“SONNO PROFONDO” (Movie Review)


The following might very well be the shortest review you’ll read here at Fango this month. It’s not because SONNO PROFONDO (DEEP SLEEP) — a new Argentinian psychodrama from writer, composer, photographer and director Luciano Onetti — is a bad movie. It’s not. It’s actually not a movie at all really, in the traditional sense anyway.

Rather, it’s an experimental wash of giallo-flavored imagery that doesn’t pander to anyone except its creator’s visionary impulse. And in a disparaging world where low-budget filmmakers vomit out endless tepid, commercial-baiting D-level product with bad actors stumbling through cliché scenarios, this aesthetic alone makes SONNO PROFONDO worth celebrating.

The film’s loosely hanging “story” has something to do with a black gloved killer rampaging across a gritty urban terrain and then being blackmailed by a mysterious person who seems wise to his crimes. The killer in turn becomes the target. But there are no heroes or villains in this film. There are no characters at all. Instead, the immensely talented Onetti hides behind his lens and becomes the lunatic, subjecting the viewer to what he sees, filtered through his fevered brain; zipping across surfaces, creeping through streets, opening doors, marauding down hallways and of course, killing people (though, refreshingly the gore is very muted…the sex, well, not so much!).

All of this spastic POV cam mayhem is set to the relentless screech of Onetti’s mutant, mid-period Morricone, electro-tinted prog-jazz, a landscape of sound that never, ever stops. I can imagine SONNO PROFONDO being a wild experience trapped in a dark theatre, with Onetti’s fetishized imagery smacking your sense every five seconds. At home, the film’s lack of narrative push and void of any quiet moments at all (literally the movie never stops moving) might put some viewers hoping for a traditional vintage Italian thriller off. But like SONNO PROFONDO’s clearest contemporary inspiration, that of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s 2009 mind-bender AMER, Onetti’s visual body slam works best as an experience, a dream-logic assault. Though it could do without the phony print scratches added in post, a trend that has long since played out.

When taken as moving art installation, SONNO PROFONDO is nothing short of audacious, if occasionally a bit too frenetic. Recommended for horror fans who like their stuff weird and challenging.



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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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