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Sleep Tight ("Mientras duermes", "Malveillance")

Canadian Premiere
  • Spain
  • 2011
  • 108 mins
  • 35mm
  • Spanish
  • English (subtitles)
WINNER: 6 Gaudí Awards including Best Director, Best Screenplay & Best Actor
Official Selection, Sitges 2011
Official Selection, Fantastic Fest 2011
Official Selection, Imagine Film Festival 2012

“A deliciously slow burn modern horror film” — Lisa Nesselson, SCREEN DAILY

“One of the most exhilarating depictions of day-to-day evil I’ve seen in a long time” — Manuel de Layet, QUIET EARTH

From one of Spanish genre cinema’s sharpest minds comes a riveting experience in discomfort and suspense that ranks among this year’s strongest offerings. César (CELL 211’s Luis Tosar) is a middle-aged doorman at a posh apartment complex. Tenants are always greeted with a smile and chitchat. Everybody loves César. If only they knew how he truly felt about them. Behind the smiles, César is a broken man with no shortage of personal issues, the worst of them being an inability to experience any sort of happiness or joy. This absence compels him to obliterate any trace of vivacity that he sees in others. Those casual chats he has with tenants? A means to learn more about them, to devise terrible ways to demolish any trace of happiness in their lives. César has a master key for every apartment in the building and he uses it regularly. Tenants could not possibly imagine what has been done in their homes, to their belongings… and to them. There is little César doesn’t know about the people in his building, and there is nothing he won’t use this information for, be it mixing dangerous chemicals into shampoo bottles or outright destroying a life.

With our North American premiere of THE NAMELESS, Fantasia was one of the first festivals in the world to showcase the genius of Barcelona filmmaker Jaume Balagueró. Years later, we held the first North American screening of [REC], the game-changing masterpiece he co-directed with Paco Plaza. As with that film, the multi-award-winning SLEEP TIGHT is set mostly within the walls of a horrifically ill-fated apartment complex. Only here, the terrors Balagueró conjures are blood-chillingly tangible, as viable as a car crash on a heavily populated road. Get set for dizzying levels of absolute dread as you encounter one of the most legitimately evil characters in the history of Spanish cinema, brought to life through a performance so vivid and frightening that it saw Tosar nominated for a Goya award (Spain’s Oscar). Evocative of a ’70s Polanski work infused with thrilling mise-en-scene and jet-black wit, SLEEP TIGHT is a phenomenal film that manages to entertain and horrify with equal velocity. Its closing minutes will haunt you forever.

— Mitch Davis