Sleepless (2001) Poster

(2001)

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9/10
Argento is still one of the greatest (horror) directors to grace this planet!
LoneWolfAndCub15 January 2008
I had doubts about the quality of this movie as I had heard many people say his recent movies have been of poor quality. My doubts were shattered after the first 20 minutes. After a dazzling (somewhat) double murder Argento proves that he still has it and that he can still make an old-fashioned giallo as good as always. 'Sleepless' features the black-gloved killer, gorgeous camera-work, visceral and stylish gore and a knockout twist that Argento never fails to deliver. And to top off what I've said, legendary actor Max Von Sydow gives an outstanding performance as the main character, Ulisse Moretti. Moretti is a retired detective emerging once again to confront a series of killings which link to another series of killings 17 years ago. The suspect "The Dwarf" died way back then, so who could be killing again? Teaming up Giacomo (Stefano Dionisi), whose mother was killed by "The Dwarf" when he was a child, Moretti tries to solve these recent slew of murders and put to rest the case forever.

From the opening, where we have an intense murder on a train, to the end, where the killer is finally revealed and Max Von Sydow recites a nursery rhyme (which is relevant to the plot) over the credits Argento uses his trademark styles to keep us on the edge of our seats. From his masterful direction, Goblin's always excellent score and the incredibly brutal murder sequences 'Sleepless' is Dario's best movie since Opera. The atmosphere throughout is kept at an intense level, although Argento focuses a lot on the story, which is hardly a bad thing (if anything it's better) and the story unfolds at an excitingly nail-biting pace.

However, like many of his movies, the acting by a few is subpar but that's something that many fans of Argento come to expect and even if you're not it shouldn't matter. With a great Goblin soundtrack, an engaging plot and plenty of yucky gore what else could you want? 4½/5
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8/10
The Giallo-master is back! And how!!!
Coventry3 June 2004
Yes! Yes! … YES!! Dario Argento returns with the type of film that is worshiped by a select share of real horror fans. An authentic, old-fashioned Giallo! Sleepless is a solid and ultra-violent serial killer mystery with unique plot-twists and a huge amount of ingeniousness. The beautiful city of Turin is the setting of a bizarre series of murders. These killings seem to follow the modus operandi of a serial killer that was active in the same neighborhood 17 years earlier as well. The former commissioner Moretti has to dig deep in his memory and files to go after him again. He can't count on any help by the ‘new' police department and finds assistance in the now adolescent son of the killer's first victim. The pattern seems to include a nursery rime and the always-returning image of a dwarf… After a rather disappointing 90's decade with inferior films like `Phantom of the Opera' and `The Stendal Syndrome', Dario Argento now delivers his purest film since the brilliant `Opera', dated 1987. The tension is terrifically built up and the clues to solve the mystery are slowly being revealed…one by one. Sleepless is provided with a downright fantastic soundtrack by the cult-band `Goblin' and the nursery rime (which forms the pivot element throughout the whole film) literally chills the blood. As usual in this type of films, the acting isn't very good. Veteran actor Max Von Sydow more or less does a good job, but the English dubbing regretfully is dramatic. But hey, that's not Argento's fault so why criticize him? Another often heard remark is the explicit violence in Sleepless. True, several sequences are sadistically gross with heads getting smashed against a wall and a real nasty death caused by a musical instrument. If you can't stand violence, it's your loss…you don't know what you're missing. Sleepless is a film that raises new hope for the Italian horror industry and it easily ranks in the top 10 of best horror films since the new Millennium.
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8/10
Argento's Return To Old Greatness
Dario Argento is one of my personal favorite directors, and many of my fellow Horror buffs will agree that the man is one of the all-time Horror greats. Films like "Suspiria" (1977), "Profondo Rosso" (1975) and Phenomena (1985) range among my all-time favorites, and Argento's repertoire includes several other masterpieces of Italian Horror/Giallo, such as "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage" (1970), "Opera"(1987) or "Tenebre"(1982). After several inferior films that he made in the 1990s, such as the decent "Trauma" of 1993 and "Two Evil Eyes" (which he made with fellow Horror-deity George A. Romero in 1990) and the disappointing "Phantom of the Opera", the master returned to his old style - and old greatness - with this "Non Ho Sonno" aka "Sleepless", a tantalizing and ultra-violent Giallo, in 2001. The good-old Giallo premise is still working greatly, and the fact that Argento borrows many elements from his older films does in no way downsize the greatness of "Sleepless". On the contrary, this is the absolute proof for us Italian Horror buffs that great Gialli can still be made in the 21st century.

In 1983, young Giacomo has to witness the brutal murder of his mother, who is one of the many victims of a Turin murder series. 17 years later, Turin is struck by a murder-series again, and the horrid crimes seem to resemble those from 1983. Even though he has spent the last 17 years trying to forget, Giacomo (Stefano Dionisi), who has since moved to Rome, decides to come back to Turin. Since the police make little progress, Giacomo and the retired homicide detective Ulisse Moretti (Max Von Sydow), who was working on the cases in 1983, begin to investigate themselves...

"Sleepless" brings the old-fashioned Giallo-greatness that we're used to from Argento. A creepy atmosphere, stunning suspense, ultra-bloody murders, an excellent cinematography and especially another ingenious score by Progressive Rock band Goblin - this film delivers all the great elements that we love Argento for. Argento has once stated that this is the most brutal of all his films which is not exactly true. The violence and gore are extreme, no doubt, but films like "Tenebre", "Phenomena" or "Opera" are at least equally violent, if not more. Dario Argento is not exactly known for his tameness when it comes to violence, and this is yet another (immensely stylishly) ultra-brutal Argento experience. As I stated above, Argento uses some elements he has used in his older films - but he does so in an great manner. Elements like a creepy nursery-rhyme are downright ingenious and give this the tantalizing and superb atmosphere that is typical for Argento. An absolute must-see for Horror fans, especially my fellow Argento-enthusiasts can not allow themselves to miss this! Great!
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My 2nd Dario Argento-film!
DJ Inferno4 January 2002
Having reviewed the brilliant Giallo "Profondo Rosso" last week I just checked out Dario Argento´s latest film "Non ho sonno". In comparison to the above mentioned classic, "Sleepless" is much straighter and more fast-paced. There are more bloody murders (A prostitutes fingers were cut off, a man gets stabbed by a fountain pen...), however the photography seemed to be not as elegant as it was in "Profondo Rosso". I´m really no Argento-expert but I think this was a good thriller with a well-developed story and lots of suspense. Even a few humorous scenes were brought on like the take when some Lilliputians have to wait for their interrogation at the police department. Main actor Max von Sydow ("Dune", "The Exorcist") is great in the lead, but also most of the supporting actors like Stefano Dionisi or Chiara Caselli are doing solid jobs! I´d give this film 8 out of 10, just for being really good Giallo-entertainment!!
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8/10
Argento shows us why he is Italy's finest
The_Void22 September 2004
The 1990's wasn't a good decade for Italy's premier horror director. His trip to the USA resulted in a decidedly average film with 'Trauma', then he made 'The Stendhal Syndrome', which was also a disappointment, and, of course, his universally lambasted remake of The Phantom of the Opera. However, he has proved with this movie that he most certainly is not down and out; as Sleepless is by far his best film in fourteen years, and one the best films that Argento has ever made. Sleepless stars Max Von Sydow as former police detective Moretti, the detective on the case of the notorious 'Dwarf' murders, 17 years earlier. After the murder of his mother, Von Sydow promised a young boy that he would catch her killer. That boy is now an adult, and the murders have started again; leaving only Von Sydow and the young man to solve the case. The murders aren't done without clues however, as left at the scene of each one is a cut-out of an animal, all of which link to a mysterious nursery rhyme.

This film is giallo at it's best. Dario Argento creates one of the best atmospheres in any of his movies for this film. Some of the set pieces are absolutely fantastic, and the film breathes an air of malice for it's duration. Sleepless is full of surprises, and through this, Argento is able to make us believe the literally anything can happen; and it often does. This is an excellent thing for a thriller to do; nobody wants to know what's going to happen next, and Sleepless is most certainly a film that has the ability to keep you on the edge of your seat, begging for more of the plot to be revealed. As ever, Argento manages to submerge the viewer into the film, and this is one of the movie's most pleasing aspects. Another thing about this movie that will please fans of Italian horror is the absolutely sublime score by the brilliant 'Goblin'. Argento and his house band have had some memorable collaborations, and this one most certainly stands tall as one of them. I would even call it the best once since Suspiria; it is that good.

