Tagline: Fear Your Dreams.
Release Date: January 5th, 2018 | Runtime: 1 hr 37 min | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Netflix
Triggers: Child death by drowning
Before I Wake Review
Before I Wake was a sublime movie. Beyond that, it’s difficult to put my feelings about the film into words. So, let’s start with the technical stuff. The movie was beautifully shot. Michael Fimognari did a fantastic job with the cinematography. The gorgeous elements played perfectly against the more traditional horror elements. Mike Flanagan, who has done other recognizable films such as Oculus and Hush, kept Before I Wake moving at a steady pace. He dropped clues skillfully throughout the movie.
Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane both played it subtle and perfect. As a parent who has lost a child, I sympathized greatly with the parents in the film. The grieving process after your child dies is one that everyone experiences differently. I could see both parents ways of dealing with their grief as being believable. Jacob Tremblay’s performance as Cody was pretty good. Although I initially felt he laid it on a bit too thick in the beginning, I could actually justify his performance when I thought about it later. Cody is a smart kid and would do what he could to make himself appealing to his family. (Especially given the reveal towards the end of the movie.)
My partner and I watched the film together, and we were definitely absorbed throughout the entire film. Though there are elements of traditional horror to it, it is just as much a drama about what you would do to another chance to see your child again if you could. This actually caused me some conflicted feelings regarding one of them. Because while I understood why they did what they did, I didn’t agree with it one bit. The mix of the two – emotional drama and paranormal horror – kept me on edge. I was subconsciously doing my best to burrow into my couch cushion at certain parts!
One of the creepiest scenes in the film involved the couple’s deceased son, played by Antonio Romero, and a common gesture of affection. It was nothing like you might expect – you know – the child turning into a skeleton or whatnot. However, it was a great transition from sweet moment to ‘something is very, very wrong here’. This scene was the turning point for Before I Wake to start delving into the darker side of things. A perfect choice for it, really.
Before I Wake kept me off balance enough that I was consistently wrong or just flat out missed certain things throughout the film. This may or may not have caused me to yell at the screen a few times only to feel like a complete idiot seconds later.
Finally, the end of Before I Wake was disturbing. It actually caused me a moment of outrage before I acknowledged that the move was basically irresistible. Putting myself into the character’s shoes for that situation – I can’t truthfully say I would have done anything different. My partner agrees. I would love to see someone run a poll where they asked whether or not they liked the movie,and secondly if they had experienced child loss.
Overall, Before I Wake was a film that hit all the right notes for me, even though I would hesitate to say it’s truly a horror film. It was well worth all the wait and I hope it gets all the attention it deserves on Netflix. Highly recommend viewers check it out ASAP.