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For In My Sleep, No One to Suspect but the Obvious

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In My Sleep
Directed by Allen Wolf
Morning Star Pictures
Opens April 30, Quad Cinema

Marcus (Philip Winchester) is a parasomniac: It looks like he's awake, but he's sleepwalking, a convenient excuse for, say, sleeping with your best friend's wife. And lo and behold, when she turns up dead, it's hard for Marcus to maintain his friendship with Justin (Tim Draxl). Sure, he didn't mean to kill anyone, but waking up with a bloody knife in hand would make anyone suspect the worst. The biggest problem with Allen Wolf's thriller is that there are so few characters that it's immediately clear what's going on; there's simply no one to suspect besides the obvious. A slightly bigger problem is that the movie's risible. To kill time while Marcus figures out how that knife got in his hand, there's a Freudian subplot about the origins of Marcus's sleep disorder, with a repressed memory flashback that makes Hitchcock's Spellbound look like a paragon of convincing psychology, plus dream sequences straight out of Glen or Glenda? It's very much an L.A. movie, complete with an endless parade of heavily-made-up club girls and two protagonists who work as masseuses; Wolf's camera is so enamored of their chiseled, shirtless bodies that the whole thing becomes unintentionally homoerotic. It may be worth seeing just for the memorable sight of Lacey Chabert—ex–Party of Five kid as neighbor Becky—attempting to interpret Marcus's dreams based on what she once learned in night school.

 
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