Plot: A young woman is plagued by nightmares, violent dreams in which she stands before a mirror and slices her own throat. She is coping with numerous issues, but thinks the nightmares could be due to mixing her medications and alcohol. This could be the problem, but deep down, she is doubtful. Meanwhile, she also has intense flashbacks to her life before a horrific accident, an event that shattered her life and has left her in this broken, fragile state. She also begins to sense a strange presence around her, not to mention some unexplained things that seem to be happening. But is her mind unraveling or is there a darker force at work?
Entertainment Value: I like the premise here, with a broken, self medicating woman trying to cope with severe loss, while things seem to unravel around her. A mixture of a psychological, character driven piece and supernatural horror, The Sleeping Soul is a solid watch. Despite being just under an hour in duration, it wastes little time and packs in a full size narrative. The pace is effective and brisk, without rushing through the plot points. The way the story unfolds is well crafted, giving us just enough as we progress to make us want that little bit more. A lot of the film rests on the shoulders of lead Ayse Howard, who is more than up to the task. She gives a terrific performance that conveys the sense of being lost and emotionally burdened. I was impressed by her work here and will seek out her other projects, I’m sure. I found The Sleeping Soul to be a well made, worthwhile movie on all fronts. I do wish it were longer, if only to allow Howard more screen time, but it does a lot with the short duration. If you’re a fan of indie horror or hot goth girls, give this one a look.
On the nakedness front, Howard is nude in a couple of scenes. She has a shower scene and bath scene, both times topless and in one almost showing full frontal, but ever so cleverly keeping it hidden. Still, two solid nude scenes from a beautiful woman, so fans have to appreciate that. Not much blood, with a little in a scene with a car accident and one nice looking throat slit. This is more psychological than visceral, so the lack of blood is never a concern. The dialogue is minimal and well written, but our lead never reaches levels of insanity to produce outlandish lines. The tone is dark and serious, so there’s no camp or even dark humor. So solid writing, but it doesn’t give us that outrageous or over the top stuff we love. While I liked the movie, it doesn’t put much craziness on the screen, so the insanity score is low here. Not a real drawback given the serious tone, so no real worries there, either. But I did award one point for the sheer awesomeness of a soaped up goth girl in the shower.
Overall Insanity: 1/10