Horror cultist Dario Argento leaves little to the imagination in this detective saga-cum-splatterfest, including the single most convincing gunshot in the head effect ever at the finale. But this feels like an Argento retread -- the murder mystery recalls his 1971 Cat O' Nine Tails a little too much, and the overly familiar horrific elements (pace, editing, music, screaming) have little impact. Much of the time the cast seems confused about what's taking place, particularly veteran Max von Sydow, who has to be the dimmest "brilliant" detective to ever come out of Italy. Still, longtime fans and those new to Argento will find Sleepless much stronger stuff than what passes for contemporary Hollywood Horror, and whether that's good is a matter of personal taste. Those who appreciate a good detective story, however, will be put off by the repeated torture, mutilation, and slayings of helpless women.
by Buzz McClain review