Michael Venus’ gorgeous nightmare SLEEP is going down on my list of films that constantly made me say, “WTF is this now?” while watching — and I mean that in the best way possible.
Marlene (Sandra Hüller) is suffering from vivid nightmares about a creepy hotel which are affecting her health. After discovering that the hotel she dreams about is real, she convinces her worried daughter Mona (Gro Swantje Kohlhof) that she’s headed to see a doctor for help but instead journeys to that hotel to see if it holds the key to what’s plaguing her. While there, Marlene suffers a vivid hallucination that leaves her unable to move or speak.
Daughter Mona rushes to her side at the hospital and decides to stay at the hotel as well in order to investigate what happened. As she uncovers more and more clues, she starts having the same nightmares her mother was happening, slipping ever closer to madness while uncovering more and more of the truth.
First off, this film is fucking BEAUTIFUL. I was in awe of every frame. Second, it’s almost impossible to describe because there are so many layers. Every time an element of the story is revealed, it’s a total surprise.
SLEEP is a delirious and delicious supernatural mystery with a creepy patriarchal cult wrapper. I enjoyed every frame, and loved seeing how the whole thing unraveled.
See SLEEP streaming On Demand as part of Fantasia International Film Festival’s online program, August 20 through September 2.