Title: In My Sleep
Directed By: Allen Wolf
Starring: Philip Winchester, Tim Draxl, Lacey Chabert, Abigail Spencer, Kelly Overton, Amy Aquino
When I was a kid, I occasionally went to sleep on the lower section of my bunk bed, but woke up on the top. Yes, I was a sleepwalker. Sometimes I’d get a good giggle out of my nighttime expeditions, but climbing the ladder to the top bunk was a little on the risky side. It sounds crazy, but sleepwalking can be a very dangerous habit. This notion is more true than ever in In My Sleep, not because the main character would do just about anything from drive his car to sleep with women mid-slumber, but because the movie itself is so poorly made, it can do some major damage and be a tragic waste of your personal time.
Marcus (Philip Winchester) is a sleepwalker, but not the kind that just gets up and flushes the toilet or raids the fridge; Marcus suspects he’s killed someone in his sleep. He knows he’d never commit such an atrocity while conscious, but all the evidence points to him. He has a history of roaming the night unknowingly, he has a tendency to wake up in a local cemetery and, to top it all off, one morning he awakes covered in blood with a knife in his hand.
Desperate to uncover the truth, Marcus does anything and everything necessary to figure out what he’s busy doing during his nocturnal strolls. He’s even recruited his neighbor, Becky (Lacey Chabert), to handcuff him to his bed on a nightly basis to ensure he doesn’t do anything else he’ll regret. As his digs deeper and deeper into the situation, he realizes his problem is far more serious than he originally thought.
Sleepwalking is a fascinating concept. If someone is capable of simply walking the halls in his or her sleep, why not pick up a kitchen knife and do the unthinkable? Writer-director Allen Wolf is well aware of the massive amounts of scenarios he can explore, but unfortunately gets quite carried away and unintentionally makes this nerve-wracking concept pretty funny.
The film’s weakness is there from the onset. There’s little to no character development before you’re fully engulfed in Marcus’ investigation. The audience’s relationship with Marcus is similar to the ones he shares with his one-night stands; he seems like a nice guy, but do you really know him? Of course not. From there you’re carried away by twists and turns thrown in with good intentions, but incapable of achieving the planned effect.
However, if a legitimate connection had been established to the characters, the film would have faired much worse because they’re all flat out lame. Between terrible dialogue and poor performances, each role festers into a ridiculous and uninteresting individual. Winchester gets credit for trying the hardest, but there’s just not much there for him to work with. Becky is the most unique of the bunch, but far too underdeveloped to make any sort of impact. The worst of all is Detective Curwen (Amy Aquino). Typical police prattle is somewhat excusable, but Wolf takes the triteness of the hardass on screen detective to new levels. Detective Curwen is In My Sleep‘s comic relief and not in a good way. The sole individual that is slightly relatable is Ann (Kelly Overton) and unfortunately her role is the most minimalistic of the bunch.
In My Sleep is just a failure all around. There isn’t even a sole redeeming quality to make seeing this film even somewhat justifiable. The experience isn’t enjoyable and doesn’t leave you with anything sensible to think about in the end except how you wasted your money. Just as though you’d avoid a psychopathic sleepwalker with a knife, avoid this movie.
By Perri Nemiroff