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.





ABC Film Challenge – Horror – U – Unconscious (2014)

Director: Michael Polish

Writer: Amy Kolquist, Mike Le (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate Bosworth, Wes Bentley, Olivia Rose Keegan, Shashawnee Hall, Richard Riehle, Patrick Bauchau


Plot: The story of a man who wakes up in bed suffering from memory loss after being in an accident, only to begin to suspect that his wife may not be his real wife and that a web of lies and deceit deepen inside the house where he soon finds himself a prisoner.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Thriller


Story: Unconscious starts when a man (Bentley) is involved in an accident, when he awakes his wife (Bosworth) looks to care for him through his recover, but he has lost his memory, meaning she must rebuild their relationship. Believing everything he is told the man goes along with everything until he makes the discover that the woman isn’t who she claims to be.

The man must find a way to survive becoming prisoner to this woman who just wants her own family and she will do anything to make this happen.


Thoughts on Unconscious


Characters/PerformanceThe characters don’t have names they are only just known as man and woman, the woman keeps the man hostage inside her home as she looks to start a family, she is filled with useless information and always comes off distant and emotionless. The man is involved in an accident where he loses him memory, he believes what is being said until he learns the truth where he must do anything to survive.

Performance wise, Bosworth is great in this leading role where we see an emotionless psychotic character come out of what we have usually known as a bubbly actress. Wes Bentley is good but not to the levels we know he can reach.

StoryThe story here is very slow, we get parts borrowed clearly from Misery where a woman abducts a man for her own wishes, sure this does go into different motives but we see how the punishment for trying to escape can become more painfully as the man tries to escape. The pace is solid enough but the truth is I would have liked slightly more pace to this movie.  

Horror/Mystery The punishment the man must go through with the mystery being surrounding why the woman is doing this and what caused the accident in the first place.

SettingsWe have most of the film inside the house which is created to feel like a prison for our main character the man. It is designed so the woman knows and is prepared for anything.

Final ThoughtsThis horror does have a pacing issue which does make us wonder what direction things will be going in, it never reaches a fully intense level which I feel it needs to and falls into the slow burning thriller that needs a twist to save it.


Overall: This thriller comes off short.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Black Rock (2012)

casting card


Plot: Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Very Bland


Story: Black Rock starts as two friends Lou (Bell) & Sarah (Bosworth) travelling to an island only for Sarah to surprise Lou and Abby (Aselton) to try and reconnect. Sarah wants to bring the three friends back together where they search for a time capsule they put on the island when they were kids but it isn’t long before we learn why Abby and Lou haven’t seen talking.

The trip gets interrupted by three guys Henry (Paulson), Derek (Bouvier) and Alex (Richardson) who the girls know from when they were younger. When Abby leads Henry on it leads to him trying to rape her before she kills him leading to Derek and Alex having to make the difficult decision on what to do to them. When the girls escape it turns into a battle to survive as the ex-military men chase down the girls on the island.

Black Rock comes off very frustrating because we start by not learning enough about the three leading ladies apart from the fact they were friends. The reason Derek decides to go on the hunt to kill happens because one of the women over teased one of the guys leading him on way too much before changing her mind and this ends up leaving the film in the morale ground of who was wrong, the guy for not stopping or the girl for saying yes before changing her mind. The survival side of the story is also almost pointless because we have nothing new.


Actor Review


Katie Aselton: Abby is one of our leading ladies who has fallen out with Lou after something that has happened years before. She reluctantly goes on this trip once Sarah talks her into it. Abby gets drunk leading a guy on but when things get out of hand she ends up killing him leading to his friends hunting the friends down on the island. Katie is solid but we need to actually believe the friendship before the attack.

Lake Bell: Lou is the other friend that has clashed with Abby but spending time together the two have to put the difference behind them to survive the attack on the island. Lake is solid in this role but we need to see more.

Kate Bosworth: Sarah is the friend that is trying to make Abby and Lou patch things together, she is a doctor which offers help when the friends come under attack on the island. Kate seems like she is wasted in what is only a supporting role.

Will Bouvier: Derek is the friend that decides to hunt down the girls after they kill his friend, he treats it like a game enjoying this too much. Will is a very average villain.

Support Cast: Black Rock only has a couple more cast members that don’t really stay around long enough to make a difference with the survival but are the motivation for the hunting.

Director Review: Katie AseltonKatie doesn’t get the most out of this simple story with predictable scenes throughout.


