Sleep Tight (Spain)
Cesar (Luis Tosar - who many may know as Malamadre from Cell 211) works the desk at a small apartment building in Barcelona . He greets the tenants, attends to their packages and generally knows everything going on. A very convenient type of employee to have about, though a nightmare if say (theoretically) the only way he can feel joy is through the misery of others. When we first meet Cesar he seems like a friendly guy who generally cares. Though the fact that he's being blackmailed by the young daughter of a resident does give one pause.
One is briefly led astray into believing that Cesar's days are being brightened by occasional encounters with preternaturally peppy (and beautiful) Clara (Marta Etura), But it's not too long before we realize (to an extent) what Cesar is up to. And it's not competing effectively for employee of the month. His issues and motivations are slowly revealed as Cesar focuses his attention on a subset of the apartment dwellers, most notably the aforementioned delightful Clara.
I won't go much more into the plot because watching it unwind in this dark character study is what makes the film interesting. What I will say is that writer director Jaume Balagueró and writer Alberto Marini somehow manage to tweak the viewer so that you're rooting for Cesar to escape detection in some extremely unsympathetic situations. Even though he's not a good or even remotely sympathetic character in his goals. It's a testament to the script and Luis Tosar that one can simultaneously realize they're worried about Cesar yet be aghast as to what they're feeling. While still hoping nothing bad happens to Clara - even though it's clear that's what's going on.
The film is beautiful - living in the nooks and crannies of an apartment building that is a character unto itself. It's not a gory shocker - more a creepy suspenseful set of scares than guys with masks and axes. But for me that just makes it more worrisome when the film ends. Be aware, this is not one of those movies that wraps up everything in a pretty, positive way. It's dark and mean and evil - and if that's the sort of thing you can get behind as entertainment it's a good bet.
I exited the theater glad I'd chosen to watch Sleep Tight and equally pleased I don't currently reside in a building with a doorman. Cause after this picture that would really freak me out...
Below is a trailer from the film along with part of the director Q&A I recorded at Fantastic Fest. You might actually want to watch the trailer after seeing the film - I feel it gives a bit too much away.