Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró sent serious shockwaves through the international horror community in 2007 with their high-rise horror REC. Almost overnight, the duo became genre film celebrities. In 2009, their team returned to the now famous apartment building for the equally pulse-pounding REC 2. Still fast friends, the duo split this year to pursue their own projects. Paco Plaza is directing REC 3, an origin story, while Jaume Baleguero completed his solo feature debut, Sleep Tight, a markedly different slow-building pot-boiler.
Cesar (Malamadre from the kick-ass CELL 211) works as a doorman in a Barcelona residential complex (these filmmakers clearly have something of a fetish for the vertical shaft Barcelona apartment building). Observing his daily routine, you can see that Cesar is not a particularly happy man. Life is dull and repetitive and offers no real hope for him to break out of his daily grind.
However, he does seem to have one daily highlight; a small ray of sunshine in the form of one resident Clara. He always has her morning newspaper ready, takes care of her small household maintenance and is met by her bright smile as she passes by at the beginning and end of each day.
We gradually recognize a sinister side to Cesar. Perhaps his appreciation of Clara borders on unhealthy, dark obsession. As his behavior descends, other residents begin to suspect that something may not be quite right. Cesar must do whatever must be done to keep his plans intact.
In Sleep Tight, Balagueró has crafted a masterful Hitchcockian thriller with notes of delicious black humor. This is the work of a mature storyteller, and I look forward to every yarn he ever wants to spin.
- Posted: September 01, 2011
- Director: Jaume Balagueró
- Writer: Alberto Marini
- Studio: Independent
- Release: September 22, 2011
- Cast: Luis Tosar, Marta Etura
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