If you think back over the last 10 generic horror films you’ve seen, then you have just watched this one.
“BEFORE I WAKE” stars; Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Jacob Tremblay and is directed by Mike Flanagan. The premise of this story revolves around a couple who lost their son years prior who decide they are ready to adopt. They bring a young boy into their home and soon they discover he can physically manifest his dreams and nightmares, something that will threaten the safety of them all.
I’m always down for a B-movie and this boasted a relatively solid cast with Jane, Bosworth and Tremblay. Jane and Bosworth are familiar faces and can carry a character along given the material allows and Tremblay is showing himself to be an above average child actor, with a bright future ahead of him. So with an interesting premise, a solid cast, and being a fan of the horror/thriller genre, I had moderate hopes for this one.
“Before I Wake” was not a horrible film it was just a rather boring one. The plot could have led to so much more tension and suspense, but it simply didn’t. The characters are pretty generic as is their backdrops so I never got invested in them or the story in the first-act. There was a major lull throughout the second-act that totally killed the pacing, and my enjoyment. I got the story they were trying to tell, but the writing kept it from coming across with the impact it could have.
This film wanted to be a drama at times, then a thriller, as well as a horror film at times and while the combination wasn’t a complete failure, it wasn’t very engaging to watch. The story tries to weave a modest story of drama between the characters but it doesn’t develop nearly enough to come across as anything other than filler. Also the story takes some turns it shouldn’t have and it did so as a result of some scattered focus on what the tone would be for this film.
Overall the performances were not bad, but the writing did hinder them from being good. There were some spots of promise here and there, but all the generic tropes and situations that fill the bulk of the run-time make this a completely forgettable film that showed some ambition in the theme, but none in the execution. “Before I Wake” is another mash-up with elements we have all seen before that make this film worth a pass.
Time: 97 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For violent content and terror including disturbing images)