Mike Flanagan has accomplished an incredible amount in the past few years: his well-received indie breakout Absentia in 2011; 2016’s Ouija: Origin of Evil, the rare sequel that improved upon its predecessor, and this year’s excellent Stephen King adaptation, Gerald’s Game. And now, a film he’s been waiting to see released since 2015 is finally getting its chance.
That film is Before I Wake. It’s been languishing in Hollywood’s “Please Stand By” files for literal years, thanks to the financial problems of Relativity Media, the studio that was originally set to release it. The circa-2015 trailer reveals a spooky-kid tale about kindly foster parents (Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane) whose pint-sized charge soon reveals he has supernatural powers. The little boy is played by Jacob Tremblay, now a bona fide child star thanks to subsequent films like Room and the current Wonder.
Even Flanagan, who also made 2013’s Oculus, had begun to doubt that the film would ever see the light of day. This past August, he told the Post Mortem podcast that despite excellent feedback from test audiences, Before I Wake had gotten swept up in Relativity’s struggles, with shifting release dates affecting the interest of not just moviegoers, but also potential international distributors. Today, however, he announced that Netflix – home to his most recent project, Gerald’s Game; it also handled the 2016 release of his Hush – will be debuting the film early next year:
After almost four years of intense frustration, I’m thrilled to confirm that @netflix will release BEFORE I WAKE in the US on January 5th.
— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) December 13, 2017
Horror movies don’t always have happy endings, but no matter what happens onscreen, Before I Wake definitely got one. Flanagan is currently working on yet another Netflix project: The Haunting of Hill House, a 10-episode series adaptation of the Shirley Jackson classic.