The essential, alternative streaming service ARROW has released SLEEP, the debut feature from Michael Venus, a major new talent in world cinema.
Nightmare and trauma. Fear and repression. Guilt and atonement. Weaving together the emotional violence of horror with the cryptic motifs of German folk and fairy tales, SLEEP plunges the viewer into a nightmare world in a mysterious hotel, in a small village – where secrets are buried deep and horrors await at night. Intense, erotic, enigmatic and scary has hell – welcome to the world of SLEEP.
Tormented by recurring nightmares of a place she has never been, Marlene (Sandra Hueller, Requiem) cannot help but investigate when she discovers the place is real. Once there, she suffers a breakdown and is admitted to a psychiatric ward. Determined to discover what happened to her, Mona (Gro Swantje Kohlhof) her daughter, follows and finds herself in Stainbach, an idyllic village with a dark history/secret. What is it that so tormented her mother, and the people of Stainbach? What is the source of the nightmares she suffered? Who is the mysterious Trude that lives in the forest?
Richly conceived and confidently told, with superb performances and nerve-shredding sound design, director and co-writer Michael Venus draws influence from Mario Bava, David Lynch, Franz Kafka and the Brothers Grimm, The Wicker Man and The Shining, but his voice is uniquely his own. As invested in substance and story as he is in style, Venus claws his way down to the roots of what haunts a people, a community, a nation – and comes up screaming.
ARROW’s exclusive presentation of SLEEP will include new and specially created extras, with revealing behind-the-scenes footage, festival featurettes, as well as a special intro by director Michael Venus and lead actress Gro Swantje Kohlhof.
Watch ‘SLEEP’ on Arrow now.