If there’s one genre of films that seem to end up in “development hell” at a disproportionate rate, it’s unconventional indie horror movies from promising young (but largely unknown) directors. See: Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods, or Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat, a film we recently wrote a paean of praise toward, as perfect examples.
To that group, you can add director Mike Flanagan’s Before I Wake, a project that has been complete and looking for a legitimate release since 2015. Now, in the wake of the director’s well-received Netflix horror-thriller Gerald’s Game, it would seem the streaming service is interested in seeing what else Flanagan (who has also directed several other solid indie horror efforts such as Oculus and Hush) has to offer. They’ll finally be releasing Before I Wake on Jan. 5, 2018, with the director confirming as much via Twitter.
The film was originally meant to be released by Relativity Media, but was repeatedly held back due to the studio’s financial issues, even after trailers for the film screened and posters adorned theater lobbies—I recall personally seeing posters for Before You Wake in Atlanta sometime last year. But now, Flanagan’s lost film will see its day in the son.
Before I Wake appears to be about a grieving husband and wife, played by Kate Bosworth and a ridiculously coiffed Thomas Jane, looking something like an aged surfer dude. Following the death of their young son, the couple adopt a boy played by Jacob Tremblay (Room, Wonder) who seems to possess a frighteningly vivid imagination while dreaming—so vivid, that his dreams come to life all around him. Unfortunately, that goes doubly for his nightmares.
You can check out the trailer for Before I Wake Below. Flanagan is also working on one more Netflix project: A 10-part series adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel The Haunting of Hill House. If Before I Wake also performs well, you might start referring to this guy as Netflix’s in-house horror director.