Friday, May 16, 2008


A curious little film, this one, yet for all the wrong reasons. A 2003 short from writer/director Kevin Lane, THE SOMNAMBULISTS is extremely well-made on a technical level--in particular its widescreen photography, which gives it the slick, polished look of a major Hollywood production--but its story is so muddled and busy that if it weren't for a brief shot of zombies I'd have never known this was a suitable entry for the blog.

The story posits the conceit (or at least it does until the expository conversations render it incomprehensible) a parallel between sleepwalking and the living dead. Or between the dead trapped between our world and the beyond--like I said, I was lost from the start, so I could be wrong on both.

In addition to this main throughline, Lane throws in a serial killer who preys upon young athletic men, the police investigation of same, and a last-minute revelation of a long-buried adolescent trauma. Needless to say, it makes for a confusing 25 minutes; even if all of the elements made sense, there's enough plot here to befuddle Keyser Soze, and it all feels as if Lane's throwing each thread out at random to see if any stick.

That's too bad, because he really does have a strong eye, and I wish he'd had a story that measures up.

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