Before I Wake (2016)

Director: Mike Flanagan

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.

PerformancesKate 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.

StoryThe 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/HorrorThe fantasy involved in this film plays into the idea that dreams and nightmare can come to life bringing new horror to the victims.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the activities in the home which makes sense because that is the main place you would sleep.

Special EffectsThe 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.

Scene of the Movie –
The truth is wonderful to see unfold.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I got confused when Cody was attacked in his sleep.

Final ThoughtsThis 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.





Halloween Kingathon – Bag of Bones (2011)

Banner-2logoDirector: Mick Garris

Writer: Stephen King, Matt Venne (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George, Annabeth Gish, Anika Noni Rose, Matt Frewer, Jason Priestley

Plot: After his wife’s sudden death, a best selling author returns to his cabin retreat where he receives paranormal visitations and becomes involved in a custody battle.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fright Filled Mini Series

Story: Bag of Bones starts author Mike Noonan (Brosnan) who has given his wife Jo (Gish) the chance to write the final lines of his book which he always has for good luck. 4 months later at a book signing Jo is killed in a road traffic accident taking away Mike’s motivation, but leaving Mike with a big question about whether Jo had been having an affair because she was pregnant but he couldn’t have children.

Mike descends into mourning after his wife’s death that questions his writing abilities while have nightmares about his wife. Most of the visions include the couple’s holiday home on Dark Score Lake pushing Mike into spending time at the lake house.

When Mike discovers he isn’t alone in the cabin he communicates with Jo as they work together to unlock the mystery of Dark Score Lake. When Mike meets Mattie Devore (George) who is trying to keep custody of her little girl while her father in law the power Max Devore (Schallert) is stuck in a battle for her. When the ghost of Sara Tidwell (Rose) comes haunting Mike has to learn to balance the truth while doing the right thing in his wife’s final wishes.

Bag of Bones is a typical ghost investigation film which is my favourite type of horror film. It builds to show our main character Mike having to figure out why he is being haunted but it also doesn’t take long before he ends up getting involved in the story that has lead to the haunting by accident. I will say that at times it could be considered being slightly slow to start with but by the end you won’t believe how long it actually was. This won’t stand out as brilliant but it will kep you n the edge throughout the whole time. (7/10)

Actor Review

Pierce Brosnan: Mike Noonan is the recently widowed author who returns to his lake house for the first time in years, while there he gets haunted by his recently deceased wife along with a vengeful spirit. Mike also ends up in the middle of a custody battle between local rich man and his daughter in law. With all this going on Mike struggles to find a way to right his latest novel. Pierce gives a good performance having to go through all the horror emotions. (7/10)mike

Melissa George: Mattie Devore is the local lady trying to keep custody of her only child, she ends up offer a potential new romance for Mike but is grateful for all the help he gives in the case. Melissa goes a good job in the supporting role. (7/10)mattie

Annabeth Gish: Jo Noonan is Mike’s wife who died but has stayed with Mike in spirit to guide him through this latest situation. Annabeth does a solid job but due to her characters early death she doesn’t get much screen time. (6/10)jo

Anika Noni Rose: Sara Tidwell is the vengeful spirit haunting Mike as she looks for someone to help uncover her story, she was a brilliant singer in late 30’s and whenever her music plays she communicates to Mike. Anika does a good job in this role that we learn more about as the film unfolds. (7/10)sara

Support Cast: Bag of Bones has a supporting cast that all have their own agendas to what has been happening, but it is easy to work out who is on what side of the fence.

Director Review: Mick GarrisMick does what he does best and make a Stephen King novel into an interesting absorbing story. (8/10)

Horror: Bag of Bones has basic horror but because the story wants to focus on the mystery works for the film. (6/10)

Mystery: Bag of Bones gives us a mystery to try and solve along with the leading character Mike. (8/10)

Settings: Bag of Bones brings the action to a small lake community which works to show one places dirty little secret. (9/10)
Special Effects: Bag of Bones only uses a few special effects but doesn’t rely on them for anything. (8/10)

Suggestion: Bag of Bones is one for the Stephen King fans to enjoy, it was set up to be a two part story too which means you can split it up too. (King Fans Watch)

Best Part: Mystery created.

Worst Part: Slightly slow early on.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 37 Minutes

Tagline: Beware the lake.

Overall: A mini series that simply keeps you guessing from start to finish.

Rating 70