By Inkoo Kang
In The Insomniac, a robbery is much more than a robbery: It's a justification for going crazy. Director Monty Miranda's psychological thriller heightens the terror, rage, and feelings of violation and helplessness that are the natural aftereffects of home burglary to delineate one victim's descent into self-destructive paranoia. For most of its run, the film is a tribute to unimaginative competence, confidently venturing where so many movies have ventured before. But in the last few scenes, the script offers a solid twist and a cynical social critique, the latter coming out of nowhere but still somehow managing to work. The Insomniac opens with a protagonist who deserves his own Don LaFontaine narration: "John Figg had everything: a great job, a beautiful girlfriend, a new house. And then he lost it all." John (Eddy Salazar, who also co-wrote) suffers a one-two sucker punch when his home is robbed twice in as many days. First, the burglars come for the car his recently deceased father left him. Then they return for the big-ticket items from his house, knocking down the urn holding his father's ashes as a redundant "fuck you." John turns into an insomniac, telling his would-be fiancée, Martha (Clare Grant), "If I sleep, if I lose focus for just one second, the thief will come back." He suspects old friends and relative strangers alike of the burglaries. Soon, John goes crazy in the same way all movie characters go crazy: scribbling lists, circling names, and tacking random pieces of paper on the wall. Inevitably, his obsessive mistrust crescendos in a burst of violence. Salazar's performance is uneven, but the actor brings a shiny-eyed intensity to the manic scenes.
Monty Miranda Eddy Salazar, Clare Grant, Danny Trejo Eddy Salazar, Peter Kenneth Jones Romina Espinosa


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