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Jason Yu’s Sleep (잠) screening at Raindance, + Q&A

Driector / Writer: Jason Yu (2023, 95 mins)
Cast: Jung Yu-mi, Lee Sun-kyun
Date: Thursday 20 June 2024, 6pm
Curzon Soho | 99 Shaftesbury Avenue | London W1D 5DY | | [Map]

Tickets: £15 | Get tickets here
A young couple sit on the sofa, wearing a startled expression

A happily married couple, Hyun-su and Soo-jin, peaceful lives are disrupted by the disturbing nocturnal behaviour of Hyun-su. As they strive to unravel the horrifying secret of the inexplicable actions that occur during his sleep, the film delves into the efforts of these two individuals.

Sparklingly tense and ingeniously eerie, Jason Yu’s 2023 feature-length debut Sleep confronts the seemingly immovable trust between soon-to-be new parents Soo-jin and Hyun-su.

When Hyun-su begins to uncontrollably sleepwalk at nighttime – with neither cause or remedy apparent – Soo-jin goes to great lengths to support her struggling partner, as his career and very existence slowly dissipate. But, as Hyun-su’s nightly activities grow more extreme, both partners’ safety is put at risk, and the couple is forced to examine their own pasts in response to a string of grotesque behaviours that slowly become – seemingly, crazily – paranormal.

Stellar performances from Lee Sun-kyun and Jung Yu-mi crystallize the feature’s genuinely fearful aspects – authentic and impactful tension, nightmarish visuals and a freshly original narrative which embeds Sleep within the iconic scope of South Korean horror cinema.

Through Hyun-su’s journey, Yu raises thought-provoking inquiries about the significance of trust, as audiences are invited to view a marriage’s woeful disintegration from within. Vicious, sinister and at times bleakly comic, Yu’s feature debut triumphs in showcasing the enduring love between a pregnant wife and her husband – and how that slowly leads to obsession.

(Review by James Boyce)

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