Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chasing Sleep (2000) - Review

This movie is like a horrible horrible nightmare. Throughout the entire runtime, everything seems...off. Even the seemingly mundane things like water running and pill-popping. The stellar direction in this movie exaggerates everything very slightly; enough to where you notice it, but not enough to fully grasp what is going on. The key word is subtlety, and this movie (with the exception of a couple over the top delusions) has that in spades.

The movie stars Jeff Daniels as Ed Saxon, an obvious insomniac who wakes up early one morning to realize his wife is missing. Jeff Daniels give a great performance, and it's easy to feel for him, as he can play the down-on-his-luck everyman like nobody's business. And there is nary a scene without him, so is really the driving force that makes the film work. But the supporting cast is great too, most of of them exaggerated ever so slightly to give that David Lynchian dreamlike feel.

The plot moves at a decent pace, considering the whole movie basically takes place in Ed's house, and it changes things up enough to keep things intriguing. To be honest, the story is a bit predictable, but it's really more of the tension and atmosphere that makes the film work, with help from Jeff's sublime performance of course. The only problem with the movie is sort of a lack of resolve. It's left on a bit of an ambiguous note, but a little more finality would have helped the ending, in this case.

This is a very suspenseful and psychologically disturbing movie with a couple of really legitimately creepy scenes. But the thing that holds it together is the uneasy tone of the film, and that isn't something that is easy to accomplish. If you're a fan of psychological thrillers or Jeff Daniels, then I say definitely give it a go.

No comments: