His only joy in life is waking up next to the beautiful, young Clara (Marta Etura, The Impossible). Too bad she’s not conscious of such a relationship — and quite literally. He abuses his access to apartments by hiding under her bed and waiting for her to fall asleep, whereupon he dons a surgical mask, ether-rags her into oblivion, and cuddles up.
Creeped out yet? As the title for the Spanish thriller has it, Sleep Tight.
It’s good to see that director Jaume Balagueró, one of the [REC] franchise’s handlers, boasts behind-the-camera skills that extend beyond the confining boundaries of found-footage horror. Methodically paced and tightly scripted, Sleep Tight earns the shocks it induces, and Tosar’s soft-spoken performance is a huge reason why.
The lengths his character goes to — and I’ll let you discover those on your own — in order to keep his fantasy alive are unsettling. I can’t decide if the film is creepier or less so that Tosar and Etura were a real-life couple. Either way, it’s a gripper — one that effectively exploits the illusion of security when we so willingly surrender to sweet slumber.
Dark Sky Films’ release includes Sleep Tight: Cesar’s World, a feature-length production documentary longer than the film itself. —Rod Lott