Sara Eustaquio’s “Slumberous” establishes a sense of dread and an oppressive nighttime atmosphere through a droning sound design that renders both the protagonist’s house and the outdoors around it alien and unnerving.
While the shot composition and acting are also compelling enough to sustain the narrative momentum and ominous mood , the greatest weakness of Eustaquio’s film perhaps comes from the script itself. The main character’s choice to murder her hamster by the end seems unmotivated and unearned; while the house is certainly producing a horrific effect through sheer uneasiness, it makes little sense that she would decide to go for her pet first and foremost, especially since the grating squeaks of the hamster wheel are only briefly revealed to us as viewers. Everything else, in fact, appears more brutalizing to the senses than the hamster wheel, so it would have been more relevant to the narrative progression to have the protagonist burn down her house, for instance.
Overall, “Slumberous” is an effective exercise in horror aesthetic, but unfortunately it lacks a cohesive script to finely shape its trajectory.