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Fantastic Fest 23’ “Sleep” - movie review

"SLEEP: A Sinister Twist on Marriage and Trust in South Korean Cinema"

Sleepwalking is a familiar concept, often portrayed as a quirky and harmless phenomenon. However, what if sleepwalking concealed something far more sinister, something supernatural? Enter "SLEEP," a smart and cunning South Korean film directed by Jason Yu, which delves deep into the complexities of marriage and loyalty. In this gripping narrative, the film challenges the very foundation of marital relationships, making you question the eerie possibilities of sleepwalking.

In "SLEEP" (also known as "JAM" in its original title), we are introduced to a young couple on the cusp of welcoming their first child into the world. Much like any expectant parents, they are making the final adjustments to their lives. However, their idyllic world takes a chilling turn when the husband, Hyun-su, begins to experience sleepwalking episodes that are far from amusing. While the film does offer its fair share of laughter, it skillfully delves into the intricacies of their bond.

For Soo-Jin, the wife, juggling the responsibilities of impending motherhood and her husband's alarming nocturnal activities becomes a terrifying ordeal. "SLEEP" deftly explores the theme of trust within relationships, emphasizing the rarity of unconditional love in today's world. It challenges the notion that in a marriage, sacrifices must be made, even if one's own safety is at stake. The unbreakable bond between the couple in the face of adversity is reminiscent of the iconic family in "POLTERGEIST."

Jason Yu's "SLEEP" is not merely a cinematic experience; it's a profound social commentary. With a masterful touch, the film seamlessly blends elements of suspense and the supernatural, offering a fresh perspective on the notion of sleepwalking. Our rating of 3.5/5 at HMU is a testament to the film's ability to captivate and engage its audience. "SLEEP" is undoubtedly a South Korean gem that should not be missed. Keep an eye out for this compelling title, as it promises to be a noteworthy addition to the South Korean cinematic landscape.


SLEEP is directed by Jason Yu and stars Lee Sun-kyun and Jung Yu-mi

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