The Sleeper (film)

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The Sleeper
Limited Edition DVD/VHS box set released by Gamma Knife Films
Directed by Justin Russell
Produced by Justin Russell
Dana Jackson
Written by Justin Russell
Starring Ali Ferda
Paul Moon
Eric Sarich
Beverly Kristy
Brittany Belland
E. Ray Goodwin
Jason Jay Crabtree
Music by Gremlin
Cinematography Justin Russell
Edited by Justin Russell
Gamma Knife Films
Distributed by Gamma Knife Films
Release date(s)
  • January 31, 2012 (2012-01-31)[1]
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30,000

The Sleeper is a 2012 horror film written and directed by Justin Russell.


In 1979, a giggling man with milky white eyes (credited as "The Sleeper") breaks into a bedroom in the Alpha Gamma Theta sorority house, and kills the resident with a hammer. Two years later, the sorority is organizing a party to welcome new pledges, an event that prompts the return of the Sleeper, who has been living on the campus in secret, spying on the Alpha Gamma Thetas, and threatening them over the phone.

On the night of the party, Amy and Ava (the new girls) arrive at the party to kill some time. One of the girls notices a guy standing outside, but obviously they think it's Bobby's other friend. Bobby then leaves to avoid having Cindy kicked out of the sorority. the Sleeper sneaks into the sorority and kills Cindy by bashing her face in with a hammer. The next day, when the girls check on her, she is nowhere to be seen. The next night, the Sleeper strikes again, ripping Rebecca's face off in a gym locker room, and killing Stacy, her suitor Derek, and an employee at a pool hall. As these homicides occur, Cindy's boyfriend Bobby goes to the police to report Cindy's disappearance, and he and Detective Drake learn that Rebecca and Stacy have gone missing after the detective calls the sorority. Drake sends Bobby home, and goes to the sorority while the Sleeper kills Matt, a boy who had walked Alpha Gamma Theta pledge Amy to her dormitory.

Amy discovers she has been left a message by the Sleeper just before Drake calls to ask her if she has seen any of the missing co-eds. Drake advises Amy to come to the Alpha Gamma Theta house (where they are setting up a phone tap) when she tells him about the message she had received. The Sleeper's calls are traced to an old storm cellar in Jacob's Hall, so Drake heads there. Two officers are left to watch the house, but the Sleeper manages to get inside and kills everyone in the building (including Bobby when he drops by) besides Amy. Drake hears Amy screaming from upstairs and goes to see that the killer has fled. Amy tells him that The Sleeper tried to kill her and then Drake insists her to go to the station for help. Before Amy leaves, The Sleeper suddenly appears and wounds Drake, not before chasing Amy through the campus and to his lair, where she stabs him.

Amy is found by a patrolling officer and taken to a hospital, where she is informed by a doctor that Drake is in the ICU, and the Sleeper was caught. As she tries to rest, Amy answers a ringing phone, and screams when she realizes it is the Sleeper.


  • Brittany Belland as Amy
  • E. Ray Goodwin as Detective Drake
  • Jason Jay Crabtree as The Sleeper
  • Elizabeth Lane as June
  • Jenna Fournier as Laura
  • Riana Ballo as Stacy
  • Jessica Cameron as Cindy
  • Tiffany Arnold as Rebecca
  • Ali Ferda as Ava
  • Kendra Stevenson as First Sister
  • Beverly Kristy as Miss Joy
  • Paul Moon as Bobby
  • Eric Sarich as Derek
  • Aaron Russell as Matt Matheson
  • Joe Bob Briggs as Doctor Briggs


The Sleeper was filmed in Springfield, Ohio over thirteen days in February 2011.[2]


The Sleeper was released on DVD, video-on-demand, and a combination DVD and VHS pack on January 31, 2012.[1]


Steve Barton of Dread Central gave The Sleeper a four out of five, and stated that it "stands as the best homage to early eighties filmmaking since Ti West's amazing The House of the Devil".[3] The film also made it as an honorable mention on one of the website's "Best of 2012" lists, where Matt Serafini wrote "it gets everything right: the pacing, the atmosphere, the settings... Russell nails it. Here's a guy who understands the slasher film, and I look forward to his next outing as a result".[4]

The attempt to recreate an eighties atmosphere was criticized by Film Bizarro's Preston Carnell, who felt the film was trying so hard in that department that it became annoying and distracting. Other than that, Carnell gave The Sleeper a positive review, stating it had good atmosphere, cinematography, and death scenes, and passable acting.[5] David Andreas of Splatter Critic reacted negatively to The Sleeper, giving it a 1½ out of 4, and writing that it "tries to come off as a throwback to '80s slashers, but mostly duplicates the faults that ruin films of any decade. Poorly acted, completely illogical, and with the worst line dancing since The Howling: New Moon Rising.[6]


  1. ^ a b Barton, Steve (5 December 2011). "The Sleeper Wakes Up on DVD Next Year". Dread Central. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Wixson, Heather (2 March 2012). "Indie Horror Month: Justin Russell Talks The Sleeper, Eighties Slashers and More". Dread Central. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Barton, Steve (27 January 2012). "Sleeper, The (DVD)". Dread Central. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Serafini, Matt (23 December 2012). "Dread Central's Best and Worst of 2012". Dread Central. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Carnell, Preston. "The Sleeper". Film Bizarro. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Andreas, David (1 February 2012). "The Sleeper". Splatter Critic. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 

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