Director – Shane Grant (Sleep Eater, Blind Date)
Starring – Bill Cassinelli (Sleep Eater, Dirty Cop No Donuts), Jason Tripp (Superboy, House Rules), and Starr Ferris (Thou Shall Kill: The Harvest, Essential Realism)
Release Date – 2017
I’ve had a love for independent horror flicks for as long as I remember. Hell, I loved them years before I realized I was an avid horror fan. This stems from staying with my grandmother while my father was out of town for work. We would often watch the Sci-Fi Channel before it’s rebranding. This was when I saw the remake of Night of the Living Dead which sent me down the rabbit hole of horror to find the original. Once I saw the original I was hooked. I appreciate no budget indie horror films but not all movies were made for me and my taste in film.
I enjoy the stupid side of indie horror. Troma and Warlock Home Video are movies made for me but there is several no budget distribution companies that cater to my cheesy side most of the time. Not long ago director Shane Grant contacted me to review his two films Sleep Eater and the follow up film Sleep Eaters. I enjoyed the first film but the second film just wasn’t for me. Thank you Shane for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to check this out!
**Spoiler Alert**The film picks up sometime after the events of the first film and Kelly, the father from the first film that thinks he has killed Quinn, is now on the run after he contracted the sleep eating disease from him. The public knows him as Cannibal Kelly and he has been hiding out in a train car hidden deep in the woods owned by a local crime boss. A man nearby spots Kelly and traps him but lets him free to help him fight the crime boss because the two don’t see eye to eye. While this is happening there is a local aspiring journalist who is investigating Kelly and the murders he is now accused of but she contracts the sleep eating disease and is tossed in the middle of a conspiracy with a doctor and a secret organization studying it and the doctor’s brother who is the cause of all this.**Spoiler Alert**
I want to like every indie flick I get for review but the honest truth is I just can’t. I know my taste in film is different than most people. I find the first Hellraiser and Texas Chainsaw Massacre to be very boring but I would punt a baby if their mother talked shit about Thankskilling. I’m wired backwards and I get that but I also know that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean that it’s not good. Sleep Eaters was not a bad movie but it was one that I just couldn’t get behind. The cinematography is brilliant and the cast is solid but the film just did not flow well for my liking.
The acting in this one is solid. The cast works very well with each other. The cast is more confident in front of the camera and is able to find the right emotional range for the scene. Direction is a lot more tight in this one and the acting shows.
The story for this one is very bold for a no budget flick. In fact, it feels like an episode of The X-Files to an extent with the conspiracies and complexity. With that being said, the film just does not flow that well and the characters are hard to get behind. In fact, I only really cared for Cannibal Kelly and I had no emotional investment in any of the other characters. They could have lived or died and it would have made no difference in the film. It’s hard to get into a film when you can’t relate to the characters in one way or another.
Finally, this is another gory flick from director Shane Grant. The film uses practical and visual effects with different results. The practical effects in this one is a huge jump over the first short and I really enjoyed them but the visual effects we see are an eye sore and stick out like a sore thumb while trying to wipe your ass. Overall, Sleep Eaters is not your typical horror film. In fact, it is a blend of The X-Files and the sci-fi action films that you could find on the Sy-Fy channel in the late 90s. The story is interesting but not enough to pull me in but that doesn’t make this one a bad movie. It’s just not a movie for me. If you are into these types of movies then check it out.