Monday, 6 February 2012

The Sleeper (2012)


Directed by Justin Russell

Written by Justin Russell

Stars: Brittany Belland, Luke Frost, Paul Moon, Tiffany Arnold, Beverly Kristy, Jessica Cameron, Riana Ballo, Ali Ferda, Jenna Fournier, Elizabeth Lane and Jason Jay Crabtree as 'The Sleeper'

Release: DVD (US) 31 January 2012, Gamma Knife Films

 Justin Russell takes horror fans back to the 1980s in style with creepy sorority girl slasher pic The Sleeper.

The Sleeper tells the simple story of a deranged madman terrorising a sorority house with horrifying phone calls before slowly taking them out, one by bloody one. So what makes this movie 'a cut above the rest'? For me it was mainly down to presentation. The film promises a film set in the 1980s, capturing the spirit of the kind of stalk and slash films that came in spades back then and for me it does just that. The soundtrack is just perfect - I actually felt like I was watching a grossly belated sequel to Black Christmas. With Black Christmas being my second favourite horror film (hey it's up against Carrie!) this was a fantastic surprise for me. The storyline being pretty much identical to Bob Clarks 1974 shocker, the atmosphere needed to be suitably creepy and again The Sleeper very much excels. Other details such as the old style telephone and the cheesy disco dance routine also give the movie an authentic old school feel.

So what's the main plot? The film features sweet natured Amy, a girl who wants to pledge to the Alpha Gamma Theta sorority, much to the disdain of her sarcastic best friend Ava. Amy has chosen the wrong time to involve her self with the girls of AGT because a heavy breathing lunatic has been planning the gruesome demise of the five main members of the house. As the maniac begins his reign of bloody terror both Amy and Ava find themselves in the firing line as well and a battle for survival soon begins. I have to say there are some very impressive gore effects as the victims begin dropping like flies. Some that stood out are a hammer to the eye, a brutal beheading and a knife to the head. The movie also has a very high body count though so expect a hell of a lot more where that came from!

I enjoyed many of the characters in the film. 'Mrs Joy', the house mother was sweet and me and the other half watched, hoping she wouldn't fall foul of the killer. I really loved the moody, broody 'Ava' and thought Brittany Belland nailed the good girl role of 'Amy'. Luke Cross' character was a great nod to the John Saxon role in Black Christmas which was another impressive feature personally for me. My favourite character was sweet at heart party girl 'Laura' and her immediate friendship (potentially more) with Ava was nice to see unfold. My only true complaint of the movie was that the fate of Laura and another main character was left unclear. Justin Russell was really kind enough to email me back about this and it turns out this was due to budget issues. This is obviously understandable for an independent film project so in this instance viewers will need to use their imaginations. Maybe a potential sequel could help to shed light on the fates of these characters, that would be really cool.

In summary,The Sleeper is a real treat for horror/slasher fans. It is low budget but manages to be well acted, well shot, and more importantly extremely entertaining. Please show your support and go and pick up a copy at the Gamma Knife Films website or Amazon - money well spent I assure! You can also hit the movie up on good old Facebook, so go take a look!

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