Dario Argento has also become famous for the great way that he uses the camera, and this film is a fine example of that also. Dario Argento directs our attention through numerous things, and his camera work throughout the movie is as inventive as ever. Through his direction, the film manages to build up massive levels of tension. The great sequence on the train towards the start of the movie is an excellent example of this. Argento is admirable not only for his directing, but for the fact that he writes his own movies also. The script of the movie is decent enough, but the real genius in the writing department for this movie is the nursery rhyme that is the backbone of the film. The rhyme was written by Argento's beautiful daughter, Asia. It's deliciously bleak and twisted (especially considering it's supposed to be a children's rhyme!), and it creates a great mood for the film. The part in which Von Sydow reads out the final verse over the closing credits is incredible; Von Sydow's voice and the rhyme itself combine to lend the movie a dark horror vibe like no other. Argento fans will also be thankful for the fact that this film contains more than it's fair share of bloodshed. Some of the scenes even made me - a man that loves blood and gore - cringe. A head is bashed against a wall; teeth first, a young lady is viciously decapitated, fingers are lopped off, heads explode and, my personal favourite, a scene that sees someone brutally beaten with an English horn. It has to be seen to be believed, it really does.

Like many Italian horror films, Sleepless isn't the best film ever made in terms of acting, and at times the plot isn't always well paced. The dubbing is also as terrible as ever; but who cares? You don't go into a giallo expecting to see great acting and plotting, and therefore it can very easily be forgiven. Especially when the film has a great Goblin soundtrack, a solid plot and gratuitous scenes of gore. Any Argento fan will be happy movie with this movie, I can almost guarantee it; and providing that he doesn't fall down with 2004's The Card Player, Argento could be back to his uncompromising and atmospheric best.
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10/10
Sleepless
Scarecrow-886 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I feel "Sleepless" is a fine example of how to make a giallo and make it right. The red herrings, the reasons behind why and how the killer works, the violence which is jarring and graphic, the strength of having a legend, Max Von Sydow, as the central sleuth detecting, and the great finale which is actually quite satisfying. You'll have detractors saying that this has such familiarity to it, but I felt this is a completely original story in it's own merit while exhibiting the traits fans of this genre know and love. The film concerns killings from the past and how they connect with a fresh crop of new killings. It is said that a killer dwarf(!)was behind the death of three women, one being the mother of Giacomo(Stefano Dionisi)..viciously slain by a musical instrument. It is stated that Ulisse Moretti solved the case which ended when a dwarf named Fabritiis decided to commit suicide instead of tolerate the scorn of others lying guilt at his feet for the slayings. The fresh killings bring that case back to fruition and Moretti begins to suspect he was wrong in fingering the dwarf. It seems the killings are following a pattern from a nursery rhyme book with animals. After each female is killed, a cut-away picture of an animal is left by their body. Giacomo, who had left the area, returns at the invitation of an old school chum, Lorenzo(Roberto Zibetti). With Moretti, Giacomo go on their own investigation and make some startling discoveries on the way. During the course of the film, Giacomo will also have a passionate affair with a talented harp player, Gloria(Chiara Caselli). This film has some very nasty killings such as a poor woman who gets her face bashed up against a wall, a man who receives a gold pen inserted in his skull, not to mention some knife slayings for good measure. The train sequence in the opening(..not to mention what happens shortly afterward)is very well done. There's an inspired sequence where a ballerina is beheaded during the intermission of a "Swan Lake" concert. I love how the film develops over time as we discover the connection between the animal rhyme book and the slayings, not to mention who the killer really is. Everything comes together in such a thrilling was. An essential giallo, and one of Argento's finest films.
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8/10
Family is the root of all evil
Superwonderscope10 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
I really don't get why Dario Argento's last effort had so many bad reviews around here and in the press. I just watched the italian DVD last night twice and, yes, it's not his best flick. But why so much hate? I guess many people await too much out of it and dislike it not because of the movie itself but I think they expected too much...as usual with the great masters of fear (Carpenter, Romero, Craven...). Some people got to understand that people change, so is their art and perception of representation of life. Dario Argento made a splendid turn when he did LA SINDROME DI STENDHAL : he made a masterpiece of fear with new narration & visual standards. NON HO SONNO follows naturally that path when using the giallo scheme.

First : the italian dubbing is atrocious. Go for the english version in DD 5.1 on the DVD.

Actors seem o-so-better suddendly. Kudos to Max Von Sydow & sublime Rossella Falk, the best written parts here. Von Sydow's old detective character is one of the best argento ever written...any resemblance to him as an ageing director who remembers the good old times of the giallo maybe? Chiara Caselli has a poorly developped character compared to the rest and she does what she can...practicly nothing. And boy does she have acting capabilities (Zuppa di Pesce, for example). Stefano Dionini seems ill at ease but much better in the end. Gabriele Lavia still shows some strength in difficult roles (as in Profondo Rosso...but it's kinda logical to find him in such a character regarding Profondo Rosso)

Story is not that bad, but it depends on the mood you're in. If you're fed up with Argento's auto-citations well, you'll hate NON HO SONNO. If you're a true fan, you mgiht get a kick out of it. While TRAUMA was a "best of" his previous movies, NON HO SONNO works as a modern PROFONDO ROSSO -the killings are almost the same, the way the people die as well- but it soon leaves a very known territory to follow a new one. And I won't give any spoilers here : you'll find out by yourself.

The murders scenes are elaborated : the terrifying train sequence at the beginning is the best example. But every time the killer strikes you feel fear growing. It's very gory sometimes (Mrs Gallo's murder is simply unbearable)but I wonder about the cuts it might get for the export. OPERA, TRAUMA, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA got severely cut out of Italy. Sergio stivaletti's FX work are top of the art and still very nasty : definitely not for the faint hearted.

The suspense...well, it works, actually. Still the same Argento territory : the family is the root of all evil and he pushes the limit of the bearable one more time as the movie reveals the identity of the killer at the very end. Several scenes are very suspensful-even if i saw it at home- and the rock soundtrack provided by GOBLIN goes along very well.

You could say that Argento went back to a genre he mastered for 20 years. He knows every trick the screenplay can offer and what the cinematography can bring. he knwos when to accelerate the rythm and when to cool it down to provide more psychological depth. The first hour is the strongest one as the second one gets slower but more cored on the characters. Dario Argento let his old wild and modern camera away to focus on where the characters are, how they move, what they express on the front of the camera. More classical in his way -and boring for some of the hardest fans- but, in the end, more interesting. Even if it will never be as good as its model PROFONDO ROSSO.

I still wonder if Max Von Sydow's character Ulisse Moretti is not in fact Dario Argento trying to solve his own puzzle of life. Who knows?

Superwonderscope says 8.
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6/10
Almost back to the "best" Argento's past
silviopellerani26 January 2001
I must admit that have seen all Dario Argento's films and the last 3 ones were very disappointing. Being his fan I could not miss his last effort specially when I noticed that the myths since the time of "Profondo Rosso": The Goblin, were performing the soundtrack.

Dario Argento is back to the old typical thriller structure: a serial killer with a nonsense-rhyme for kids is the leitmotiv of all the homicides in a very wet and scary Turin.

The characters are well performed specially by the "bergmanian" Max Von Sidow. Chiara Caselli and Stefano Dionisi are fine and the first 20 minutes of film are an example of very high level cinema -the scenes shot in the train are icing- The soundtrack is less electronic than in the past with some elements of heavy metal.

