Before I Wake (2016 film)
Before I Wake (also known as Somnia) is a 2016 American horror film directed and edited by Mike Flanagan and co-written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard. The film stars Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Jacob Tremblay, Annabeth Gish, and Dash Mihok.
|Before I Wake|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mike Flanagan|
|Edited by||Mike Flanagan|
|Box office||$4.9 million|
A frightened man with a gun enters a child's room nervously. He looks around as if looking for something that he expects to reveal itself in the shadows, then a sudden commotion makes him pull the trigger. The gunfire awakens the child and the man breaks down in tears. Later, Jessie and Mark Hobson take in a foster child, eight-year-old Cody Morgan, after their young son Sean dies from accidentally drowning in the bathtub. They soon find out that Cody's dreams become reality, but his nightmares are quite deadly.
On his first night, the couple are amazed as multicolored butterflies flutter across the living room, emitting a strong glow. Mark tries to capture a blue butterfly to show to Cody, as the boy likes butterflies. However, Cody wakes up and the butterflies disappear. The following day at school, he befriends a girl and antagonizes a mean kid. At home, Cody asks Mark who the child in the picture is, and Mark replies that he is their dead son, Sean. Cody answers that his mom is dead, too. That night, the couple see their deceased child and try to hug him. When Cody wakes up, Sean disappears. Upon discovering Cody's gift, Jessie takes advantage of it. She lets Cody watch home videos of Sean and, that night, the couple once again sees their beloved child. Days later, Mark notices the addiction that his wife has found and accuses her of abusing Cody for his gift instead of loving him. An argument ends with Mark taking down the pictures of Sean.
Cody falls asleep at school, and a nightmarish creature that Cody calls "the Canker Man" appears before the mean kid, as the girl he's befriended watches in horror. Meanwhile, Jessie goes to a doctor and complains that her foster child has trouble sleeping; the doctor prescribes medication. She mixes it with his drink, unbeknownst to her husband. That night Sean once again appears before them but turns into a nightmare. Mark attempts to wake Cody up but can not. Jessie confesses that she drugged the boy. The nightmare creature devours Mark as Jessie is thrown across the room and falls unconscious. She wakes up with Cody on the phone calling 911 for help. Suspecting domestic violence and that the boy has been drugged, social services takes Cody away.
Jessie steals Cody's social worker's files and talks to the frightened former foster parent of Cody. At the orphanage where Cody is kept, the staff have noticed that Cody has not been sleeping for the past two days. That night, the boy is given a tranquilizer, which he protests against helplessly. Jessie arrives to find the place dark and isolated. She witnesses nightmarish creatures in every room. Finally, she finds where Cody is, but before she can go near him, she is thrown across the hallway by the tall slender nightmare creature. She pulls out a pillow shaped like a blue butterfly, and hugs the creature. As she holds it, it takes the form of Cody and disappears. Before it disappears, she whispers to him and asks him to release all the people the creatures have taken. The nightmare turns into a beautiful dream, and all the people taken by "the Canker Man" reappear, though only as dreams themselves. Jessie takes the-still unconscious Cody home.
The following day, Jessie gives Cody the journal his birth mother Andrea had kept, which shows how much she had loved him and his gift. However, she had died of pancreatic cancer when Cody was just three years old. It is revealed that "the Canker Man" is actually just his mother when she had cancer, but Cody had read it wrong and thought a monster had taken over his mother because of what the chemotherapy had done to her. Then she revealed to him that there is more to his recurring nightmares than meets the eye, and Cody begins to learn how to control his gift.
- Kate Bosworth as Jessie Hobson
- Thomas Jane as Mark Hobson
- Jacob Tremblay as Cody Morgan
- Annabeth Gish as Natalie Friedman
- Topher Bousquet as The Canker Man
- Dash Mihok as Whelan Young
- Jay Karnes as Peter
- Lance E. Nichols as Detective Brown
- Kyla Deaver as Annie
- Hunter Wenzel as Tate
- Antonio Evan Romero as Sean
- Scottie Thompson as Teacher
- Justin Gordon as Dr. Tennant
On September 7, 2013, it was announced that Oculus director Mike Flanagan was set to direct a horror film called Somnia he co-wrote with Jeff Howard for Intrepid Pictures, and that the producers would be Trevor Macy and William D. Johnson, with Demarest Films' Sam Englebardt co-producing and co-financing the film with MICA Entertainment headed by Dale Armin Johnson. Focus Features International initially handled international sales of the film. On November 7, 2013, it was announced that Sierra/Affinity would now handle all international rights which were previously held by FFI. On April 4, 2014, Relativity Media acquired the US distribution rights to the film. In March 2015, the title was changed to Before I Wake, apparently over Flanagan's objections.
On November 7, 2013, Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane joined the lead cast of the film as the child's parents, and Jacob Tremblay was set to play as Cody. On November 18, 2013, Annabeth Gish joined the cast of the film to play Natalie, the case worker assigned to young Cody.
Filming commenced on November 11, 2013, in Fairhope, Alabama. On December 12, 2013, the crew filmed scenes at Barton Academy. Filming completed on December 16, 2013. The music was composed by Danny Elfman and The Newton Brothers.
On April 4, 2014, Relativity Media acquired the US distribution rights to the film. The film was originally scheduled to be released on May 8, 2015, but was pushed back to September 25, 2015, and later pulled from the schedule due to the company's filing for bankruptcy. The film was rescheduled to April 8, 2016, and then rescheduled to September 9, 2016. It was then pulled from the schedule.
In June 2016, it was announced that the film would screen at the Fantasia International Film Festival in July. The film had its North American premiere there on July 31, 2016, while still being distributed by Relativity Media. Excluding the United States, Netflix released the movie worldwide on April 28, 2017. In December 2017, it was revealed that Netflix had obtained United States rights to the film from Relativity Media, thus owning worldwide rights. Netflix released the film in the U.S. on January 5, 2018.
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On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 60% based on 30 reviews; the average rating is 6.4/10. On Metacritic, it has a score of 68 based on 5 reviews, indicating "generally positive reviews."
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