Sleepless Beauty tells a twisted story about a young woman, Mila, who is kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as Recreation. Her unknown abductors talk to her through a loudspeaker and set strict rules: she cannot sleep and has to fulfill bizarre and violent tasks if she hopes to stay alive. At first, it looks like someone’s sick idea of entertainment but as the demands become more intense, Mila begins to realize that she is losing control of her own mind and instead, may be a pawn in a twisted and deadly psychological experiment.
What We Thought:
Sleepless Beauty reminded me of the days of “torture porn”, films like Saw and Hostel that brought extreme violence to the horror genre. This film is about the daughter of a big wig Russian who is kidnapped and kept awake while people watch online. She’s tortured, forced to perform tasks, uses VR to warp her mind and can’t sleep.
Most of the movie takes place in the warehouse/basement type area where she is held. She is forced to dig through human waste, kill one person to save others and just has a full on mental breakdown. The lead actress playing Mila is very good and holds your attention throughout.
The ending has a nice twist to it. I won’t spoil it, but I did guess where it was heading. It’s a great concept that separates it from other splatter horror films though. The filmmaker was clearly a fan of the early 2000s films and by adding the plot twist, brings something new and original to the table. The woman’s torture seems like it’s just playing for the audience watching it online, but at the end actually serves a purpose and means something to the film.
Sleepless Beauty is a foreign film that won’t find a mainstream audience in the US. It could gain a bit of a cult following, but unfortunately most people won’t know of its existence. The twist in the end really adds something to the movie and gets a lot of originality points from me. It has a cool style and it feels very claustrophobic when you’re watching her being tortured. I dug it.