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REVIEW | Before I Wake: the most boring nightmare to come to life

Aleesha Matharu | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

Want to know a bad sign for a movie?

When you look at the production timeline on a flick and it started filming in December of 2013. Then it was set for release May of 2015. Then it was pushed back a year again.

These kinds of delays, plus financial issues, plus whatever the hell else pushes a film back years and years suggest that Before I Wake may not being the greatest thing ever put to celluloid.

So lucky us, we got to see it before anyone else in the world. And lucky us again that this is the only English movie to release this week thanks to Shahrukh Khan's Fan blocking up all theatres.

More like Before I Snooze

Directed by Mike Flanagan (the director of Oculus, Absentia - both of which were not terrible), this movie is saddled with a terrible script and a ridiculous storyline - making it very clumsy and an absolute snooze fest.

Five minutes in and you'll be left groaning and wishing that the movie would just get over already. A fast forward button would have come in handy for pretty much 100 minutes of the 137-minute movie.

So what the hell is it about?

So Cody (Jacob Tremblay) is an eight-year child who's being bounced from foster parent to foster parent after one or both parents keep disappearing (nothing fishy about that eh, child services?).

The young fella then gets adopted by Mark (Thomas Jane) and Jessie (Kate Bosworth) who lost their child. What the two are not aware is that Cody has a mysterious (read inexplicable) gift that enables his dreams to literally come true whenever he falls asleep.

Which obviously makes Cody incredibly afraid sleep. He responsibly chugs sugary drinks, caffeine and chews on pills to keep him awake so that his nightmare, 'the Canker Man', doesn't come to life to "eat" his new parents.

His imagination is pretty limited though for a child - it's just butterflies, moths and the not-really-very- terrifying Canker Man.

So Jessie, the ever-loving mother, after seeing that Cody can recreate an image of Sean for a few minutes every night, decides to exploit his gift. Comical disaster awaits after she selfishly doses him with sleeping pills and then we bid farewell to Thomas Jane - possibly the second best thing in the movie after Tremblay. 

Ooh, scary. NOT.

Well, even Tremblay is just okay - his performance is nothing close to what he accomplished in the Oscar-winning film Room. 

Bosworth is at her flattest best - an emotionless zombie who barely blinks when nightmares come to life are charging at her. Who doesn't even squeeze out a tear when her husband disappears into the rubbery condom like Canker Man.

There are no true jump scares if you're a horror film veteran. In fact, there are many moments where you'll break into peals of laughter in the second half as some random explanations come in.

The verdict

If you're a true blue horror fan and want something scary, look elsewhere. Or just watch the Babadook again.

Otherwise you would have most definitely wasted 137 minutes of you life. And a few hundred rupees that would come to use at the end of the month. 

RATING: 0.5 out of 5

First published: 15 April 2016, 12:35 IST
Aleesha Matharu @almatharu

Born in Bihar, raised in Delhi and schooled in Dehradun, Aleesha writes on a range of subjects and worked at The Indian Express before joining Catch as a sub-editor. When not at work you can find her glued to the TV, trying to clear a backlog of shows, or reading her Kindle. Raised on a diet of rock 'n' roll, she's hit occasionally by wanderlust. After an eight-year stint at Welham Girls' School, Delhi University turned out to be an exercise in youthful rebellion before she finally trudged her way to J-school and got the best all-round student award. Now she takes each day as it comes, but isn't an eternal optimist.