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“Laura Hasn’t Slept” is a thrilling and haunting experience; a gripping narrative and brilliant acting allow us to disappear into the terrifying tale.

Parker Finn’s Laura Hasn’t Slept follows the titular character Laura (played by Caitlin Stasey), a woman who has experienced several traumatizing nightmares centered around ‘a man’ that stalks and terrifies her to the point that she fears going to sleep. Fearing for her life and her sanity, Laura is desperate for answers on how to end her torment.

The tension within this film is wonderfully crafted, slowly building as we learn more about Laura, her nightmares and the monster that haunts them.

Stasey’s acting helps bring together this tension, as well as providing crucial insight to the character and how terrified she is, really breathing life into the monster she fears. 

The tension also allows for the right information to be revealed, so that the two main plot twists land perfectly — with just enough foresight to make it interesting and thrilling without giving too much away too soon.

The dark and moody cinematography and set design contribute to a sense of entrapment and confusion, whilst also remaining visually stunning.

The antagonist is interesting and immediately terrifying as he transforms from a seemingly ‘normal’ or comforting figure to Laura’s literal nightmare.

Ironically, the monster’s final form is just as terrifying as his ‘everyday’ appearance. The use of clever camera angles and framing makes something as simple as a smile turning into a taunting and terrifying experience.

Overall, Laura Hasn’t Slept is a short but terrifying narrative filled with impressive acting, gripping tension and a captivating story — one that pulls you in for a truly breath-taking ride. It was set to premiere at SXSW in March, before the event was canceled. And though audiences missed the chance to see it on the big screen at the fest, the short film won the Special Jury Recognition Prize for SXSW’s Midnight Short category.

Want another reason to check out “Laura Hasn’t Slept”? As recently reported by Deadline, Paramount Pictures has made a deal to turn the powerful short into a theatrical feature. The short’s writer-director Parker Finn also will write and helm the film.

Watch the short film here

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4.5

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