Film Review: Scott Barley’s ‘Sleep Has Her House’

“The shadows of screams climb beyond the hills. It has happened before. But this will be the last time. The last few sense it, withdrawing deep into the forest. They cry out into the black, as the shadows pass away, into the ground.”

Scott Barley’s Sleep Has Her House is the finest work of audio-visual poetry that I have seen in a long while. An experimental documentary, it is a unique tapestry of sounds and images that takes you on a meditative journey into a world covered in mist and fog. It lulls you in to its universe, as it ever so slowly guides you towards an impending storm.

There are sequences within this film that have seared their way into my memory, both of unspeakable beauty and terror. The quote that opens the film lays the foundation for all that lies ahead over the course of the feature. It is the key that you need, as it unleashes and sets up a very specific mood that will allow you to tune in to the wonders on display.

You should approach this film with a clear mind. It is imperative that you turn out the lights, turn up the volume, get all distractions out of the way, and view this film on the biggest screen possible. Allow it to pull you in, wash over you, and give you a rare opportunity to see the world anew.

According to the synopsis on the website, the unbelievable look of the film was achieved by way of a mixture of live action, still photos, and hand drawn images. Sleep Has Her House was shot entirely on an iPhone.

Filmmaker Scott Barley has arrived, and he is one to watch.

It will arrive on Blu-Ray soon, and it is highly recommended.

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