Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Sleeper (2012) Pre-Release Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written and Directed By Justin Russell

A Gamma Knife Films Production



Brittany Belland as Amy
Tiffany Arnold as Rebecca
Riana Ballo as Stacey
John Bloom as Dr. Briggs
Jessica Cameron as Cindy
Jason Jay Crabtree as The Sleeper

Certificate 18


It's 1981 and the girls of Alpha Gamma Theta sorority are putting on a bash. As the new pledges arrive, so does an uninvited guest - "The Sleeper" - and he's watching them from the shadows.

The girls shower, revise, eat and sleep and all the while the lunatic killer studies their every move. Then they begin receiving creepy phone calls from the madman, always stating which of the girls will be the next to be "put to sleep".

The girls are hunted down one by one by the mysterious foggy eyed killer, using his preferred weapon of choice..... a claw hammer.


I am a gigantic slasher movie fan, especially of the ones released in the late 70's and early 80's.  Give me a good old fashioned 'stalk and slash' movie over some of the bland horror movies of today anytime.

That's why this release from Safecracker Pictures really interested me.  Made in 2012 on a rather low budget, this movie is Justin Russell's love letter to the 80's slasher movies that we grew up watching.

Well, let's get one thing straight about this movie shall we?  The budget is mega low but do you know what?  Justin Russell really makes good use of the budget, giving us gore hounds some interesting kills and gore effects.  It's true that they might not be as flashy as the kills in today's movies but that's kind of the point of the movie being a homage to the 80's slasher flicks.  To say that the kills wouldn't look out of place in one of those movies might sound insulting but it's meant in a good way.

The general look of the movie feels grimy and old but that's where one of the problems appears.  The opening of the movie looks like an old, well watching 80's movie with the sort of flaws and flickers that we've all seen before yet when the movie kicks off for real, it seems more like an early 90's movie looks wise.  I'm going to assume that was maybe down to the budget  but at the same time it's a bit of shame because it gave a glimpse of what the movie really could have looked like had the budget been slightly higher.  Think of it as seeing the cake that you really want to just dive on and stuff in your mouth yet you can't get to it.

Cast wise, there isn't really anyone that really jumps out for me other than the performance by Jessica Cameron, whose character I would have loved to see more of a back story for,  but at the same time, there's nobody that is awful either.  While they won't win any Academy Awards for their performances, they portray their characters in a way that makes you think that they know exactly what their purpose in the movie is.  Some of the characters are just gore fodder for the maniac and others push the plot along at a nice pace.

One of the things that I didn't really get was the killers foggy eyes and his motivation for killing.  The second one doesn't really bother me that much as legendary characters such as Michael Myers etc didn't have all that much motivation and a lot of the killers in these types of movies didn't really have motives either.  They just did it because they wanted to.  The eye thing bugged me because of the fact that it seemed like it was meant to be an important plot device yet didn't really go anywhere.

Overall this is most definitely one for the slasher movie fan.  Not the ones of today however.  The slasher movies of the 80's.  If you are a fan of those then you will get a kick out of this movie so pick it up and stick it in the DVD player, sit down and pretend you are back in the era of Jason Vorhees, big phones and rolled up jacket sleeves.

Movie 3.5/5

'The Sleeper' is available to buy from 17th June 2013

The Sleeper (2012) on IMDb

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