Insomniac, The (2014)
Directed by Monty Miranda
Monty Miranda’s The Insomniac follows John Figg (Eddy Salazar), a man who returns home following the death of his father and begins to spiral into madness and obsession after his home is broken into and all of his possessions, including his dog and dead father’s car, are stolen. He begins to suspect everyone around him, and at one point writes “TRUST NO ONE” in big letters on a legal pad. Clearly he means business. One of these individuals in whom he loses complete trust is indie horror’s new golden boy Danny Trejo. He’s in the film for a grand total of seven minutes or so and pulls out the best performance in the entire thing.
I opted to go right into the film’s plot summary because after reviewing countless low-budget indie thrillers completely devoid of skill both in front of and behind the camera, it just becomes a chore to expend any semblance of effort on something that clearly couldn’t afford the viewer the same opportunity. Sure, there’s a good, albeit somewhat contrived story at its core, the type of story that could conceivably make a solid effort at the box office it starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Samuel L. Jackson as the neighbor and pull in respectable box office numbers. But it’s executed in such a way that it resigns itself to the myriad direct-to-DVD horror films that almost no one will ever see.
There’s so much to say about The Insomniac, and none of it does it any favors. The audio is terrible. Everything sound hollow, and in some instances is almost impossible to hear. With the exception of Southern belle Clare Grant, who plays Figg’s girlfriend Martha, everyone looks yellow. The progression of Figg’s insomnia looks less like insomnia and more like jaundice. Salazar is dreadful. He’s the lead and it becomes a chore just listening to him force out the unnatural dialogue that plagues the film. Maybe it’s because he’s just not right for the role, but personality goes a long way in bringing a character to life. He has none. And neither does the film.
1/2 out of 5