Rating: 5/10
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9/10
Giallo is back!!!
HumanoidOfFlesh3 October 2001
With his newest giallo "Non ho Sonno" Dario Argento proves again that he is the best Italian horror/suspense director."Non ho Sonno" is basically about a killer who murders women and leaves the police always a clue:a paper-cut of an animal(e.g.cat,rabbit).The killings are based on a children's poems,and the murder spree started back in 1983,stopped abruptly after three killings,and continues 17 years later.Many people complain about acting,but I don't care.In my opinion the cast is pretty good,and the characters are well-developed."Non ho Sonno" is also Argento's most violent and sadistic work to date.The gore is pretty extreme and there are some really ghastly murder scenes like one where the victim gets her head bashed against the wall-it really hurts watching that!Anyway if you like the works of Italian maestro Dario Argento,you'll love "Non ho Sonno".9 out of 10.
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7/10
Not Perfect, But Pretty Good
kyle_c1 August 2002
"Sleepless" is a standard whodunit, with some extra Argento gore and some nice little stylistic touches. It tells the story of a serial killer, the "Dwarf Murderer", who's murders begin again, either by him or a copycat. Years ago, he killed Giacomo's (Stefano Dionisi) mother, and so he has returned to help discover the killer. Ulisse Moretti (Max Von Sydow), is a retired detective who worked on the original "Dwarf Murders" case. Drawn back into the case, he attempts to solve the crime.

The whole cast performance fairly well, with Sydow, as usual, stealing the show every time he is on screen. Most of the young actors perform solidly, although there are a few performance that are just awful, and Giacomo's friend Lorenzo, played by Roberto Zibetti, is just annoying.

The movie is flashy and gory, following Argento's traditional style. In an era when most movies are indistinguished in their style, Argento stands out, with Hitchcock-like visuals and plot themes. Most of the murder scenes are incredibly gory, but I didn't really feel they were to the point that they were overdone.

While "Sleepless" is nothing that will be considered a classic, it tells a solid story, wraps itself up with a good ending, necessary for this type of movie, and impresses the audience with its visuals and style.

*** out of ****
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8/10
Argentians rejoice! The master has not lost his touch.
AngryChair11 May 2006
This terrific return to the giallo horror genre by the great Dario Argento is better than you may have heard!

Elderly detective teams up with the son of an old murder victim to find the elusive night killer that is now striking again years later.

Over the course of the 90's, Dario Argento seemed to be moving away from his artsy, old-school style of horror for more modernized thrillers. This of course became disappointing to Argento's numerous fans, but Non ho sonno a.k.a. Sleepless is a return to the great giallo thrillers that Argento became famous for. It's a film that is quite reminiscent of his classics, such as Deep Red (1975), Tenebre (1982), and Opera (1987), and that's a good thing for us fans. Argento uses his usual unique direction, along with Ronnie Taylor's great cinematography, to build a suspenseful and atmospheric thriller. The story is an intriguing mystery that takes some nice twists and turns, and delivers some horrific (and bloody) murder sequences. Adding all the more to the atmosphere of the film is the gorgeous music score by long-time Argento collaborates Goblin.

The cast isn't half bad. Star Max von Sydow steals the show with his wonderful performance as the elderly detective. Stefano Dionisi is strong, yet reserved in his role. Roberto Zibetti does a nice turn as Dionisi's dear friend. Gabriele Lavia, who also appeared in Argento's Deep Red and Inferno (1980), does well as Zibetti's snooty father.

Despite some critical hounding, I for one thought this was an excellent thriller and I love Argento's films as much as anyone. Recommended, especially for my fellow Argentians, but beware edited versions of the film.

*** 1/2 out of ****
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6/10
better than expected
mylimbo22 February 2005
A retired detective gets involved on a case which he was in charge of 17 years ago, about a grisly killer known as 'the dwarf' that killed people in a small part of town and now it's happening again, though this time his working with a son of one of the original victims. 'The dwarf ' was found dead after those murders 17 years ago… so could it be him from beyond the grave or a copycat?

This a pretty decent murder/mystery film by Dario Argento, I wasn't expecting much- but what I saw it was above average. With his usual flair of over the top blood and gore, stunning photography, the soundtrack by 'Goblin' really gives it an added boost and the usual unexpected twists and turns, make this film worth a look after his earlier disappointments.

