How Scary Is 'Before I Wake'? The Netflix Horror Movie Is One Long Nightmare

Ad failed to load

After the success of 2013's Oculus, fans were eagerly awaiting the next film from horror director Mike Flanagan. But then Before I Wake, his feature starring Kate Bosworth and Jacob Tremblay, was delayed — and delayed again. Now, with the movie finally about to come out, fans can stop asking "when will the movie come out?" and start focusing on the important things, like just how scary Before I Wake actually is. The answer to this, of course, depends on every viewer's own tolerance for horror. Just beware that the film's main source of horror is a boy's literal nightmare, so it might just be your nightmare too.

It's no exaggeration to say that Before I Wake is one long nightmare. The movie tells the story of Jessie (Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane), a couple grieving the loss of their young son who decide to take in a foster kid, Cody (Tremblay). Everything seems to be going great, but strange things start happening his very first night with them. Jessie and Mark soon realize that when Cody sleeps, his dreams become real in whatever home he's living in. It sounds nice when all Cody dreams about are sweet butterflies and Jessie and Mark's son, but things quickly turn when Cody has a nightmare — and then another, and another.

Movieclips Trailers on YouTube
Ad failed to load

As anyone who has ever had a nightmare knows, the most scary thing to imagine is having a bad dream and waking up to find out that it wasn't a dream at all — it was real. Before I Wake is, essentially, one long nightmare-turned-reality, and that concept alone is enough to make some audiences run and hide. Tremblay himself had trouble watching the movie, which he called "a psychological thriller" during a 2016 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

"When I watched it I had to cover my eyes the whole time, I barely got to watch the movie," the young actor told host Jimmy Kimmel. "When you're filming the movie, it's not that scary because there's a bunch of camera men all over the place," he added. "But once you see the movie, once it's all edited and there's scary music in it..." Granted, he was 10 years old at the time of the interview, but, Tremblay seems like a pretty good judge of what's scary and what's not. Whether you believe him or not, the lesson is that if you are still afraid of what you were afraid of when you were 10, then maybe Before I Wake is too scary for you.

That said, the movie was never really intended to be a movie of jump scares and frightful creatures. Instead, Flanagan, who recently earned rave reviews for his horror films Hush and Gerald's Game, both of which can be found on Netflix, sees the film as more of a dark fairy tale than anything else.

Ad failed to load

"This was about how understanding these things [grief and trauma] in our lives can dispel the shadows, and the fear, and leave us with something else," Flanagan revealed in an interview with Dread Central. In fact, the movie came form one of the most innocent of inspirations: Flanagan's son. In 2007, when the writer-director was first coming up with the story, he was a new father. "I remember watching my son sleep and wondering what his dreams would look like," Flanagan told Dread Central. "There was this feeling I had, like I could know him better if I could somehow see the things his mind created when he gave up the day," he said, adding that Before I Wake wasn't originally a horror film.

For all those worried about the horror within the movie, its true scary story happened behind the scenes. The movie was ready for release way back in 2015, and distribution hell kept it hidden from American audiences for far too long. Now, thanks to Netflix, fans can enjoy being trapped in a little boy's nightmares all they want. So, at least part of the horror movie has a happy ending.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Your Weekend Love Horoscope For May 19-20, 2018

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

7 Last-Minute Royal Wedding Party Ideas Worth Waking Up Early For

We're only two days away from the royal wedding, so it's safe to assume Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finished with their planning (we hope). But if you're a commoner who's procrastinated on planning a watch party, you still have time to decorat…
By Ayana Lage

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

16 Brand New YA Rom-Coms To Add To Your Summer Reading List

Ah, summer. Post-Memorial Day it's all about being outside in the sunshine, lazy pool days and exciting beach trips, warm weather treats, and — most important of all — tote bags packed to the brim with all of the biggest and best summer reads. Whatev…
By Kerri Jarema

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

9 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Mom That Also Give Back

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and unless you’re the type who’s got gift-giving on lock months in advance — and seriously, who is that person? — you might be scrambling a bit for great Mother's day 2018 gift ideas. And while it’s important to cho…
By Carolyn de Lorenzo

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

9 Hacks For Fighting Jet Lag That Actually Work

Jet lag is the worst. There's no doubt about it. And it's only natural to want to find a way to prevent it. Searching for jet lag cures online often means encountering expensive products and sketchy supplements. Luckily, there are ways to train your …
By Eva Taylor Grant

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan