Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 104 minutes
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In Allen Wolf’s In My Sleep, sex addict Marcus (Philip Winchester) is dealing with the fallout of his parasomnia; a severe case of sleepwalking where the sleepwalker can do more than just walk around, and they often don’t remember anything about the evening. It is this condition that leads to Marcus one night sleeping with his best friend Justin’s (Tim Draxl) wife Ann (Kelly Overton) and, on yet another morning, waking up covered in blood.
As the film progresses, Marcus, with the aid of his neighbor Brenda (Lacey Chabert), tries to contain his sleepwalking while piecing together what may have happened over the last few evenings he was free to roam. When Ann turns up murdered, Marcus begins questioning whether he had anything to do with it, and the mystery is afoot in earnest.
In My Sleep is an entertaining enough murder mystery, and I stayed involved in the story from beginning to end, which is not always the easiest thing for a film to achieve. It’s a good-looking film too, and that goes for the cinematography as much as it does the actors in the film; I’m secure enough in my sexuality to accept that Philip Winchester is a handsome beast.
The musical score is decidedly Hitchcockian, and the plot’s convolutions follow suit, though I do think the film gets a bit too off-track at points. The subplot involving Marcus’s mother and father, for example, while I understand why it’s there and how it works with the overall narrative, I’m more interested in the murder mystery at that point and it seems like a bit of a trip down a parallel track. Again, I understand its importance, but something about it didn’t gel for me. Then again, had it been revealed or explored via exposition, perhaps I’d be calling it a cop-out, so maybe there was no win for me there.
That said, the main mystery did keep me intrigued, and I mostly enjoyed the film’s pacing. The film does seem to keep you at arm’s length though, and it’s sometimes hard to penetrate into the experience as much as just watch it flatly unfold before you. An odd criticism to be sure, but maybe the fact that it, and everyone in it, looks so good that it takes away from the ugliness of a murder mystery. Even the bloody moments are a bit too crisp and clean.
Again, though, I found In My Sleep to be an enjoyable mystery at best and, at worst, a more than competent film. At times it can be a bit lacking in flavor, but overall I don’t think it’s all that bad. It’s just one of those films that sits in the middle.
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Posted on June 24, 2012 in Reviews by Mark Bell
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