It has a superb opening half-an hour of terror that is truly haunting and eerie. Though It does sag a bit in the middle of the film, losing a bit of the steam and the menacing atmosphere fizzles out- though that's when we start to learn more about the story, with clues coming thick and fast and then it picks up in the upbeat and unpredictable last half hour, where the final twist will have you on the edge of your seat with disbelief. What I liked was that the killer uses nursery rhymes from a specific book to pick their next victim, which I thought was pretty ingenious and disturbing, especially since the victims have something to associate them with the animals in the nursery rhymes.

Though the plot might have certain flaws, one being it's one -dimensional characters and secondly at times it was pretty convenient that the killer was at the right place at the right time- but otherwise it makes up for it with it's swift and creative deaths: that truly come out of left field… you cant go wrong with that opening scene on the train and at the station, with the hysteria and tension of isolation that builds up throughout that scene.

Though the death scenes might turn off certain viewers- but not if your fan of Argento, as a lot of detail goes into them and so did the setting of the film- it was beautifully shot. The performances are below average; they were kind of lacklustre or either over the top, though with the exception of Max Von Sydow, who brings a lot of class as the retired detective.

An entertaining Giallo film!

3/5
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7/10
Solid thriller gaillo from Dario Argento.
Jan Strydom22 June 2014
I'm still sort of new to Argento's films but I found this film of his to be one very solid effort. The first half has this very unusual tone and atmosphere that makes you feel both uncomfortable and creeped out at the same time. The death scenes in my opinion are more tense here than in some of his older films.

The acting is very good although the occasional dubbed voice causes some actors to look like their facial expressions almost don't match their voices.

One outstanding feature is the cinematography. The camera constantly moves around and many of the settings are lit up just right enough to create it's atmosphere.

Overall, it's a very well made and solid gaillo from Argento and is well worth the effort even for fans of the genre and not necessarily Argento.
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10/10
Viva Argento! Splats Italian
cbdunn7 November 2003
It is great to see Dario Argento return to the genre that made him famous in the late 1960's. Of course the genre is the Giallo. This is Argento's best since the 1987 film "Opera" aka "Terror At The Opera". This film an compare to Argento's earlier works "Profondo Rosso" aka "Deep Red" and "Tenebre" aka "Unsane". Also, the great Italian band GOBLIN reunited to do the music. They too have worked with Argento in the past: Profondo Rosso, Tenebre, Suspiria, and George A. Romero's zombie classic "Dawn Of The Dead".

Not to give away anything that could spoil the film. The cinema photography is wonderful as well as the overall atmosphere of the film. Veteran Max Von Sydow gives (as usual) a wonderful performance as a former police inspector who is suffering from memory loss,a heart condition, and insomnia.

Twenty years earlier a series of murders were being committed in a small Italian town. The killer was killed while evading the police (or was he?) Now the same style of murders are happening yet again. Has the same killer returned from beyond the grave? Watch and see.
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7/10
He is back!
FakeShemp-118 September 2002
First of all, I am happy that Argento has returned to his old subject. SLEEPLESS is not bad. Not his best work but some people seem to have forgotten, that a logical story never was one of Argentos big talents. Maybe it is one of the rules of the giallo-genre not being too logical and realistic. Its origin were cheap italian mystery-novells and so the focus is not on the story in the first place, it's on the effect it has on an open minded watcher! And what I saw in SLEEPLESS were in my opinion enough of these effects. The acting was okay, and Sydow did a very good Job. The Carpet-Szene was cool, also the opener in the deserted "Ghost"-Train. After so many years of "absence", I had never expected this one being so good. I hope that Argento is really back now!!!
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Excellent Return by Argento
dwatts21 July 2002
Sleepless is a giallo. Therefore, it fits in within the confines of the genre. Nothing new? Well no, it's a genre movie!

As for comparing it to the latest Argento movie (Phantom) well forget about it. Phantom is a disaster! This on the other hand is a movie to sit aside other Argento greats. The train sequence alone is proof that he has lost none of his eye for great camera work.

