A boy having trouble sleeping, fearing that there’s something evil lurking in his room. A disbelieving father. It’s been the subject of many a short film such as Craig Fisher’s You’ve Been Bad and A Christmas Nightmare. It’s probably been the subject of even more scenes in feature films. And that’s where writer/director Lewis Taylor starts his eight-minute short Sleep Tight. The only difference being Josh (Joseph Richard Thomas) is a bit older than the usual child we see in films like this. And he needs a wheelchair to get around. Jumping out of bed and running isn’t an option.
The dialogue between Josh and his father (Mark Field, Fortitude) is familiar. Josh loves horror films but wants the light left on. He’s sure there’s something haunting his room. Dad is less than sympathetic, reminding him that monsters come from “a lot of poorly paid writers. And soulless producers”. Before turning out the light. It seems, however, The Abomination (Péline Liberty) didn’t get the message.
What really sets Sleep Tight apart from similar efforts is literally the final shot and line. It’s totally unexpected and had me both horrified and howling with laughter. Up until then, the film is well done but a bit familiar. The creature looks like it crawled out of a horror fan’s nightmare. And cinematographer Nick Milligan finds plenty of great angles within the film’s one set. But it’s that final line that puts over the top.
Sleep Tight is currently on the festival circuit, you can check the film’s Facebook page for upcoming screenings.