Timetraveller Wife
by Timetraveller Wife

Do you wish that what you dream could become reality? Winning the lottery, or flying through the sky, or  a super ability that you only have in dreams?

But, you will not want everything to happen, especially when you have a nightmare.

When sleep becomes a place for reunification with her son, Jessie (Kate Bosworth) starts feeding Cody (Jacob Tremblay), a boy who she is fostering with her husband Mark (Thomas Jane), information about her deceased son. 

This is because Cody has an ability that he’s not very fond of. When he sleeps and dreams, his dreams manifest themselves in reality, both good and bad. When Cody is agitated or has anxiety issues, and he dreams, a boogeyman called “Mr Cranker Man” will become very much alive and hurt people. For this very reason, Cody resists sleeping. 

When Mark learns of Jessie’s intentions, he is strongly against Jessie’s manipulation of the boy. He wants Jessie to love Cody for himself, not in order to use him for selfish reasons. Before Jessie gets a grip of herself and understands the full extent of Cody’s lucid dreaming, horrible things happen. 

The movie is not just a horror-thon. Besides horror, there are also scenes that focus on the beauty of Cody’s ability as we watch his dreams come alive. For example, he dreams of a beautiful blue butterfly flying around. The butterfly lacks certain details due to Cody’s lack of knowledge of the winged insect. After he learns more about it, we see and appreciate his ability to change, or improvise shall we say, the objects in his dreams according to what he has learned. 

Director Mike Flanagan teams up once more with writer Jeff Howard, following on from Oculus, and do a great job in making us root for Cody right from the start. It is especially difficult to see him inflicting pain upon himself simply to stay awake. 

The film’s delicate balance between scares and emotion makes the movie more than a horror movie. Watch it before you sleep. Sweet dreams. 

Before I Wake

Did you know?

Flanagan insisted that the movie be marketed as a supernatural drama, and not a horror movie, as well as that it should provide all information that the audience should be aware of. A heartache for Flanagan was the delayed release of the film after its domestic distributor filed for bankruptcy. This meant that the movie had an uncoordinated release across various countries that owned the rights, hence resulting in a certain anonymity for the movie. 

Talented Tremblay had his breakout role in drama Room, which was after he played Cody in Before I Wake. However, due to the delayed release of Before I Wake, Room was released first. This created the awkward situation of him getting an “introducing” credit in Before I Wake