To compare this one with `Suspiria' is a mistake. Suspiria is a horror movie. This one is a detective film. I honestly think this is an excellent foray into Argento's work. Stylish, smooth… wonderful.
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Argento is back!
Obituary994 July 2002
Dario Argento is back with his newest piece of art, "Sleepless". When a series of murders pop up all over the city it brings a retired cop (Max von Sydow) out of retirement to hunt down the crazed maniac. He believes it to be "The Dwarf Killer" from seventeen years ago but everyone thinks that killer is dead. In my opinion this is one of the many rare descent mystery horror flicks of today. The story is supreme and ironic, it will literally blow you away including throw you off. You will never guess who the killer is and his motive. Some of the deaths are just brutal! This is a for must see for everyone just remember to rent the DVD and not the VHS. DVD version is unrated unlike the VHS is rated and has over half the good stuff cut out. Argento fans will not be disappointed.
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8/10
At least: Argento´s return to gallio
ruediger_vienna11 May 2002
Not the best Argento movie (that´s still "Opera" to me), but a solid, stylish piece of work. Great score from Goblin, all in all worth seeing - 8. If you buy the DVD buy the english version and not the american, as the american version is cut, not letterboxed and poorly transfered.
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Give it a go!
mkl-30 January 2001
George Romero is dead, John Carpenter is dead, Wes Craven is dead...but Dario Argento is still alive and kicking. "Nonhosonno" testifies to this simple truth and demonstrates that the works of the past decade (except the excellent "Black Cat") were just an unfortunate parenthesis in the glorious career of the Italian master of giallo. Sure, the flick under review does have several flaws: as has been pointed out time and again, some actors (but not as many as the above reviewers would have you believe!) - Stefano Dionisi above all - are indeed dull and expressionless and some lines are painfully ludicrous. Also, the Italian dubbing is quite shameful. However, these parameters are far from decisive: Argento's earlier work has shown that no amount of bad acting can blur the style and technique of this author when these are at their highest standards. Unfortunately, in "Nonhosonno" these qualities turn up only once in a while. At any rate, the long and claustrophobic 'train sequence' is the rare gem that every ardent fan was eagerly waiting for. The colours may not have the same impact as those of e.g. "Deep Red", "Suspiria" or "Tenebre", but Ronnie Taylor's photograph is simply superb. Goblin provided a powerful and appropriate music score which, however, is nowhere near so good as the earlier, terrific scores (e.g. "Deep Red", "Suspiria", "Dawn of the Dead", "Tenebre") that made Goblin the legendary band we love (these guys definitely spoiled us!). As far as the plot is concerned, it must be said that the basic idea is indeed clever and brilliantly accounts for the long chronological gap intervening between the first and the second wave of murders. A couple of shortcomings cannot be passed over in silence, though: 1) Owing to too explicit a clue (which might as well have been omitted!), experienced viewers will be able to spot the murderer's identity too damn early (but probably they'll think it's too easy and start suspecting someone else!). 2) Regrettably enough, the ending is not up to Argento's highest standards: when compared to that of e.g. "Deep Red" or "Tenebre", it may be a bit disappointing. All in all, my judgement is undoubtedly positive and loyal fans will certainly have a run for their money. Nevertheless, I deem it necessary to round off this short review with the following remark: One wonders whether such a movie really represents a qualitative (and not merely quantitative) addition to Argento's already rich filmography. The answer is indeed problematical, as one cannot help feeling that the structure and patterns of giallo, as Argento conceives them, are starting to suffer from the lack of innovative elements. I can only hope his next works will be motivated by the need to show something really new, or else his cinema is bound to become a sterile, albeit visually stunning, technical exercise.

Note.

