Film Preview: Before I Wake (2016)

Page Revisions:

(March 13, 2016) Original
(March 3, 2016) New Poster (#5)
(July 24, 2016) New Trailer (#2) / New Poster (#6)

Release Date:

April 8, 2016


From IMDb: “A young couple adopt an orphaned child whose dreams – and nightmares – manifest physically as he sleeps.”

Poster Rating: C+ / C- / B+ / D / C+ / B

Review: (#1) Borrowing too heavily from a lot of action thriller posters, this black-and-red design is misleading as the trailer suggests limited violence and limited action, making the color choices seem irrelevant. (#2) Slap a painted butterfly over the face of the lead actor and you have a distracting and pointless design even if the butterfly ties into the premise.

(#3) Doubling down on the butterfly motif resulted in one of the more interesting recent poster designs, a visually stunning overlay that creates artistic beauty in subtly horrific ways. (#4) A pointless design if you have no idea what the film is about and don’t care about butterflies and blood.

(#5) Taking the butterfly motif and imposing it on a young girl’s face is a much more compelling idea than a lot of these prior designs, but it’s still not all that interesting.

(#6) There’s something visually exciting about this poster, but the most fascinating elements seem drowned out by a poor choice of framing. Had the bed not been so dominant, the floor would have been almost immaterial, making the design more appealing.

Trailer Rating: B+ / C

Review: I’m surprised this film didn’t get a release last year, but I suspect that star Jacob Tremblay’s late-breaking appearance on the awards circuit (and appearance in a film with Oscar potential) led to the studio waiting to release until after his run through awards season. It might be a shrewd move because the film looks a lot more interesting than expected and with the added familiarity of a rising star, it might do better than expected.

(#2) The first trailer showcased a promising premise with plenty of genuine potential. This follow up just doesn’t have the emotional cohesiveness or wherewithal to evoke interest.

Oscar Prospects:


Trailer #1

Trailer #2


Poster #1Poster #2Poster #3

Poster #4Poster #5Poster #6

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