"Before I Wake" (2016)
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
Written By: Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard
Released: September 9th, 2016
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Relativity Media
Foster parents Mark and Jessie welcome 8-year-old Cody into their home. The boy tells Jessie that he's terrified to fall asleep, but she assumes it's just a natural fear for any young child. The couple become startled when their dead biological son suddenly appears in their living room. To their surprise, Cody's dreams can magically become real but so can his nightmares. Mark and Jessie must now uncover the truth behind Cody's mysterious ability before his imagination harms them all.
This is an interesting take on the Nightmare on Elm Street concept. Dreams becoming real, a being that haunts someone in their sleep. If they fall asleep they, or people they know will die. I guess it’s been done a lot nowadays, but not quite from this perspective which is what makes this film stand out from its crowd.
As opposed to focusing on the dreams of the child from the child’s point of view as a way of scaring the audience, this film instead focuses on the parents’ take and their attempt to understand and listen to the child. It’s very family orientated above trying to scare which serves the story well. There’s a lot of heart-warming moments and sentiment.
The characters themselves are grounded and believable. Their actions are genuine.
Sure, there are many flaws to this film as well, but the good out-weighs the bad for me.