Review: The Sleeping Room

sleeping roomA Brighton prostitute discovers dark secrets about an old brothel…

Starring Leila Mimmack, Joseph Beattie. Christopher Adamson

Directed by John Shackleton

Second Sight, out now

The best part about this South Coast-set shocker is its brevity – it only runs for about 70 minutes, and quite a bit of that is spent in a chase sequence that has a certain amount of tension. Prior to that, though, we’ve got a lot of characters going through the motions for the sake of the plot – why does Blue, the prostitute, get so interested in the history of the building that she’s gone to visit so quickly? (Is it really because Bill, her “john”, isn’t giving her the attention he’s paid for?) Is she drawn there in some way because of her family connections to the place?

Leila Mimmack and Joseph Beattie work well enough together as the couple, but never quite gel – more a problem with the script than the two leads’ acting. They’re supported by a decent cast including Julie Graham as Blue’s madam, and Christopher Adamson (in a suitably haunting outfit), and there are some interesting ideas in the story: the use of a Victorian mutoscope set against a very contemporary Brighton backdrop (the burned down West Pier lurks like some ghastly Victorian monstrosity) has a lot of potential, not all of which is fulfilled.

Verdict: Not as gripping or as scary as it needs to be. 6/10

Paul Simpson



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