Often, I find that the supernatural films are the ones with the most interesting ones withing the horror genre...but sometimes- as is the case with this week's "What Movie Wednesday" winner, and interesting idea doesn't mean a captivating movie...
Paul wakes up one day, and starts to experience strange phenomena- seeing people that aren't there, and hearing things that aren't said. This would be bad enough, but after discovering that he's dead, Paul is in a race across reality to save his daughter from his boss who is looking for the money Paul stole from him...
"The Dead Sleep" is, at it's core an interesting supernatural thriller- rather than an outright horror movie. This would be a good thing, if you weren't confused for most of the film. As much as I enjoy films that make you think, this one bounced around a bit too much, and seemed to rely on plot devices to make it all mesh at the end. Two characters in particular are used as plot devices- Paul's friend Del, and a mysterious "One Eyed Girl". The former is developed somewhat and is present through most of the film while, the latter just kinda pops up, vanishes, and then pops up again when Paul needs a kick in the right direction.
In addition to the plot devices, the story suffers from some logic issues. The boss he stole from wants his money back, and to send a message to others in the company. To accomplish this, he secretly kills Paul before he can tell him where the money is, then cultivates a friendship with Paul's daughter in order to have her lead him to the money. Ummmm... Not what I would consider very effective management of his resources- since he could've just had his burly henchmen beat the daylights out of Paul. The "dreaming ghost" aspect of the story was interesting, but could lose some people.
I liked the character of Paul, and thought that Paul Armstrong fit the role physically- but found his delivery a little bland. If almost felt as if he was thinking of a grocery list while delivering his lines. Robert Fente as Del wasn't bad, though up until the end, the nature of his character is rather amiguous. Sarah Foret looked great, but unfortunately, looked too old to play the role of a 16 year old old. I thought she in her mid-twenties at least. I'm not entirely sure what to think of Tim- played by Joshua Close. He did a decent enough job, I guess- but I simply found I couldn't get into feeling menaced by the character. The one character I REALLY wanted to learn about was also the most confusing one of the lot- "The One Eyed Girl", who was played by Jacintha Charles. Even with bandages on her eye she still looked good. The problem is that you learn absolutely nothing about her... at all! She shows up, acts all mysterious, and disappears. Why is she so interested in saving Paul's daughter? How did she lose her eye? I wanted to know!
This is a rather slow paced story- as is common for thrillers. There is potential for some action, but it's not delivered properly in the form of "The Collectors" that chase spirits and bury them. There's a couple of short chases, but then that's pretty much it for them until the very end of the movie. I was a little disappointed. I wanted to see more of them menacing our hero.
There is some great camerawork though. I found the editing and camera movements to be smooth and artistic. I was quite impressed with that aspect of it.
Would I recommend "The Dead Sleep"? I would, actually- because, despite its flaws, I was actually interested in the movie- and it managed to keep my attention for the majority of the movie. I wouldn't watch it more than once, but I would certainly say it's worth a look. I'm putting it in 'The Bad".
I want to thank everyone that participated in my "What Movie Wednesday" feature. I'll be doing it again March 9th.
Big thank you to the following people who voted for "Bloody Wednesday":
- Jason H (from "We Came From the Basement");
- Matthew Little (from "The Wayward Tarheel");
- Jason Wiggins;
- Lisa "Bones";
- Jenney Deol