Before I Wake
Direction: Mike Flanagan
Actors: Kate Bosworth, Jacob Tremblay
Evidently aiming to cash in on the popularity of supernatural horror flicks, Before I Wake does provide the requisite ‘gotcha’ scares but is, otherwise, really nothing we haven’t seen before.
All the by-now-familiar elements are in place: torturous plot developments, low-rent special effects, screechy soundtrack.
There’s no narrative drive, just a cast of characters suffering the after-effects of a script that doesn’t make a lick of sense.
Following the accidental death by drowning of their baby boy, a couple (Bosworth-Thomas Jane) decides to adopt a bright-eyed eight-year-old (Tremblay, who garnered international acclaim for his performance as the captive child in Room).
Watch the trailer here
At first it seems that the parents have come to terms with the loss of their only child. Before long, though, the adopted moppet reveals preternatural tendencies.
Unable to sleep soundly, he drives his surrogate parents crazy with unsettling manifestations of his nightmares. The absurd yarn even branches out into a terminal illness subplot, thereby enabling the mother to get to the root of the boy’s family curse.
This is the sort of film that relies on far-fetched actions and equally improbable reactions to proceed -- and still goes nowhere.
Thankfully at least director Mike Flanagan (Oculus) doesn’t resort to the slice-and-dice gore associated with the genre.
At best, Before I Wake might serve as an affordable alternative remedy for insomnia.
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