Review: Before I Wake (Somnia)

Before I Wake

Before I Wake

Genre: Horror, Thriller
Duration: 97 minutes
Language: English
India Release Date: 15-APR-2016

Following the tragic death of their young son Sean (Antonio Romero), Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) are struggling to maintain a healthy relationship. As they no longer able to conceive other children, they decide to adopt a kid in order to start a new family. Soon, they welcome an 8-year-old kid named Cody (Jacob Tremblay). He is cute, bright and instantly likable. But there is one peculiar thing about him: Cody is terrified of falling asleep and he will do anything to stay awake. Apparently, Cody has a mysterious gift that able to make his dreams literally come true whenever he sleeps. Through Cody’s imagination, Jessie and Mark able to experience wonderful images. But the downside of Cody’s dreams lies a nightmare known as “The Canker Man” (Christopher “Topher” Bousquet).

Overall Review: Movie is psychological (generally a nightmare) and lacks the power to convince. The slow evolution, unnecessary reactions (of the couple) against all the supernatural events that occur at home, not covered by the clever and touching final explanation makes Before I Wake – A Weak Film. Cody’s imaginary world where he dreams a swarm of colourful butterflies feels beautiful at the beginning but gets old very fast when the same visual motif becomes repetitive. Overall, Before I Wake is below average fantasy thriller (than a horror) with a few moments of intense anguish and “sudden” terror.

Performance & Technical Review: The most important element in this film is Jacob Tremblay (The Room). Jacob(the rising star) was unique, after wonderful Performance in Room he is back with another wonderful performance again, he was the essence and the soul of the movie with his acting and impressions. With the help of cinematographer Michael Fimognari and production designer Patricio Farrell, movie has its few moments, Flanagan wisely opted a more classical approach to frame his shot. As a result, certain scenes that take place in the dark or quiet surroundings manage to evoke a foreboding sense of dread and creepiness. However, Director Mike Flanagan is far from an accomplished visual stylist. The screenplay, where Flanagan and Jeff Howard combines supernatural elements with heartfelt themes that deal with loss and parental love, isn’t entirely successful but still carries a fair share of emotional value.

PDF Verdict: Before I Wake is below average fantasy thriller (than a horror) with a few moments of intense anguish and “sudden” terror.

Ratings: 2 on 5
Performance: 3 on 5
Script: 2 on 5
Screenplay: 2 on 5
Music / Background Score: 2 on 5

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