Short Film Review: BEAUTY SLEEP (2014) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Short Film Review: BEAUTY SLEEP (2014)

3 stars
A technical triumph of sight and sound, BEAUTY SLEEP is creepy enough for an experimental short film that deals with twisted nightmare, even though it doesn't dig deep beyond its surface.

Recently screened at the 2014 Toronto Indie Film Festival as well as the Cellar Door Film Festival in Ottawa, Canada, the 13-minute experimental short film of BEAUTY SLEEP has already received positive buzz among those who have watched it. Thanks to the Canadian filmmaker Andrew J.D. Robinson, who has given me the opportunity to review his short film, I finally get to watch it and I have to say I was quite impressed for what he did here.


BEAUTY SLEEP follows a young woman's daily life (Maura Stephens) being by a series of bizarre nightmares.

Towards at the end of the final credit, writer-director Andrew J.D. Robinson dedicated this short film to Herk Harvey, John Carpenter, David Lynch and Roman Polanski. Numerous references from some of these acclaimed directors' most recognizable works, including 1965's REPULSION (delusion, depression and phobia) and 1978's HALLOWEEN (the white mask), are evident here in BEAUTY SLEEP. But to me, this short film owes greatly to David Lynch's body of work, notably on its nightmarish black-and-white aesthetic of 1977's ERASERHEAD and its random laugh track of 2002's RABBITS, as well as Lynch's favourite themes of surrealism and identity crisis. Thematically and visually speaking, BEAUTY SLEEP does feel like a lost short film directed by David Lynch himself.

BEAUTY SLEEP is also technically proficient, with Airplanes Over Johannesburg's eerie music score (the inclusion of the 1950s Dairy Queen commercial jingle during the end credit is particularly a nice touch) and Robinson's bizarre imagery are especially worthy of mention here.

One particular jump scene that reveals a sinister figure almost had me in shock. 

Despite all the fascinating movie references that Robinson has paid homage to, BEAUTY SLEEP feels lacklustre when comes to narrative point-of-view.


Although this short film isn't as great as I expected it to be, BEAUTY SLEEP remains a recommended effort worth checking out for.

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