Arts & CultureIssue 001

Review: Insomnium (dir. Ed Cotton, 2018)

By 16th September 2019 No Comments

By Shay Flora

Insomnium is the ambitious new film created by a group of Hull University Film students in collaboration with Humber Film. Set firmly in Hull, this psychological thriller examines the breakdown of functionality as Jonathan Chambers (Lex Stephenson) represses the need to sleep. Engaging with postmodernist horror concerns, his grip on reality is dissolved by the drug Insomnium which “eliminates the need for your mind and body to sleep”, causing his repressed traumatic past to violently return. The gradual breakdown of Jonathan’s reality is explored though Conn O’Brien’s cinematography, Gabriel Almasi’s composition, Ashley Cantwell’s sound design, and Natalie Buck’s production design. With bleak and desperate visuals existing outside of a definable time period, along with the use of ticking clocks out of time, Insomnium shows us a bad dream we are unable to escape from with our mind intact. Bringing to mind films such as Fight Club and Memento explored through a distinct lens of sleeplessness, Insomnium manages to convey the hungry emptiness of a grey reality without the relief of unconsciousness. Starring Lex Stephenson, Phoebe Garner and Ryan Parker, written and directed by Ed Cotton. Stream it now on Amazon Video!