In a world where sleep hours in adults is at an all time low, few realize the dire implications of lack of rest. While films for years have terrorized us to stay awake from Freddy to sleep paralysis features. Horror has had a long history with the deprivation of slumber. In Pavel Khvaleev SLEEPLESS BEAUTY we find a young woman held beyond her will and forced to stay awake in some crude and morbidity disturbing experiment. Warped and heinous SLEEPLESS BEAUTY will leave viewers questioning their own realities upon viewing.
Mix in a part of THE CELL with a weird BBC television show intro and that may lead you to an idea of the visuals in BEAUTY. Polina Davydova gives a truly rewarding performance as Mila and the "nothingness" of the captors outside of the masked figure is a strong suggestion in the film. Instantly upon watching the film I envisioned my feminist friends screaming for me to turn off yet another torture porn movie and to some extent they are right. While the violence in the film is more cerebral as it moves along you can't deny the harsh and cruel punishment to Mila. A martyr if you may , to get to a resounding point, but will it hit the audience as intended? Yes, I can see the underlying brilliance in the film but I think there are moments that may be to far fetched and leave the viewers with a bad taste in their mouths.
Overall SLEEPLESS BEAUTY works for being morbid, weird, hostile and filled with disarray. It may lean off the edge of great visual art but even for genre fans they may only see this as a HOSTEL meets a weird film with head games. SLEEPLESS BEAUTY is much more than that and when given the understanding of how things play out at the end you can see where it succeeds. It just may be a little too smart and different for the casual viewer.
Directed by: Pavel Khvaleev
Starring: Polina Davydova