Norwegian actress and filmmaker Mona Fastvold’s first feature, “The Sleepwalker,” was a minor hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It tells the story of Kaia (Gitte Witt) and Andrew (Christopher Abbott), a young couple renovating her old family estate when they get an uninvited visit from her sister Christine (Stephanie Ellis) and her fiancée Ira (Brady Corbett, who also co-wrote the film with Fastvold). As disturbing family secrets between the sisters begin to resurface, the tension gradually rises to the boiling point.
Our own Rodrigo Perez praised the film, likening it to an Ingmar Bergman chamber drama with hints of David Lynch’s intensity. A couple of other critics, including Variety’s Dennis Harvey, admired Fastvold’s slow yet gripping build-up, while pointing out a dissatisfying third act and a lack of consistency in tone.
The recently released trailer does an excellent job of building tension, which might be due to clever marketing and may or may not pay off in the finished product. Of course, “The Sleepwalker” has nothing to do with the cheesy, early ’90s, Stephen King-penned werecat flick “Sleepwalkers.” You can check out the trailer below, and see it when it opens in theaters and on VOD November 21st.