Director, Jaume Balagueró, sucker punched me with his sleeper horror-thriller, Sleep Tight. The film showed up in my Netflix top picks list, so I gave the rather non-nondescript film a chance. Somewhere towards the end of the first act, the film had me curious and strangely vested in concierge César (Luis Tosar), and his apartment building tenant, Clara (Marta Etura). It’s probably safe to say I watched most of the second and third acts with my mouth open. People like myself watch and review a lot of films, and other cinephiles would quickly agree that finding a gem in the mire is a great feeling, even serendipitous on occasion. Sleep Tight reminded me why I love expertly crafted films.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so I won’t mention many details of the film. Sleep Tight works for many reasons, but the underlying theme of having your privacy invaded without knowing gnawed at my stomach the well after the film was over. You never really know people in settings like this, and that false sense of safety adds a primal fear to an already dark and sadistic plot. I probably wouldn’t recommend this to casual movie watchers since the story is upsetting to say the least. I have very thick horror skin and I openly admit I cringed and dropped my jaw several times.
Sleep Tight got under my skin, no easy task, and they did if deftly, never relying on heavy-handed writing or Saw-esque imagery. César and Clara’s intersecting lives merge in one of the most shocking reveals in recent horror movie history. I was leaning forward on my couch saying “No way…” when the film ended. Bravo to the writer, director, and cast for giving us such a richly complex and personal glimpse of sadism, anger, and evil. This is on Netflix now and must be seen. I hope I’m able to get this out of my head before bedtime.