Dead Awake is the latest movie scripted by Jeffrey Reddick the brains behind Final Destination (2000) and stars Jocelin Donahue as identical twins Beth and Kate Bowman. Beth has been having trouble sleeping. Every time she drops off she sees something nasty creep up on her, but is unable to move and fight it off, so Kate takes her to see sleep specialist Dr Sykes (Lori Petty). Sykes says she has sleep paralysis and Beth is advised to stop fighting it and experience her feelings.
Yes of course it’s really, really bad advice and next time Beth drops off she dies of an ‘asthma attack’. At Beth’s funeral Kate runs into De Hasan Davies (Jesse Borrego) who had been helping Beth with her problems. He says psychologists refer to Beth’s problem as the Old Hag Syndrome, but Hasan is convinced that the Old Hag is more than just a figment of people’s imagination and causes hundreds of unexplained deaths every year, gives Kate his card and tells her to call him if she sees the Old Hag.
So I think you can get a pretty good idea of the sort of stuff that happens next time Kate falls asleep and how she attempts to fight back against the Old Hag, but there lies the problem with Dead Awake, it’s a bit of a one trick pony that would have made a great Twilight Zone or Night Gallery episode, but really does not have enough narrative content to stretch the story out over a one hour 40 run time. On the plus side Borrega makes a really good job of the frazzled sleep deprived Dr Hasan, and the sharp sound design and editing contribute at least one good jump scare.
Competently made but a touch overlong I give Dead Awake a 444/666
Dead Awake was released on DVD and Digital in the UK on Monday 15 May, by Solo Media and Matchbox Films.