Movie Review: Before I Wake (2016)


Directed by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush), Before I Wake is a 2016 supernatural horror movie. Still grieving after the loss of their son, Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) look to adopt Cody (Jacob Tremblay, Room) and it soon becomes clear that Cody has a special gift; his dreams become real to those around him as Cody sleeps. Unfortunately, so do his nightmares. Haunted by a horrifying entity called the Cankerman, Cody does all he can to protect those around him.

+ there was good acting from all of the main characters. Thomas Jane, a personal favourite of mine, was the arguably more reasonable father, where Bosworth, as the more emotionally affected mother Jessie, was the anchor of the film. Even Tremblay as son Cody was good to watch; he’s so cute, you just don’t want anything bad to happen to him
+ the film had some nice scares, without focusing solely on standard jump scares. The scenes which are not intended to be scary often come across as creepy simply because they are so NOT-scary
+ what starts as a potentially tired and cliched horror plot soon turns into a clever story with nice twist to piece it all together

– once the twist was revealed (or “twist”, if you will) there was a solid five minutes of exposition dialogue explaining EVERYTHING. I really wish the film had let viewers make their own connections, as my viewing partner and I had before this scene
– even after the above mentioned scene, there are lots of unanswered questions and hanging plot threads. One big one in particular you’ll all be scratching your heads over

> I am not particularly fond of butterflies (they creep me out), so Cody’s obsession with them made for some unsettling scenes for me. Others may not have such reservations.

Should you see this film: Yes. Like director Mark Flanagan’s previous horror outings Oculus and Hush (which I reviewed here), this was more than a standard horror movie. An interesting plot made for a thrilling ride from start to finish.


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