Friday, July 10, 2015

The Sleeper (2012)

After Death Stop Holocaust (2009), The Sleeper turned out to be another Justin Russell movie to absolutely adore. It's sickeningly underrated at IMDB with a 4,0 and deserves much more praise than what it's getting.

It's 1981 and the girls of Alpha Gamma Theta sorority are having a party. As the new pledges arrive, so does an uninvited guest. Little do the sisters know someone is watching them in the shadows. As the girls shower, study, eat and sleep the stalker studies the girls. One by one he finds the girls at their most vulnerable and murders them. The police hunt for the missing girls and their killer, but will they find them in time? Or will the girls be forced to fight for their lives...

Russell chooses to set the film in the 80's this time, which creates a fun atmosphere. The old phones etc. are all vintage as hell, but the most 80's-esque scene is the disco scene, which seemed completely out-of-place and therefore is absolutely brilliant. It won't be a surprise for you that Russell also goes back to the 80's, the golden era of slasher movies, in terms of movie type. There is a dark killer out there who's slicing and dicing his way through various hot girls. Cliché's aren't backed away from, but if you do it in such a cool way as Russell does I don't care how many cliché's you put in your movie. The gore isn't next level or anything like that but still does the job. The kills are definitely fun to watch and the effects are cheesy (in the good way of course). The buil-up to kills is pretty well done as well. I love when a director manages to squeeze in that half a second shot of the shining blade of a knife before it strikes its victim.

The atmosphere in The Sleeper is simply amazing. Visually it's mostly great (especially for a movie with a small budget of 30,000 dollars). Don't expect Argento kind of shots but the movie does breathe that typical 80's slasher vibe. The acting is pretty decent, apart from 1 or 2 actors. Russell even manages to get 1 or 2 girls to go nude in front of the camera, and lets be honest: what's a slasher movie without a set of tits or two...?

Unfortunately the movie does have a few flaws (then again, what would you expect from a movie of this budget range?). Take the soundtrack for example. It's a great piece of work, supposedly done by a band called Gremlin (Goblin ode, anyone??). The thing is that the music is used in scenes that don't need that music. Simple visits to a bar for example are supported by scary, spooky music. Another thing is that the music seems to be a tad too loud, making it hard sometimes to hear the dialogue.

Overall The Sleeper is another magnificent horror movie from Justin Russell. Lets hope his next project (The Sleeper 2??!) isn't too far away. Cool gore, cool killer and an awesome 80's vibe. It's classic fun, like these types of movies are supposed to be.

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