'Before I Wake'
A; Horror, Thriller
Director: Mike Flanagan
Cast: Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Annabeth Gish, Jacob Tremblay, Dash Mihok
'Before I Wake' is a supernatural horror film directed by Mike ('Oculus') Flanagan. The narrative aims for an eerie and minimalist approach but it's neither deep nor satisfying. As horror films go this one just doesn't build up to a level of affectation that could even startle you. The jump scares laid out in predictable fashion don't have that kind of power.
Watch the trailer of 'Before I Wake'
Following the tragic death of their young son Sean (Antonio Romero), the devastated couple, Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane), struggling to maintain a healthy relationship and unable to have a second child, decide to adopt. They welcome an 8-year-old cute and likeable, Cody (Jacob Tremblay) into their affected lives with trepidation and yearning in their hearts. Cody though is not the regular kid. He doesn't sleep at night and when he manages to catch a wink, his nightmares manifest into reality. At first he brings back to life memories of their lost child but as his sleep deepens and power increases, a nightmare known as 'The Canker Man' (Christopher 'Topher' Bousquet) takes shape.
There are quite a few loopholes in the telling. The film ends in a teaser that suggests Cody's powers can have a reverse effect too. It's merely a suggestion though and probably has it's origins in sequel ideation. The meditative pace, stylized positioning that passes off as performance, quasi-eerie atmosphere promoted by solid camerawork and generic treatment don't make it a fulfilling mix. The VFX is magical but the entire treatment lacks vision and fire. As a result the 'scares' are never fully realized. This one promises much more than it can deliver!