of said apartments.

Things get interesting when César sets his sights on the lovely and upbeat Clara (Marta Etura). On a side note, if you haven't seen it check out Marta Etura's drama “Dark Blue Almost Black” this dame can fucking act yo!

Now back to the film at hand, César and Clara are the polar opposites. While César is a bastard by nature Clara is always living life with a healthy attitude. This is what really gets César's goat. His initial attempts to ruin Clara fail miserably. From that point on he goes from a rather harmless S.O.B. To a real threat. To say anymore would ruin the film. 

This is an OUTSTANDING thriller on all fronts because it's not your typical thriller at all. We all know people similar to César, the types who get enjoyment at making others lives miserable. Online is filled with these sad fucks who like starting fights and trolling around for kicks. But imagine if one of those sickos worked at your apartment and or lived down the street from you and they started targeting you. Thing's would get creepy fast.

That's one of the things that really makes this film effective, you can see this happening in real life. There is nothing supernatural about this film, no ghosts or monsters or four legged beasties. The film isn't even that gory with only really one scene of violence but it hits hard... it hits harder then Joe Peschi with a baseball bat! This film has a huge creep factor to it, it never lets you get to comfortable. Something is always amiss and the films tension builds wonderfully to a twisted climax.

The DVD release from the great folks over at Dark Sky Films looks terrific. Luckily for us Sleep Tight was actually shot on 35MM which will always be superior to digital. The amazing cinematography really shows in this transfer. My only beef?

As other reviewers have noted, the black levels are way off, I've heard the Blu-ray has the same problem. It's definitely a mastering problem as others have said. The widescreen bars aren't even pure black, they are nearly grey. It doesn't take away from the film too much but it is distracting at first. 

The Spanish 5.1 audio track on the other hand is perfect, no complaints what-so-ever.

Like most Dark Sky releases this packed with extras. Mainly the hour and forty seven minute long making of feature. As a film fan and a DVD/Blu-ray lover it is so refreshing to see studios still making feature length making ofs and this is a good one. All aspects of production are covered.

The deleted scenes are actually worth your time and they further expand upon the lives of the other residents in the building.

Lastly we get the films trailer which is awesome because so few releases these days actually include the films trailer. Also you can expect some pretty cool trailers for other Dark Sky releases before the film loads.

This is one of the best Spanish Thrillers I've seen in years. It hits all the right cords and probably will stick with you when your done watching. Expect maybe a sleepless night when your done watching this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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