An intriguing horror/thriller, Wake Up comes from director Joe Nowland and stars, Kelly Francis Fischer, Scott Broughton, Jeffrey Wells, and Traci Newman.
The story begins in the Goldman residence where the family are having a happy meal. It all seems a little pointless until that night. When everyone is asleep, fifteen-year old Molly (Kelly Frances Fischer) goes on a killing spree. A killing spree that sees her murder everyone in her family. Ending with her brother where she is found naked having tried to end her own life.
She failed at that and ends up in a psychiatric hospital. Where two years later, she finally manages to kill herself.
It’s at this time we’re introduced to her doctor, Philip (Scott Broughton) who is asked to read her private diary. Why? Molly has been in denial since the murder of her family and the mystery as to why she committed the crimes may be inside.
Of course, this is no ordinary diary exemplified by the warning on the first page. Something like ‘whoever shall read this diary will be cursed’. The kind of warning a rational person, in particular a psych doctor would ignore.
Philip will wish he hadn’t though as he finds himself going down the same route as Molly did. Unable to sleep, suffering from hallucinations and sleep walking. Then there is the small matter of Molly’s ghost appearing to him every so often too.
Is he really cursed or is the strain of trying to unravel the mystery of why Molly did what she did wearing him down?
Part ghostly goings-on and part murder mystery, it is the latter of the two that makes Wake Up a worthwhile watch. Not only does Phillip find himself going down the rabbit hole (and dragging his family with him) so do we. It’s the film’s strength even if the occasional hiccup dents its overall impact.
To balance the psychological thriller part of the story, we do get a few jump scares with personal feelings on these overall likely to dictate their impact. Personally, I could have done without them as they don’t really add much in the way of scares. Story wise, this just isn’t that kind of horror.
That negative is also enhanced by a few iffy acting moments but happily, those are few and far between. The realisation that investment is there proves that cast wise and story wise, Wake Up is worth checking out. Not only that, its payoff is ever so satisfying.
The Final Score - 7/10