If I Die Before I Wake

Though it faintly echoes genuine sicko classics of the past like THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1978) and THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972), this reprehensible horror flick lacks edge-of-your-seat suspense and a moral compass; it leaves you wanting to take a shower after viewing. Three cretinous brothers, Darryl (Muse Watson), TJ (Michael McCleery) and Billy (Anthony...read more

Reviewed by Robert Pardi
Rating:

Though it faintly echoes genuine sicko classics of the past like THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1978) and THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972), this reprehensible horror flick lacks edge-of-your-seat suspense and a moral compass; it leaves you wanting to take a shower after viewing. Three cretinous brothers, Darryl (Muse Watson), TJ (Michael McCleery) and Billy (Anthony Nicosia), invade a suburban house with an eye to routine burglary. But they shift gears after discovering that the family is home. Rounding up the mother (Mary-Kathleen Gordon), father (John Gavigan) and teenage son, Ben (Kristian Hans Horn), in the master bedroom, Darryl and Billy enjoy torturing their cowering victims. Resource teenage daughter Lori Beth (Stephanie Jones) manages to elude detection, and protects her little sister, Mary (Coryanne Sennett), from the intruders for several hours. Although TJ encourages his brothers to grab the loot and run, Darryl rapes the mother and Billy rapes Ben while cutting his throat. After Lori Beth attempts to send an email, Darryl realizes he hasn't located every member of the family. Lori Beth outsmarts Darryl, who's just strangled her father, by climbing into a chimney. But when she sends Mary out of the house to alert the neighbors, Darryl grabs the little girl and uses her as bait. Now Lori Beth must figure out a way to rescue her mom and sister and survive the night. It's a high stakes cat and mouse game, and it's anyone's guess who will live and who will die, since Darryl vows to leave behind no witnesses. This wretchedly acted movie wallows in sadistic excess rather than trying to generate chills, and plays like THE DESPERATE HOURS (1955) on speed.

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