February 10, 2012

The Sleeper (2012)

"This movie has some amazing posters. That being said, the posters are better than the actual movie."

Much like Ti West's House of the Devil was a throwback to 70's Horror, The Sleeper is a movie that shows some 80's Horror love, and manages to actually feel as if it could have been made way back then. Thing is, The Sleeper isn't quite as... good as HOTD. You know what, I guess it doesn't really have to be.

The Sleeper is an homage to 80's Slasher flicks you see, so understand right off the bat that it's not supposed to be good. That's not me excusing the film for it's shortcomings, but lets be honest, a lot of 80's Slasher flicks sucked. Every one of them seemed to have the same plot and interchangeable actors, didn't they? Bad acting, low budgets, plots and twists that didn't always make much sense... we loved them, and we still do, but they are what they are.

You know you remember this girl from tons of 80's Slashers. She wasn't in any, but she was. Think about it.
The Sleeper does its best to pull off that grainy 80's vibe. It's more than a casual rip-off of Black Christmas if were being honest (which was a 70's film, btw), but it definitely has more of an 80's Slasher sensibility about it.

A bunch of slutty Coeds are being menaced by disturbing phone calls, and one by one they begin to disappear, falling victim to the maniac who... well, I guess the maniac who is making the phone calls.

Towards the end, I honestly expected the lead detective on the case to say "The calls are coming from inside the house!" or to find that the bodies of the missing girls were all stashed in the attic. None of that ever happened though, which is good, because as a "homage" to Black Christmas, this movie doesn't measure up. I mean, where is Agnes? You know?

Yep, lookin' at a phone. Rotary and all.
It does, however, give us some pretty bloody and fun kill scenes, some nudity and sex (although we felt there was some lesbian tension between two of the girls, and nothing ever came of it), and a few good old-fashioned Slasher style stalking scenes. There's also a really long (and mostly horrible) dance scene in the middle of the movie, that made us want to punch our TV. I guess the main issue that kept this movie from being really good was while those involved did an admirable job of showing their 80's genre love, they forgot to add in some serious tension and atmosphere for good measure.

There's a scene involving a two girls playing basketball together in a gym that was equally as baffling. It's almost as if this throwback was too self aware, and scenes like that winked a bit too long at us in an attempt to let us know that they knew that we knew they were clever. Trimming some of that type of fat from The Sleeper would have made it a better flick, pace and atmosphere wise. It was the little things like that which ended up taking us out of "the moment."

At least she paid with her life for wearing those knee-high tube socks. That's something I guess.
The Sleeper has its share of issues, there's no disputing that, but for what it is and what it tries to do, it's a decent little flick. It's not a polished throwback flick like House of the Devil is, but it still manages to capture some of that 80's Slasher magic, bad parts included. You could do worse than giving this one a spin, but then again you could do better. It's definitely a middle of the road type of flick.


There were some cuties in The Sleeper. That's really all I've got. A couple of cuties.

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