How much does the absolute basic core of life scare you? You know, the motions we all go through in our daily lives just to feel something, to do what we must, face routine and survive. At the end of the day, is life nothing more than existing and trying to find some sort of reason to smile? Though Beauty Sleep feels as though it could be interpreted differently from viewer to viewer, this is what I took away from it.
The film is a short yet very grim glimpse into a young ladies life, but clearly it could be the life of anyone. There are clear nods to They Live (a film I personally adore) though it takes on a much more simplistic and dark approach. You won’t hear Roddy Piper one-lining about being out of gum, you won’t hear any dialogue from the film’s lead at all as a matter of fact. Personally, I feel that’s appropriate here to further help you feel how empty her existence seems to feel to her personally. It may open the eyes of a few as it seems like it’s questioning you, the viewer, as to whether you feel the same way some days. The inclusion of a TV dinner scene will certainly hit home with some. It feels like more of a deep-rooted question than any sort of answer. You’re not given a happy ending, you aren’t offered good advice, the ending is dead-on to how we all feel some days. I won’t spoil it but I want to say that sometimes it really does feel like it happens that quickly.
There’s a scene with masked randoms gazing aimlessly into their cellphones. We all wear masks, sometimes the mask becomes us. I believe, though it may be digging deeper than the film would ask you to, we forget who we are along the way of all the smiling and blending. Eventually, we’re molded into the machine by the machine’s that direct us to do what’s asked. How important is image? How important is self-image? How difficult is it to balance your own self-happiness against what others tell you that you should be? These are more of the questions you’ll undoubtedly be asking yourself.
Is the film a social commentary? I think it is, somewhat. But more importantly, it reminds you to be self-aware I think. Again, it really depends on what you take away from watching it.
All deep poetry aside, the film is very well done, it’s extremely well shot, the soundtrack is spot-on to what some days would surely look like if we could see our lives on camera and the story paints a potent, bleak image of what could be seen as the purest form of realism and depression.
Is it your standard horror film? Absolutely not! Is it horrific? Absolutely yes!