Before I Wake is an excellent film directed and co-written by Mike Flanagan (Oculus (2013), Hush (2016), Absentia (2011).
Flanagan takes the overdone topic of “Creepy Child” to a new level of imagination and heart-pounding thrills. The storyline was very well thought out and out of the box. Cody is a child with a gift that can bring his dreams to life sometimes giving others joy. But what happens when his nightmares come to life? Not only do his nightmares hunt him but they put everyone around him in danger and he knows it. Going from foster home to foster home we start seeing a pattern where his foster parents mysteriously disappear never to be found again.
Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) decide to take in a sweet and loving 8-year-old boy, Cody. Cody who is a foster child with a bit of a dark path. Very soon after moving in, Jessie and Mark witness the powerful gift that Cody has which is bringing his dreams to a reality as he sleeps. It starts with the butterflies! Jessie notices that if Cody remembers details of something or someone he will dream of it and it will come life. She notices Cody staring at her dead sons (Sean) photo in the living room, later that night her dead son Sean appears in the living room leaving Jessie and Mark in disbelieve. But soon she will learn that it isn’t always pretty when the butterflies appear. Cody has a dark path and his demons also come to life.
I really liked the storyline, it was very creative and it kept me interested in the movie, I wanted to learn more about Cody’s gift, I wanted to know the meaning behind the butterflies and his obsession with them. After many twist and turns, they explain it all towards the end of the film and I can honestly say it was a very unexpected ending, totally took me by surprise. The monster was simple but terrifying, imagine living with a creature in your dreams that you know will come to life if you fall asleep and you can only hope you wake up just in time to save someone’s life before its too late.
Can we talk about the music in this film! The music had me captivated and lost in the film. It wasn’t until the end when the credits rolled out that I noticed that the music for the film was done by no other than Mr. Danny Elfman. Danny, who has been referred to as “Hollywood’s hottest film composer”. The music composition for this film just wrapped everything up nicely, with all the elements combined it a must see in my book!