For Bianca, performing on stage provides escape from a tortured home life, one where her father’s mental illness leads to a daily cycle of pain. Unexpectedly, the upstart actress is presented with an exciting new opportunity: to move into an old psychiatric hospital and take part in a play led by a doctor who specializes in a radical form of sleep deprivation, pushing the actors to their limits by testing their resolve. But the longer Bianca goes without sleep, the more dangerous her situation gets. She begins to suffer from nightmarish hallucinations—and to suspect that both the doctor and the hospital itself have sinister plans that go beyond mere on-stage entertainment.
In 2010, Uruguayan director Gustavo Hernández’s ambitious single-take horror film La Casa Muda
(The Silent House
) made a splash within the international genre community. Now, with You Shall Not Sleep
, he delivers a grandiose supernatural chiller that looks and feels like a big, James Wan-esque Hollywood production. With a fresh mythology and creepy, dreamlike sequences that echo A Nightmare on Elm Street
, Hernández’s latest has everything sophisticated horror fans crave: narrative audacity, strong character work, and, most importantly, brain-searing imagery.