British horror is a difficult beast, with low budgets and tired tropes often overly prevalent. In John Shackleton’s debut feature he tries to do something slightly different, and whilst it sadly doesn’t work as a whole, it’s a great first attempt under such financial constraints.
Still affected by the death of her mother, Blue (Leila Mimmack) lives the life of a reluctant call girl in Brighton. Although fond of her boss (Julie Graham), she’s terrified of her boyfriend (David Sibley). When she calls on a client in an old Victorian house, Blue finds a shy man called Bill (Joseph Beattie) who shows her a mutoscope he’s discovered. After watching the disturbing events featuring a strange hooded man, Blue discovers a hidden room which unlocks a number of dark secrets surrounding the mysterious house and her family.
The Sleeping Room features some impressive performances from both the younger and more established actors. The plot’s fairly slight but is handled well by Shackleton, and whilst the scares and tension are hardly overflowing, The Sleeping Room is still an impressive entry into the modern British horror canon.
The Sleeping Room is released on DVD by Second Sight and is available on May 11.