Before I Wake (originally titled Somnia) is a 2016 American supernaturalfantasy 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.
The movie begins with a frightened man with a gun and a sleeping child. Trembling and perspiring the man enters the 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 saying that he can’t do it.
Later Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) Hobson adopt a new foster child, eight-year-old Cody Morgan (Jacob Tremblay), after their young son Shawn dies suddenly. They soon find out that Cody’s sweet 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 one blue butterfly to show to Cody as the boy likes butterflies. However, Cody wakes up and the butterflies disappeared. The following day he goes to school and finds a friend in a girl and hostility from a mean kid. At home, Cody asks Mark who the kid in the picture was and Mark replies that he was their son and his name was Shawn, to which Cody asks about his whereabouts to which Jessie replies that he is in heaven and Cody answered that’s where his mom is too. That night, the couple see their deceased child and try to hug him then. Cody wakes up and Shawn disappears as well.
Upon discovering the amazing gift that Cody has, Jessie takes advantage of it. She lets Cody watch home videos of Shawn and then that night, the couple once again sees their beloved child. Days later, Mark notices the addiction that his wife has found and confronts her that she is just abusing Cody for his gift instead of loving him, which ends with them arguing and Mark taking down the pictures of Shawn.
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 express her complaints about her foster child not going to bed, to which the doctor prescribes medication. She mixes it with his drink, unbeknownst to her husband. That night Shawn once again appears before them, but turns into a nightmare. Mark tries to wake Cody up but can’t. Jessie confesses that she drugged the boy. The nightmare creature devours Mark as Jessie is thrown across the room and she falls unconscious. She woke up with Cody on the phone calling for help as he found her laying on the floor. Suspecting it to be domestic violence and the boy being drugged to sleep, social services takes Cody away.
Jessie steals Cody’s social worker’s files and talks to the frightened former foster parent who took care of Cody for at least 15 months. He reveals that the boy’s dreams came to reality which started as butterflies. More and more of Cody’s dreams come true, including that of the couple’s deceased child. when the guy’s wife gets sick, Cody becomes upset and in that night, the “Canker” man appears and takes the wife. Shocked and heartbroken, the former parent showed Cody all the couple’s pictures in hopes of recreating her when he sleeps, however, what results is a poor copy of the wife since Cody was too young to remember her face fully. the parent urges Jessie to kill Cody; not willing to give in, she digs more into Cody’s background and finds more about his mother through several records. Finally, she goes to the orphanage where Cody was staying in. In the orphanage, the staff noticed that Cody has not been sleeping for the past 2 days. That night the boy was given a tranquilizer to make him sleep, to which the boy helplessly protests. Jessie arrives to find the place dark and isolated. She witnesses nightmare creatures in every room, including that of Shawn, Cody and his foster family. 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, hugs the creature, and as she holds it, takes the form of Cody and disappears. Jessie placed the butterfly shaped pillow on the sleeping child’s chest and carries him out of the room. Along the way, she whispers to Cody and asks him to release all the people the creature has imprisoned. The nightmare then turns into a beautiful dream, and all the people taken hostage by “the Canker Man” are released. When the supervisor confronts her, Jessie decides to take the boy home and lets her take the still-unconscious boy 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 six years old which resulted to his anxiety when people get sick. At Bedtime, Cody asks Jessie to tell him a story. She tells him about a gifted boy who needed a mother and a lonely mother who needed a child. Her story also told about the mean kid who woke up, the couple that reunited and the father who met his son. When Cody asked her if these will come true, she revealed to him that it was up to him to decide since there is more to his dreams than meets the eye, showing Cody learning to control his gift.
Source Page – Wikipedia