★★ out of ★★★★★
Russian torture horror for torture horror fans, of which yours truly is not one.
Directed by Pavel Khvaleev
I will state at the beginning of this short-if-not-very-sweet review that I have never been interested in torture horror, so readers who do have an interest in that subgenre can probably add an extra star or so to my rating. Russian feature Sleepless Beauty focuses on the psychological and physical torture — though thankfully the latter does not get as graphic as most entries in the subgenre, it still does nothing but bother me immensely — of schoolteacher Mila (Polina Daydova).
Mila is taken from her home and brought to a large warehouse-type room where she has a daily routine of torture. She is denied any sleep at all, and is made to watch virtual reality videos that are probably the most creative part of the film. All the time, a group of people watching on the internet type running commentary. Yes, there is a grand plan behind it all, but after the first couple of rough treatment scenes, I didn’t care about the end game.
The technical aspects of the film are well done, though the dubbing may take a little getting used to. Getting past the content was a chore for me, but those who enjoy the Saw and Hostel films should find Sleepless Beauty to their liking.
Sleepless Beauty, from Epic Pictures, is now available on VOD and digital. It will be available on Blu-Ray from November 17.