The Sleeper: The most unintentionally accurately named film I have ever seen

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80’s Nostalgia is at an all time high in the horror genre. Countless throwback titles are being released, and original gems are being re-released. The going trend amongst the new entries seems to be highlighting the cheesy and fun elements as well as the low budget chicanery. Now, I’m a huge fan of that brand of silliness, and hope to see more and more. The sleeper takes a different route. The proverbial tongue is kept as far from cheek as possible. The tone is intentionally dark, yet manages to be “unintentionally silly” under the guise of being serious. The plot is formulaic, and after the first 5 minutes of the movie, you pretty much have the remaining 85 figured out. Where I really had fun was in picking out the various influences of other slasher films. I saw elements of Prom Night, Black XMas, Slumber Party Massacre, and Halloween. It’s like a game of Where’s Waldo! This stands as an example of a spot on 80’s homage. The tone, pacing, setting, and special FX all feel authentic. Having said that, I know that some people will hate this film for those same reasons. The whole production looks very low budget, the gore fx are very spirited, but poorly executed, the score is monotonous and at times annoying. Whether these were done intentionally or out of necessity, it doesn’t matter. I loved it, but I can see why others wont. My date criticized the absolute shit out of this movie, and even fell asleep while watching it (the inspiration for the title to this entry). Ultimately, I see this as being a very dividing film, some will hate it, I’ve already made a drinking game out of it. I look forward to any future works directed by Justin Russel, as this has certainly put him on my radar.

6/10 Killer Clawhammers (Would have been higher, but then i saw the weird New Wave line-dancing scene. For serious. It’s bizarre)

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