Writer: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard (Screenplay)
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Jacob Tremblay, Annabeth Gish, Topher Bousquet, Dash Mihot
Plot: A young couple adopt an orphaned child whose dreams – and nightmares – manifest physically as he sleeps.
Tagline – Fear your dreams
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Surprising Horror
Story: Before I Wake starts when couple Jessie (Bosworth) and Mark (Jane) decide to adopt after losing their own son, they take in Cody (Tremblay) who seems like a pleasant young boy that there seems to be a mystery about why other families haven’t been able to care for him.
The days that follow show that Cody has an ability to bring his creation to life during his sleep, first with butterflies, then Sean but what comes from his dreams also comes from his nightmares in the form of the Canker Man.
Thoughts on Before I Wake
Characters – Jessie is the mother of the house, she is filled with guilt because of the death of their son, she doesn’t sleep much and gets addicted to the idea that Cody can give her time with her late son. Mark is the father of the house, he has grieved in his own way and is eager to become friends with Cody as quickly as possible to fill the void he has been left with. Cody is the young boy the couple adopt, he has been going through families even though he comes off pleasant, he isn’t a bad kid, he just has his dreams and nightmares come to life.
Performances – Kate Bosworth is good in this leading role being what we need for this film, it isn’t truly stand out but does everything it needs to, Thomas Jane works well too and Jacob Tremblay also goes a great job for the young actor who seems to be wonderful throughout.
Story – The story follows a family that has lost their own child and now want to adopt to help move to the next stage of their life, the problem comes from the idea that the child’s dreams come to life when he is sleeping. We are in the horror world which does take the back burner to everything because we are dealing with personal loss and trying to move on. We do have horror moments too, the idea that a child could dream things that come to life which brings wonder and terror unlike anything the adults could imagine. We do get an investigation too which again is something we always see and works for these types of films.
Fantasy/Horror – The fantasy involved in this film plays into the idea that dreams and nightmare can come to life bringing new horror to the victims.
Settings – The film keeps most of the activities in the home which makes sense because that is the main place you would sleep.
Special Effects – The effects show us how what can be created in a child’s mind and just how it can bring joy and terror into the world, the moment he awakes if just vanishes.
Final Thoughts – This is a good horror that does bring us into a word that can be filled with wonder and terror without even realizing it.
Overall: Wonderful horror with beauty visuals.