Before I Wake Review

As I clicked on this Netflix original, for some reason I was under the impression that it was a series, not a film. After realising, I understood more about how the story would work.

The plotline surrounds a child who’s dreams come to life, and unfortunately for those around him, his nightmares aren’t excluded. An interesting idea, give or take the nature of those dreams (mine for example, include things like ‘tetris on strings’, a recurring childhood nightmare), but for the films purpose I assumed they would make slightly more sense.

Right from the start, the child Cody is insanely cute and charming, making you feel protective of him and his wellbeing. It’s the typical ‘child in a horror movie’ setting: orphaned kid gets passed around parents to be eventually adopted by our protagonists, who discover he isn’t what he seems. This time, though, Cody is sweet and well aware of his gifts, trying to control them through the night by not sleeping.

Starting off a little creepy, with a nightmare figure and a couple of attempted jump scares, the film slowly develops into more of a thriller/drama kind of story, becoming more about loss and how different ages cope with different situations.

Marketed as a horror it could be seen as such, just much more tame than anticipated. Attempting to explain fictional storylines with realistic reasoning, it the plot lines are interesting and the characters are more developed than some horrors. After watching, I feel if it had been made into a TV series instead, then we could have had a completely different view on the situation, looking more into the workings and symbolism of dreams, especially with children.

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