Wake Up - 2019 - Nope, Put Me Back To Sleep

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Directed By: Joe W Nowland, Written By: Joe W Nowland & Daniel White, Starring: Kelly Frances Fischer, Scott Broughton, Traci L Newman.


When you think of occupations with a high risk of mortality, you think of Firefighters, Soldiers or the Coastguard. You seldom think of a film critic as falling into that category..

Well, you should because watching Wake Up made me want to shoot myself!

Thankfully, this is the UK and we do not have easy access to firearms like our American cousins. If we did, I can guarantee you that my brains would be splattered over my keyboard.

I will start my review by trying to tell you what Wake Up is about. I emphasise the word try as I’m not sure I know what was going on in this movie.

The film opens with a family sitting down to dinner. This is where we meet Molly (Kelly Frances Fischer) who seems like a normal kid at first. She isn’t.

Now this is where I first noticed just how bad the acting was. A character actually gesticulates hunger by rubbing his tummy. If you asked a drama class full of 4 yr olds to act hungry, this is exactly what they would do, I shit you not.

Anyway, Molly obviously poisons the water. You know she has poisoned the water because the director instructed her character to act conspicuous and she took this as ‘act one step away from going mwuhahaha and swishing a cloak’. I’m not sure that the filmmakers understand how the poison works either because the father is affected instantly before he has even put his glass down, while everyone else notices symptoms many hours later. Utterly baffling.

Nothing really happens with the poison so later that night while everyone sleeps, Molly goes on a rampage with a claw hammer and a knife. She murders her family, which I am ok with. The only real sin here is that she kills off the finest actor in the whole movie. The family Dog. Killing the Dog was a big mistake because any sympathy I might have had for this character further into the film is totally pissed away by that one action. Not the cute little Doggy. Lying there, minding his own business and having cute little Doggy dreams about chasing cars and chewing bones. Uncalled for.

Now I know this film is low budget. I have no problem with low-budget films, as I have mentioned many times. As long as the ambition and imagination reflect in the final product, the budget is of little importance. Creativity with what you have at your disposal is key. If you don’t have the resources to pull off a gory kill then perform the kill off camera and let the viewers imagination fill in the blanks. Wake Up ignores this tried and tested technique and instead we get the first example (that I can think of) of someone having their throat slit, in full view of the camera, by having the flat side of a knife rubbed across their throat. Seriously?

From then on, the film becomes a garbled, badly acted mess. Some bloke and his younger, hotter, clearly with him for his money, wife are involved in the plot somehow. Some other dude who looks like Rob Reiner is in it too. The dude with the wife chases Molly’s ghost about a bit. I get that this review seems lazy and pointless, but it reflects the film perfectly. At one point, two characters have an argument that goes something like this:

Character One: “No!”

Character Two: “Yes!”

Character One: “No!”

Character Two: “Yes!”

Character One: “No!”

Character Two: “Yes!”

Now, when it comes to writing dialogue, not everyone is Quentin Tarantino, but come on?

"Tell me my hair needs washing one more time and get face stabbed!"

Dude with the hot wife finds Molly’s diary and upon reading it discovers that Molly was an insomniac who thought she had only dreamt killing her family. Let that sink in a moment. An insomniac who dreamt she killed her family? I will confess that I‘m no expert but I’m pretty sure that insomnia is a fairly dreamless condition given its lack of the whole sleep thing.

Anyway, what do I know?

I will admit that I viewed this film while on the tail end of having pretty severely chemical burnt my head. I’m on a lot of medication and planet earth is not where I am to be found right now. Not only am I not compos mentis, but my mood is in negative figures too. Mark pointed out that reviewing this film could be a cathartic exercise, allowing me to unleash my misery in the form of putting words to page. He was kinda right. It is helping.

As I suspected earlier in the film, stuff happens that leads the aforementioned dude to discover his wife is cheating. He kills her and the cops show up. Now this bit made me laugh and was probably the only second or two of pleasure I derived from this film. The cops start shooting and their guns make the most feeble, hilarious, popping sound I've ever heard a gun make. Once again, I acknowledge the film's low budget, but I’m pretty sure they could have found a BANG sound-effect on the internet somewhere.

There was something else I was going to point out that puzzled me but it’s escaped my drug-addled brain at the moment so fuck it.

Aggression + Ketchup bottle = Shirt disaster.

I’m currently trying to convince myself that this is all a dream. I didn’t just sit through this film and I’m not writing the worst review I’ve ever written. Everything about this movie was horrible. It’s blander than my ex Sister-In-laws cooking and that woman didn’t know how to season anything.

Far be it for me to suggest that you should take the advice of someone who is clearly a high as a kite on a cocktail of different medications, but should you chose to listen, don’t waste your life on this film.

Right, that’s me done. I need a fix.