Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Thomas Jane, Kate Bosworth, Scottie Thompson, Annabeth Gish, Scottie Thompson, Dash Mihok, Jay Karnes, Kyla Deaver, Lance E. Nichols
Runtime: 1 hr 37 mins
Rating: PG13 (Horror)
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Opening Day: 5 May 2016
Synopsis: Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) decide to take in a sweet and loving 8-year-old boy, Cody. In one moment they experience the incredible wonder of Cody's imagination and the next, the horrific nature of his night terrors. In an attempt to save their new family, Jessie and Mark embark on a dangerous hunt to uncover the truth behind Cody's nightmares.
It’s often common for us to wish and hope for our dreams to come true. But ‘Before I wake’ certainly takes that to a whole new meaning. What if your dreams, even your darkest dreams, come to reality?
This film centres a boy named Cody (Jacob Tremblay), an orphan boy who has troubles settling in with previous foster families. Finally, Jessie and Mark decided to take up the adoption and foster Cody. However they soon discover that Cody refuses to fall asleep. He is in fear of something. Many supernatural occurrences started to happen, with Mark and Cody’s classmate disappearing mysteriously. Jessie embarks on her investigation and slowly came to a revelation and learn what truly happens when Cody falls asleep.
‘Before I wake’ is unlike the usual horror films. To more accurately categorize this movie, it is more of a fantasy thriller, probably owing to director Mike Flanagan's unique take on horror films. In his early years, his films tend to be skewed towards being melodramatic. That undertone is still apparent in this movie, manifesting in a postive way. The movie is one that is coherent and has focus. The story development was well done and balanced, giving enough background and narrative.
If one is judging this movie based on the merits of a typical horror film, like the scare tactics, the soundtrack, the suspense and the 'ghost', then 'Before I wake' probably will not make it to the mark. However, the plot of the movie is commendable, one which unfolds gracefully with a slight plot twist. What works to its benefit was also Jacob Tremblay's right on point acting - as expected of an award-winning child actor (for his performance in Room).
All in all, 'Before I wake' is a supernatural fantasy thriller all-in-one. Although it does not ace as a horror film and has its shortfalls, you will enjoy if you watch it with an open mind. Let your imagination take over!
(Makes you think twice before hoping for your dreams to come true)
Review by Tho Shu Ling