After a long day, you arrive home from work, drop your stuff on floor, toss your keys and cell phone onto the kitchen counter, and immediately pull open the fridge door. What glorious wonders await?
Fuck. You’ve somehow forgotten that you were too lazy this past weekend to get off your ass and go to the grocery store. Now, too tired to get back in the car and drive two miles to Whataburger, and with the promise of pizza delivery at least 30 minutes away, you begin searching the depths of your fridge and kitchen cabinets for something, anything, to combine and eat.
That’s how you end up eating canned clam chowder with a side of Cheez-Its and a fine 2018 Tap Water to wash it down.
My parents handled things differently. All the leftovers from the week were saved and unceremoniously slopped into a large glass dish:
- Mix any “Cream Of” soup, assorted leftovers, and milk together in a large casserole dish.
- Cover with bread crumbs and shredded cheese of your choice.
- Bake uncovered at 350 F for 1 hour.
Wow! Thanks, mom!
Now, I’m not sure how production companies handle movie schedules or how they set writing deadlines. I also don’t know that there are folks out there lighting up the Netflix phone lines, hungrily demanding new content now. No one wants movie casserole.
So, when an obviously rushed-into-production movie such as Before I Wake appears on Netflix, I wonder why. Why didn’t the writers take the time to go the store, get some good stuff, and try to make something respectable and maybe even delicious?
Who knows? What I do know is that with this movie, Netflix has provided us a big ol’ casserole. Sure, it’ll fill you up, but it tastes weird and is vaguely unpleasant to chew.
- Mix the concept of Samara Morgan (The Ring), a dash of Anthony (Twilight Zone: The Movie), a sprinkle of moths (MAMA), and a guardian ghoulie (MAMA, again).
- Cover the slop with a few likeable actors (Thomas Jane, Kate Bosworth, Jacob Tremblay).
- Half-bake and serve immediately.
A married couple (Jane, Bosworth) are fostering a cute, mop-headed little kid named Cody (Tremblay). Before they know it, neon butterflies are flapping slowly around their living room and soon after that, more sinister events begin occurring…all while little Cody is nestled in bed. Quick, wake him the hell up!
There’s nothing more to say about the plot than that because anyone who might watch this movie is already a horror/thriller fan, and they will see all this shit coming a mile away.
Here are a few positives in an otherwise dull mess:
Annabeth Gish is aging fantastically. Well done, Gish!
Secondly, there’s a sequence with Cody’s biological mom, flashing back to her pregnancy and Cody’s infancy, where she begins to see the wondrous manifestations of his dream-power. It is well-shot, well-acted, and a genuinely heartfelt moment.
There’s also a genuinely creepy moment where Cody manifests his recollection of a person that has died. His childish recollection doesn’t quite nail the details of the person’s face.
Spend your precious time elsewhere. SKIP this movie.
Adios, amigos y amiguitas!