Movie Review: Awake (2021

Awake is incredibly disappointing. Awake is a horror movie where the monster is human nature. People are no longer able to sleep, and sleep deprivation is slowly killing humanity. Now the race is on to find a cure before humanity goes extinct. The movie focuses on a dysfunctional family and their survival. You get to watch as society crumbles under the weight of sleep deprivation.

This movie is alright. The acting is decent, the action is appropriate, but the ending is terrible. This is a great example of a movie that uses its run time to build up to nothing. What makes this movie hard to recommend is that it makes some solid artistic choices, but it doesn’t make enough of them to make this movie work. Awake is good at showing the story rather than relying on exposition. For example, in the first few minutes, you are introduced to Jill who is a recovering addict who is trying to give her family a better life. You know this because the son will check the car for drugs or they will make slights at the mom for being late or looking tired. You get a lot of Jill’s back story without the characters having to explicitly say anything about it. I liked this form of storytelling and hope more movies can follow suit.

I liked Jill as a character. She isn’t perfect, some of her dialogue isn’t good, but she has some redeemable moments. Jill is smart, capable, and most importantly, human. Jill doesn’t go into situations guns blazing like she is immortal. Instead, she takes the time to think and only engages when she has to because there are stakes. These stakes give the movie much-needed tension, too bad it leads nowhere.

I can’t recommend this movie. There are parts of this movie that I liked, but I can’t forgive the ending. The movie does a good job of introducing different plausible conclusions. There could be a cure, God’s wrath, scientific mumbo-jumbo, or even aliens. But instead, the movie ends in disappointment. SPOILERS: The movie ends with a baptism. As a way to start over. The kids figure that people need to die to start over so they take Jill to the river and drown her and then the movie ends. You don’t know if the cure worked. You don’t know what happens to humanity. It just ends and I was left bitter about it.

Don’t watch this movie. This is another failed attempt at another A Quite Place clone. Go watch that instead. But if yo don’t believe me, you can watch it on Netflix.

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