Why We Haven’t Seen Mike Flanagan’s ‘Before I Wake’ in the US

Jason McDonald

You ever have those movies that you swore came out or that you think you saw and just completely forgot about?  “Before I Wake” is one of those movies for me, but thankfully, now I know I’m not crazy. Now I know I haven’t seen it because it never came out in the US.

For our Canadian readers you might be thinking “What are you talking about? ‘Before I Wake’ came out, it’s even on Canadian Netflix.”  And that’s very true, but it actually hasn’t come out in the U.S. yet.  We were getting trailers for this flick way back in 2015 and I included it in my most anticipated list for 2016.  Hell, we even had a review for it that year.  We just somehow never got to see it in the US. So what happened?

On the Post Mortem podcast with Mick Garris Mike Flanagan opened up about the release issues surrounding “Before I Wake.”  Essentially the bankruptcy of Relativity Media led to the strange road that “Before I Wake” would undergo.  Here’s how Flanagan described as transcribed by EW:

“It was a great deal, and it was a big fat wide release, and coming off of what they did with Oculus, it was like, This is going to be great,” Flanagan told Garris, whose own directing credits include the horror films Sleepwalkers and Riding the Bullet. “And so we sold the movie to Relativity, and we had a release date, and we were all set, and I moved on to the next project… And then things just got weird. Everything kind of stalled. We weren’t getting trailers and posters and materials. It was kind of cagey. We didn’t know it at first, but it was because of the collapse… And so they moved it off the date, and they didn’t really have a good reason, and they didn’t ask us to change anything, which was odd…  And it was testing better than Oculus ever tested. We were in a really good place… We just couldn’t get these materials.”

And the reason they couldn’t get those materials was because Relativity was too far into debt and that, in turn, scared off vendors who might’ve helped with promotion and distribution.  Sadly, even child actor Jacob Tremblay, who starred in the film, couldn’t help keep the project afloat.  Keep in mind that around this time Tremblay was in “Rooms” and was getting a lot of critical acclaim.  So “Before I Wake” would have had a big chip on it’s shoulder by featuring him.

Flanagan also went on to say that poor reviews and the fact that the film had been so thoroughly pirated before its release dampened interest for releasing it.  However, in an update to EW Flanagan stated that the film could still be released and there are a number of avenues they are pursuing.

So it’s very possible we could still see  this movie legally in the US, but the method by which we see it might most likely be a more low key service like Netflix or VOD.

Before I Wake


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