The English/American edition of the film (whose official title is "Sleepless") will benefit by, among other things, the original version of the nursery rhyme which, unlike the Italian one (a lame adaptation of the English original) accounts for a crucial point of the story.
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10/10
'The cult splatter of the new millenium!'
troupis_a8 April 2002
Hearing the name 'Dario Argento' the first thing that comes to your head is horror.'Sleepless' is that.Horror!They say that the performance of the actors is awful.The script,too.They are right!But when I saw this movie,honestly,I had not any problem with that!It isn't a drama! It's a horror movie.Dario Argento is master in this section and I think this movie deserves a better rating.The story is wonderful,the ending is completely unpredictable and the horror...grate!It's a different story.Not the story we all know well with the college boys and girls with the friend who's a serial killer(urban legend,etc)!Of course the bad performing can't give a better grade to this movie but surely it deserves more responding from critics.It's a masterpiece of horror with a cult feeling that makes it mysterious.Dario offers horror and he's doing it well!I personally love this movie!I believe it is the cult splatter of the new millenium!
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8/10
Argento Returns to Form
detourer21 February 2002
Dario Argento has scored again with an interesting take on the "giallo" which he explored so well in earlier films like "Profondo Rosso" and "Tenebrae". From the opening moments, Argento establishes the mood that will run through the rest of the film. The first 15 minutes are sometimes unbearably tense as he sets up the first murder and Argento fans will not be disappointed with the payoff. Argento's signature trademarks are all here - extreme closeups, long tracking shots, vivid colors, running water. The film is slightly marred by some poor performances but Max Von Sydow is great in the main role of the retired detective determined to unmask the killer. This is a welcome return to form that Argento fans should embrace and should win new fans for this Master.
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8/10
Superbly tightly woven satire
craig.tuohy20 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Watched Sleepless with my mates last night and must say that I thought it absolutely rocked. Dario is definately taking the p**s out of himself with this one. Red scarfes with knives in, old gloomy houses, puppets, a murderer copycatting a book, broken teeth, a childhood horror, a theatre, the nursery rhyme (the most hardcore nursery rhyme in history), a scene set in Rome, a detective pairing up with somebody who is embroiled in it all, parents killing to save their children, slow tracking shots of nothing much in particular, stupidly graphic murders etc etc. The whole movie was just a greatest hits package of all his other films.

The ironic thing is, as much of a satire as I think this so obviously was , it is the most coherent and tightly woven plot of any of his films. It gives you enough clues to work out 90% of what's going on and throws in a few nice twists to make you go "oh yeah". SPOILER I loved the fact that the kid didn't understand the meaning of the word 'instrument' so he bust that womans face open with a clarinet (or whatever it was) END SPOILER. Every now and again something happened and we were like "that doesn't make any sense". I was trying to explain that Dario's films seldom do make any sense but after pausing the movie and talking it through we realised it did make sense it just took a bit of thinking about. I dare say it was the first semi-intelligent slasher flick i've ever seen (Scream excluded). We literally talked all the way through the movie, just working out little things like how Max Von Sydow knew the nursery rhyme and why Vincenzo's Mother didn't hate the detective who forced her son to commit suicide.

Normally I just put those little anomalies down to Dario's questionable writing but I was pleasently surprised to see that by the end of the movie ALL my questions were answered. And not only that but I had worked most of it for myself. I actually find it insulting in hollywood movies when all the clues point to one person so you rule that persopn out cos it obviously isn't them. I must say I found the ending most satisfying.

The acting was absolutely shocking though. i don't know why he feels compelled to fill his casts with half English and half Italian actors. And I really don't understand why he overdubs actors who are so obviously speaking in English anyway. Having seen both the English and Italian versions of Deep Red it's quite disconcerting to note that they are BOTH dubbed. I prefer them in italian though because the bad acting doesn't notice quite so much. Good old Max really does act everybody else off the planet.

8/10 for that one.
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B Movie
Fabio Pirovano22 January 2001
Where are the times of Deep Red and Suspiria?A lot of steps back,bad score,cinematography and screenplay,directing in a superficial and awful way, give more attentions to gore special effects,not always believable. B movie
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9/10
This will be a real Argento classic ...
martintech15 November 2001
If anyone like New York Ripper, they will really enjoy this movie.

When you know that Goblin is doing the music and Sergio Stivaletti is doing the make - up effects it´s kind of guarantee that this movie is going to be very good, when you know that Dario Argento is the director and have been working whith them before.

For some some scenes can be too violance and gory. When I where at the Stockholm Filmfestival som people whent before the movie were finished.

If you are a fan of classical horror movies from the beginning of the 80´s, whith especially Italian directors you will enjoy this.

Our Swedish actor Max von Sydow has a role in this movie to.

I hope that someone will have some help to decide if you should or shouldn´t look at this film.
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