You might not know Spanish director Jaume Balaguero’s name, but surely you know his movie [Rec], a found-footage zombie movie. If “found-footage zombie movie” was a genre, [Rec] would easily be the best. But since it’s not really a genre, [Rec] is instead just a fantastic zombie movie.
[Rec] was co-directed by Balaguero and Paco Plaza. Plaza went on to do the ridiculous and not very effective [Rec] 3. Balaguero, on the other hand, has revisited the location and intimacy of [Rec] with a movie called Sleep Tight, set in an apartment building in Spain where something is going horribly wrong. The genius of Sleep Tight is how it unfolds the something going wrong, and how it puts the audience on the side of the monster instead of the victim. If this works, it is almost entirely because of an actor named Luis Tosar who plays the apartment building’s blandly brooding concierge. Sleep Tight isn’t so much a movie as a fascinating Tosar performance. Also, he has the most amazing eyebrows I’ve ever seen. You could make one heck of a fur coat out of those things.
Although Sleep Tight has some tautly directed sequences and even a few gratifying shocks, it feels inconsequential by the time it’s over. You can slot it neatly next to pretty much any movie about a psycho who does terrible things. Might I instead recommend the more memorable Montreal apartment building in Jacob Tierney’s Good Neighbors? Or just Polanski’s classic 1976 movie, The Tenant?
Sleep Tight is available now on DVD and VOD (support Qt3 by watching it here).