31 Days of Horror 2018: Day 3- Before I Wake

Posted October 3, 2018 by Thomas James Juretus in Movies

Day 3 on our journey through the strange and wonderful, and today’s feature is the 2016 film Before I Wake. The film follows a couple, Jessie and Mark (Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane), who have lost their son to a tragic accident and decide to foster a young boy named Cody (Jacob Tremblay). Cody has had a rough time of things, losing his mother at an early age and being shuttled from foster family to foster family, only to have things go wrong. Thing is, Cody’s dreams become real as he sleeps, but so too do his nightmares, particularly one very nasty being called the Canker Man (Topher Bousquet). Jessie and Mark are first amazed by Cody’s ability, but their wonder turns to terror when things take a dark turn. 7.5/10 stars

Overall, as a horror movie, Before I Wake isn’t especially scary, though there are some creepy moments. As we learn more about Cody’s past and his abilities, it becomes clearer what we’re dealing with here (which I won’t spoil here, though many will figure it out before its reveal). Director Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Gerald’s Game) does a nice job of establishing an atmosphere that both evokes wonder and the sense that something darker is on the horizon. Tremblay, in his debut, makes for an endearing Cody, and Bosworth and Jane do a fine job as parents who are still haunted by loss, yet wish to make a better life for Cody. The special effects are well done, and the Canker Man is a bit creepy, though not overly original. It may not make you jump, but it is engaging viewing and worth a look. Now showing on Netflix and available on Blu-ray/DVD.

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Thomas James Juretus