Before I Wake (2016)
Written By: RIY
Edited BY: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Mike Flanagan
Producer: Trevor Macy, Sam Englebardt, et. al.
Screenwriter: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard
Date Released: June 29, 2016
Kate Bosworth as Jessie
Thomas Jane as Mark
Jacob Tremblay as Cody
Annabeth Gish as Natalie
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
After their child accidentally died, Jessie and Mark tried everything they can to move on from the pain. They attended group meetings and so on. They decided to adopt Cody, thinking that it could be a way for them to be okay as individuals and as a couple.
However, the couple did not know that Cody has a special gift. He can make his dreams turn into a reality. They couple were so amazed that Cody can make their son, Shaun, appear as if he is still alive. But things got out of hand when Cody started having nightmares.
Since Before I Wake (2016) is a fantasy and horror film in one, you can expect that more than half of the scenes have supernatural and magical effects. But this could be a great strategy because when you thought you will be seeing magical butterflies (the good parts of Cody’s dream), sometimes the Canker Man appears with terrifying audio, giving you a good jump scare.
Speaking of the Canker Man, you might think that it resembles Slender Man. The difference is that Canker Man is smaller and it can bend almost half of its body. If you have a weak heart, watch out for the black butterflies too because they can make you jump off your couch.
The Grave Review
Before I Wake (2016) might seem like a child-friendly movie. The story follows a mourning couple and their adopted child. At first, it might seem like it is not a horror movie at all because you will be seeing a lot of magical things from Cody’s dream. But everything will change once he starts to have nightmares. Say hello to the black butterflies and the Canker Man.
Cody has a mysterious character because he looks like a wonderful child but will keep you wondering why he keeps on changing his foster parents. Aside from his mysterious character, you will look forward if Jessie and Mark will ever move on from their loss.
The film did a great job of giving jump scares. There was one scene when Cody made Jessie’s son appear in front of her, he was speaking in a low voice then suddenly Cody screams as he is being pulled by the Canker Man under his bed.
In terms of acting, all the cast did a great job in portaying their characters. The actor who plays Cody, despite being a child, made it feel like he is really in deep stress about his special abilities. You can also feel the mourning and desperation of the actress who played Jessie.
Unfortunately, there are some parts of the film that were questionable. The film made it clear that everything is created by Cody’s mind, but how come he can make people disappear? Where do those people go? Also, why did Jessie take him back to their house when he was the one who took her husband? It does not seem realistic, especially when all the other foster parents were angry at Cody and there was even one who tried to kill him after the Canker Man took the man’s wife.
The ending is also a bit puzzling. Before, Cody can create magical butterflies whenever he is asleep. But in the end, he just closed his eyes and a blue butterfly appears. Does that mean that his power grew?
All in all, Before I Wake (2016) is still a good movie to watch if you are interested in fantasy and horror films. But if you are looking for a film that will not let you sleep at night, then this is not the one you should watch.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Before I Wake (2016) two graves out of five graves.
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