3 June 2004 | Coventry
The Giallo-master is back! And how!!!
YES!! Dario Argento returns with the type of film that is worshiped by a select share of real horror fans. An authentic, old-fashioned Giallo! Sleepless is a solid and ultra-violent serial killer mystery with unique plot-twists and a huge amount of ingeniousness. The beautiful city of Turin is the setting of a bizarre series of murders. These killings seem to follow the modus operandi of a serial killer that was active in the same neighborhood 17 years earlier as well. The former commissioner Moretti has to dig deep in his memory and files to go after him again. He can't count on any help by the new' police department and finds assistance in the now adolescent son of the killer's first victim. The pattern seems to include a nursery rime and the always-returning image of a dwarf
After a rather disappointing 90's decade with inferior films like `Phantom of the Opera' and `The Stendal Syndrome', Dario Argento now delivers his purest film since the brilliant `Opera', dated 1987. The tension is terrifically built up and the clues to solve the mystery are slowly being revealed
one by one. Sleepless is provided with a downright fantastic soundtrack by the cult-band `Goblin' and the nursery rime (which forms the pivot element throughout the whole film) literally chills the blood. As usual in this type of films, the acting isn't very good. Veteran actor Max Von Sydow more or less does a good job, but the English dubbing regretfully is dramatic. But hey, that's not Argento's fault so why criticize him? Another often heard remark is the explicit violence in Sleepless. True, several sequences are sadistically gross with heads getting smashed against a wall and a real nasty death caused by a musical instrument. If you can't stand violence, it's your loss
you don't know what you're missing. Sleepless is a film that raises new hope for the Italian horror industry and it easily ranks in the top 10 of best horror films since the new Millennium.