Main cast: Dominic Sherwood (Zach Bradford), Charlbi Dean Kriek (Shawn Edmon), Alex Carter (Vince Marino), Drea de Matteo (Jo Marino), Alex Rocco (Mr Marino), Jill Hennessy (Cindy Bradford), Marem Hassler (Sandy Sommers), and Cary Elwes (Dr Richard Sommers)
Director: Rick Bieber
Lovebirds Zach Bradford and Shawn Edmon decide to make the leap to moving in together, and they find this perfect – and cheap! – big house that they can rent from married couple Vince and Jo Marino. However, things get weird fast when Zach start having weird and even violent dreams and hallucinations, while Vince’s father starts acting up in a crazy way too. There is the usual “OMG! Someone is probably peeking at naked old me as I shower!” stuff involving the female cast members and other dreadful fake scares. The last, fortunately, don’t come with loud clash and other eardrum-shattering sounds that horror movie people these days love to abuse.
As the movie progresses, it is soon evident that Zach may have some cray cray in him too, and perhaps, he may not be a victim like he seems to be at first. Ooh…
You know, Don’t Sleep doesn’t seem so bad on paper. The huge fatal flaws here, however, are due to botched execution. There is a potentially intriguing story buried in the mess that is director-screenwriter Rick Bieber’s script – I’m sure he’s not related to the more famous Bieber – but way too much of this movie is composed of long, meandering scenes of horror flick clichés and fake scares that don’t do anything other than to make me think I should probably waste my time on something more entertaining. The cast members are perfectly adequate in their roles, although Cary Elwes far out-acts everyone here despite having less screen time than them, so it’s the script that is the issue here.
Everything is just a hot-ass mess. One moment we have some flashback to medieval days, making me wonder whether this is some kind of reincarnation woo-woo flick, but the movie then spends the next long, dragged-out stretch being a standard “Ooh, what’s that? Jump scare!” flick, before abruptly shifting to some admittedly interesting but way too underdeveloped twist involving twisted, cray cray love that is tied to the flashback that I no longer care to remember. A lot of things feel like they are tossed in, forgotten, and then pulled out of Mr Bieber’s rear end again when he remembers their existence. Everything unravels as one long, interminable exercise in brain-numbing tedium.
Maybe in his mind there is a beautifully dark and disturbing coherent tale to be told here, but Mr Bieber really screws up big time here. Don’t Sleep is better off re-titled, with correct punctuation, as Don’t. Sleep Instead.