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This Spanish import is a quirky tale of a bad, bad man doing bad, bad things....
MPI / 102 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: January 8, 2013
Cesar (Luis Tosar) is a man who can't find happiness. When we meet the protagonist of the pitch-black Sleep Tight, he is perched on a rooftop in classic jumper form, but he doesn't do the deed - instead, we learn that this poor chump is resigned to living a soulless, empty life, one devoid of happiness in any way. This scenario likely plays out everywhere in the world around the clock, but Sleep Tight is different: if Cesar is going down, he's taking everyone with him.
I suppose it's fair to refer to Cesar as a sadist, but that moniker feels like the tip of a deeper, more heinous iceberg. This is a guy who takes pleasure in killing plants, in purposely feeding animals food that will make them sick - he'll pretty much do anything as long as it will bring bad things to another living entity. But once he meets the beautiful Clara (Marta Etura), a new wrinkle emerges.
As Sleep Tight turns into its major thoroughfare, Cesar goes to alarming lengths to break Clara's apparently beaming sensibility. Cesar is maniacal in his desire to bring this beauty down to his level, and he'll stop at nothing to do so. Is this love? Ick - no comment. But there is a certain argument to be made that Sleep Tight is a kind of romance as viewed through a Saw kaleidoscope. Cesar clearly has a connection with this woman, but the way he appropriates this is grotesque and woefully misguided. Unfortunately, the same terms can be used to qualify Sleep Tight as a movie: it's a unique love/hate story, but it's often quite difficult to watch.