Following the tragic death of their son Tate, Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) try to get on with their lives. To fill the void, they decide to adopt a kid. That would be Cody (Room’s Jacob Tremblay), a little boy who has already seen his share of foster parents and who is looking for a new home now that his most recent stepfather ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Oh, and he’s an insomniac.
Jessie and Mark welcome Cody to their home and immediately start noticing weird stuff. Turns out Cody doesn’t really suffer from insomnia, he just tries to stay awake because once he falls asleep his dreams become reality. Now that’s all good and well when he’s having a nice dream (aw, look at those cute butterflies in the living room!), but what when he’s having a nightmare? Seeing as Before I Wake is supposed to be a horror movie, you don’t have to wait too long to find out.
The problem with Before I Wake is that it doesn’t really work as a horror movie. There isn’t a single moment where you jump out of your chair nor are there any really scary scenes. But it doesn’t work as a drama either. Bosworth and Jane both do a decent job portraying a couple that has suffered a tremendous loss and is now trying to work through it. And Jacob Tremblay is doing a great job as well playing a kid that has seen his share of shitty moments in his short life. But the monster that pops up doesn’t really fit in a drama.
This movie just falls kinda short and lacks depth, making it director Mike Flanagan’s first disappointment following Hush, Oculus and Ouija: Origin Of Evil. He will be back later this year with the adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Gerald’s Game. Here’s to hoping he’s back on track with that one.