Horror: Black Rock doesn’t us the horror elements of this survival horror enough.

Thriller: Black Rock should be keeping us on edge but by the end of the film the suspense has been lost.

Settings: Black Rock keeps nearly all of the film on one island which does create the isolation needed.
Special Effects
: Black Rock has solid effects when it comes to the kills but otherwise not needed.

Suggestion: Black Rock is one you can easily miss because everything has been done better before. (Skip It)


Best Part: It is quiet short.

Worst Part: Why did you not just grab the gun?


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully not.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

Tagline: Not every island is a paradise.

Trivia: Writers Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass are married.


Overall: Predictable and flat story with little to no suspense.




Trailer Alert – Before I Wake

Plot – Somnia is a haunting, emotionally absorbing supernatural thriller about an orphaned child whose dreams – and nightmares – manifest physically as he sleeps.

Release Date: No Date Set in UK


  • Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush)
  • Thomas Jane (The Mist)

Director: Mike Flanagan (Oculus)

Highlight of the Trailer: Looks Visually good.

What Looks Good? From the trailer I like the idea of good and bad happening from dreams, too many films only focus on the bad.

What Looks Bad? Jane, Bosworth have no real horror experience, can they handle it.

Summary: I think this will be one of the best horror films of the year, I think the mix of good and bad elements in the dreams will help give the fil a fresh feeling, but we could end up having a very clichéd horror if things aren’t done correctly.


Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 75%

My Guess Rating – 70%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Homefront (2013)

logoDirector: Gary Fleder

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay) Chuck Logan (Novel)

Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, Izabela Vidovic, Kate Bosworth, Marcus Hester, Clancy Brown, Winona Ryder, Omar Benson Miller, Rachelle Lefevre, Frank Grillo


Plot: When a bust goes wrong for DEA agent Phil Broker (Statham), he decides to move to a quieter lifestyle. Along with is daughter Maddy (Vidovic), But when a school bully pushes her too far, she fights back Phil gets called in to answer questions. Furious parents Cassie Bodine (Bosworth) and Jimmy Klum (Hester) approach him about the action and get the same treatment.


Looking for more of their own justice Cassie gets in contact with her brother Morgan ‘Gator’ Bodine (Franco) the local meth drug lord. When Morgan learns about Broker’s past, what starts as a simple set of mind games turns into a deadly battle to survive after Morgan sees a chance to make his business grow he reaches out to people from Broker’s past. Deadly Cyrus Hanks (Grillo) kidnaps Maddy, Phil uses all his skills to get her back and make the people pay for what they have done.


Verdict: No nonsenses action


Story: When you hear the outline of this story you will feel like you know what to expect in the end. One of the strong points for the story is that it lets it all brew up before finally unleashing it all at once. This could be a negative for some stories but for this one it works because of Broker character that is only about self-defence. The whole thing starts from something so very petty but the escalation takes it from a small feud and turns in to a war. In the end this is a simple story that gives action fans enough to enjoy. (8/10)


Actor Reviews


Jason Statham: Phil the DEA agent who wants a quiet simple life with his daughter. When his old life gets caught up on him he has to bring back his old ways to save his family. Good performance from Jason doing what he does best. (8/10)


James Franco: Morgan the small time meth drug lord wanting to make it big and once he finds a way he loses control of the situation. Good performance from Franco who steps into the crazy role ambitious role with ease. (8/10)


Izabela Vidovic: Maddy the daughter of Phil who has self-defence skills that lead her into trouble. Good performance from the young actress. (7/10)


Director Review: Gary Fleder – Good direction showing how to make a very good action thriller with a happy ending. (8/10)


Action: Plenty of action be it fights, gun battles or chases. (9/10)

Crime: Good elements of crime using a former DEA agent as lead. (8/10)

Thriller: Good thriller as it builds up nicely before unleashing it all. (9/10)

Settings: Good settings that offer a remote idea but don’t truly change the films overall feel. (8/10)
Special Effects
: (/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the action junkies it will fill all the marks for them, but the casual non action fan will not enjoy this too much. (Action Junkies Watch)


Best Part: Most of Statham’s fights.

Worst Part: It all ends up being over reaction that starts it all.

Action Scene Of The Film: The attack on the Broker’s house.

Believability: People will go to measure to protect their family. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes it could.

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: None

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $43,058,898

Budget: $22million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: How far would you go to protect your home?

Trivia: originally developed screenplay for Rambo film series.


Overall: Good Old School Action

Rating 76