The Sleeper (2012) Movie Review
The Sleeper (2012) Movie Review
Written and Directed by Justin Russell
Starring Brittany Belland and Jessica Cameron
Reviewer: Horrorphilia Jason
The Lowdown: An indie slasher that’s a throwback to the 80′s with look and style, just without the pizazz.
I’ve made it well know I love me some 80′s films. I just love the look, style, characters, music and the charm the good movies possess. With the cool throwback poster and the claims that it was an homage to that era, I was full on-board. As far as the actual look and sound, I say they got it about 80% right. Besides on a few of the attack scenes I thought the cinematography and look was spot on. The music was also right on track with a cool synth score that fit the era perfectly. Let’s find out what it’s about before I get too deep into the negatives.
The setting is 1981 and a sorority is pledging new members. The house mother and several of the girls are getting strange messages from an anonymous caller telling them who’s going to be next. One by one the girls are being picked off by a mysterious killer with foggy eyes and a claw hammer. Will the new pledges also become victims or will the police arrive in time to stop The Sleeper?
Like I said the look, feel, and music were for the most part felt authentic, I thought the movie lacked in some of the acting and dialogue. Instead of feeling like actual 80′s characters, it felt like modern kids trying to act like 80′s characters. Maybe different clothes or more slang could have helped this out some. Hell I wish they would have went the campy route and I thought it would have served the movie much better.
Also by the synopsis you can tell the movie is highly influenced by a well known movie called Black Christmas. No it’s not exactly the same but you got a sorority and prank calls with a killer with a weird voice. I’m not even faulting it for this because most slashers don’t have an Oscar winning screenplay. What I will fault it for are for some of the gore and attack scenes. The movie did have the name famous POV shots from the killer and other slasher troupes, but most of it failed. There was plenty of opportunities for some great jump scares but none worked for me. Even at the end there is a highly telegraphed moment when The Sleeper appears ala Friday the 13th part 2, that just didn’t work. The gore was very hit or miss. A few of the kills looked good to great, but a few of the gore moments looked terrible ala a Troma flick. Which would have been ok with me, if they were going for that vibe instead of the serious slasher.
Another thing I liked is the lack of the explanation of the killer. I’m glad it wasn’t bogged down with lame flashbacks or an explanation that you didn’t care about. But how the movie ended I think maybe it’s because they plan on explaining all of this in a sequel. Not sure If I’m looking forward to a sequel unless they fix a lot of the problems that were scattered throughout this film. The bottom line slasher purists may find enough here to satisfy their thirst but I don’t think there’s enough originality and effective scares to appease the average horror fan.
P.s. – The movie features one of the worst line dances in the history of film.