While you'll never hear me say a bad word about director Mike Flanagan's humanist approach to horror, one that emphasizes character and emotion over jump scares or graphic violence, "Before I Wake" feels less of a horror film and more of a supernatural drama, and has to register as Flanagan's first true misfire since leaving the indie world. Even so, his elegant formalism ensures this is a film worth experiencing.
Not only is the film genuinely terrifying, employing a slow-burning, long-held, observational aesthetic influenced by J-horror filmmakers like K. Kurosawa, it builds to an emotional climax that is actually heartbreaking. Like Shyamalan, Flanagan uses the supernatural to explore themes of grief & catharsis; his monsters becoming more an emotional manifestation than a representation of evil. Possibly his greatest work.
Seldom in its quantity of time that it tries for scares, as its focus is drama, but it's refreshing an optimistic adult-horror film spites its characters' faults for more depth. The self-help group scenes are shoehorned in to explain the character's psyche/story themes, but such character details as Bosworth's self-serving in using the dream manifestations to reconnect with her dead son are a masterstroke of pathos.
A pleasant surprise from director Mike Flanagan that though set within the horror genre winds up telling a tender tale of maternal love and overcoming fears. Kate Bosworth is quite good here even if the viewer wants to strangle her character at times. Atmospheric and eerie throughout without ever going full bore horror.
PLAIN VANILLA!!! While nothing about this movie is inherently bad it is on the other hand soooooo pedestrian both when it comes to acting, drama, emotion, scares and tension. It is nice to see Flanagan trying his hand at something else than horror but he is no Del Toro when he is trying to craft a movie that successfully melds fantasy, horror and human drama. An OK effort but a borderline snooze fest.
I don't know why this one gets so much hate. The effects are corny at times, but it seems to me that the idea of horror in itself (although not magnificently done) in this one is different and on a totally different tone than most mainstream horror. I see it as a incentive. (I will agree that pacing, cinematography, acting is horrendously common, though)
I’m surprised at the kinda mixed reviews this movie has. It’s not the greatest out here of course but i think that it was unique well made especially when it comes to how it’s a horror movie. I think it’s pretty good and recommend it. Again, to me it’s not great but it is good and surprising so for that i do recommend it. And also it’s on Netflix