HEADS UP: If you want to watch the short without your view being tainted by my opinion, just skip to the bottom. Otherwise, read on!
If you’ve ever suffered from insomnia you’ll know that it’s not just the lack of sleep that’ll drive you crazy, but the monotonous doldrums of being awake for far too long. You can try to read a book, watch TV, or surf the net; but when all you want to do is sleep those activities only serve to aggravate the quiet tension growing within.
“Insomnia” by Nino Scuderi manages to capture that sensation with a preciseness that made me feel as if I were desperately trying to sleep. This short film is best experienced with a pair of headphones as the audio plays an integral role in what makes it so captivating.
Scuderi’s film creates a silence so deep that the rhythmic beating of the main character’s heart becomes a unsettling hypnotic symphony that’s punctuated with whispered ramblings and mad speech. Watching the character fidget and play with dirt doesn’t quite match up to the intensity of the soundtrack, but it does help to capture the insanity of insomnia.
And while the audio cues are great and there are some interesting surreal moments, I have to say that the short goes on a bit longer than it should. After a few minutes the sound cues lose their effect and the character’s behavior becomes too quirky and odd. The ending has a nice creepy payoff, but the journey there becomes tiring. In a way, this serves to emulate the sensation of insomnia even further and works on a higher level of observation, but at the cost of the viewer’s patience.