SLEEP NO MORE will make you think twice about that next all-nighter. Director Phillip Guzman and writer Jason Murphy put together a great horror flick here. One of the creators of Final Destination, Jeffery Reddick, worked as an executive producer too (fun fact).
This 90-minute film, also known by the title 200 HOURS, tells the tale of a group of college scientists experimenting with a drug called Cognifan, which is supposed to keep the user awake. The team’s research led them to believe that by eliminating sleep, after 200 hours of being awake, the human body and mind will perform better than normal.
SLEEP NO MORE was somewhat lacking in the special effects department, but overall that was something you can dismiss because the story was very interesting and the movie in general was quite good. The acting was decent enough not to gripe about, and the scares, while more in the creepy variety, came in droves.
The film opens with Dr. Whatley (Yasmine Aker) interviewing test subject, Carter (Lukas Gage), who’s progress with the drug she has been monitoring. After the interview, Carter goes to his room where he sees shadowy figures and he stabs his eyes out and slits his throat with the shards of a broken cup. A very gruesome and fast start to a film; what’s not to like?
With the school-year ending and the school board threatening to shut their project down, Dr. Whatley and her student aids, Joe (Keli Price), Frannie (Brea Grant), Dale (Stephen Ellis) and Holly (Christine Dwyer), decide to stay and experiment with the Cognifan on themselves. Dr. Whatley will observe, Dale is the control and will attempt to stay awake for the 200 hours without the drug while the other three all take the Cognifan and receive regular doses to keep it in their system for the duration.
At first Joe, Holly and Frannie experience normal sleep deprivation symptoms, but soon they begin to see the same shadowy figures Carter was seeing. They all get together and draw what they saw and of course, their drawings are all similar: a shadowy figure representing something they often dream about.
Joe sees this creature manifest itself in the form of his dead mother. Frannie sees the shadow figure with a burning skull face but she also hears a dog whining because of her old pet that got hit by a car during a storm. Holly sees the shadow figure with the burnt-looking skull face as well, only she hears the constant ridicule of cheerleaders from her past.
Joe and Dale see one of the creatures sucking the dreams from Dr. Whatley while she is sleeping. We learn in this scene and another later that the creatures have been living among us all along, feeding on our dreams. The creatures are threatened by these students attempts to avoid sleep because no sleep = no dreams and no dreams = no food.
The film escalates from here with the students constantly being tormented by these creatures. People die, we learn of a scandal, and one student even attempts a self-lobotomy. This student ends up in a psych ward and that’s where the movie leaves us.
Overall, SLEEP NO MORE was really good for what it was. Very creepy and fast paced, you’ll be on the edge of your seat the whole time. I highly recommend you check this one out when it is available.
SLEEP NO MORE arrives on VOD, Digital and DVD October 2, 2018 from RLJE Films
- Nightmares Film Festival Review: I AM THE DOORWAY (2018) - October 31, 2018
- Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Review: NIGHTMARE FUEL Horror Shorts - October 17, 2018
- Movie Review: SLEEP NO MORE (2018) - September 26, 2018