Mila (Polina Davydova) has found herself well and truly in some dire fuckin’ straits; she’s been abducted and placed inside a cell, she’s tortured physically and mentally on the regular, and most importantly, denied sleep.
When she is allowed a rest period she gets a happy helmet slapped on her noggin which gives her a virtual reality dose of pure nightmare fuel… and all of the above is live streamed to a gaggle of internet trolls that lap it up with a spoon!
All of this has to do with the group who abducted our heroine’s plans for some of that good ol’ assassination biz, but what part will Mila play in this, and can she be rescued before she completely succumbs to madness?!!
Director Pavel Khvaleev (working from a screenplay courtesy of Aleksandra Khvaleeva) manages to make Sleepless Beauty a cut above most torture porn fright flicks. For one thing; this is more psychological torture than physical, so those expecting to see globs of gore tossed around you ain’t gettin’ that here.
What you do get is a tight paced thriller with a sympathetic lead (well played by Davydova), and it’s presented in a slick style that holds the viewer’s interest, which is only accentuated by the addition of assassins, online sadism, and best of all some truly amazing fever-dream imagery that combines Jan Svankmajer style stop-motion with the aesthetic of H.R. Giger.
To put a beastly bow on it; Sleepless Beauty is a fine slice of psychological thriller with a dollop of torture porn on top… but the film becomes special thanks to it’s psychotronic imagery.