23 user 14 critic

If I Die Before I Wake (1998)

R | | Crime, Thriller
A suburban family is held hostage and terrorized by three intruders while their sixteen year-old daughter first hides, then exacts her own brand of terror on the assailants.



, (story)
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Blood Rage (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

As kids, Todd is institutionalized for a murder whilst his twin goes free. 10 years later, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighborhood.

Director: John Grissmer
Stars: Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Julie Gordon
Vigilante (1983)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Eddie Marino is a factory worker in New York City. He has a wife named Vickie and a son named Scott. Eddie's friend and co-worker Nick and some of the factory's other workers have formed a ... See full summary »

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright
Mikey (1992)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A seemingly innocent and sweet little boy causes murder and mayhem in his new neighborhood and falls for the teenage girl next-door.

Director: Dennis Dimster
Stars: Brian Bonsall, Josie Bissett, Ashley Laurence
Comedy | Horror | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Sammi Curr was a famous, devil-worshiping rock star who died under mysterious circumstances. Now he wants to come back to life. Doing so requires possessing radio wave & automobiles and making a few human sacrifices.

Director: Charles Martin Smith
Stars: Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A couple is terrorized by a gang who is hunting their son.

Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Stars: Rachael Blake, Tom Butcher, Jumayn Hunter
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Ten teenagers party at an abandoned funeral parlor on Halloween night. When an evil force awakens, demonic spirits keep them from leaving and turn their gathering into a living Hell.

Director: Kevin Tenney
Stars: Cathy Podewell, Alvin Alexis, Hal Havins
Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After murdering his entire family, a man remarries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Terry O'Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack
Tiger House (2015)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Kelly sneaks into her boyfriend's house but tonight, she's not the only unwelcome visitor. As the situation spirals out of control, the suburban house becomes a terrifying arena for violence.

Director: Thomas Daley
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Dougray Scott, Brandon Auret
The Tripper (2006)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A Ronald Reagan-obsessed serial killer targets a bunch of hippies who are heading to a weekend-long concert.

Director: David Arquette
Stars: Jaime King, Thomas Jane, Lukas Haas
Cry_Wolf (2005)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Eight unsuspecting high school seniors at a posh boarding school, who delight themselves on playing games of lies, come face-to-face with terror and learn that nobody believes a liar - even when they're telling the truth.

Director: Jeff Wadlow
Stars: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Jared Padalecki
The Zero Boys (1986)
Action | Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A group of friends travel to a wilderness area to play a survival game. Soon they unexpectedly find themselves in a real-life survival situation.

Director: Nico Mastorakis
Stars: Daniel Hirsch, Kelli Maroney, Nicole Rio
Holidays (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

HOLIDAYS is an anthology feature film that puts a uniquely dark and original spin on some of the most iconic and beloved holidays of all time by challenging our folklore, traditions and assumptions.

Directors: Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Kolsch, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Lorenza Izzo, Seth Green, Harley Quinn Smith


Complete credited cast:
Stephanie Jones ...
Anthony Nicosia ...
John Gavagin ...
Kristian Hans Horn ...
Coryanne Sennett ...
Danny Farkash ...
Neighbor #1
Tara Farkash ...
Neighbor #2


A suburban family is held hostage and terrorized by three intruders while their sixteen year-old daughter first hides, then exacts her own brand of terror on the assailants. Written by Christopher Landry <chrisl@sonicimages.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't ever forget to lock your doors! See more »


Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong, brutal violence including rape, unrelenting terror and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Also Known As:

Mit der Nacht kommt der Tod  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Flawed but Effectively Disturbing Thriller
28 April 2001 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

I didn't have any high expectations when I rented this, but figured it was worth a shot. And indeed, "If I Die Before I Wake" was a surprise. There were some flaws, but overall, this was a very tense film.

The movie opens only minutes before the carnage begins. It is night, and we see the mother and father of the house in their room, the mother asleep, the father dozing off over a book. Their son, Ben, is on the computer and listening to some music. Their younger daughter Mary is asleep, and across from her, their older daughter Lori Beth is, too. Then a handful of robbers break in. Lori Beth is the first to realize, and thinking quick, hides herself and her sister, but it is too late for the rest of the family, who are held captive and terrorized. It is up to Lori Beth to try to escape with Mary, but she soon realizes the only escape is to fight back....

Indeed, the plot is somewhat familiar. "Last House on the Left," "I Spit On Your Grave, "House By the Lake" aka "Death Weekend," "The Desperate Hours," and so on and so forth, all have similar elements. But "If I Die Before I Wake" doesn't steal from them as much as one would think it would. In fact, this film has some fairly original and interesting ideas, and above all, it maintains quite a bit of tension, from beginning to end.

Clocking in at only 77 minutes, this movie wastes no time, and surprisingly enough, that may be its biggest flaw. We don't know anything about any of these characters, and only grow to worry about the family. When the film first begins, and the robbers break in, we have no emotion towards any of the characters involved. If ten or fifteen minutes were taken to establish characters, as well as the robbers/killers/lunatics' motive, at least the night of terror, so to speak, would have evoked more emotions early on. Instead, the characters are one-dimensional, and we never even learn the names of the parents!

The film makes up for its weak points with a good amount of tension and excitement. Also, it's a surprisingly violent and disturbing movie. There's quite a deal of violent content, including rape, which is more than you'd expect from a direct-to-video low-budgeter obviously shelved for a little while before being released. (Found this in the New Release section of Blockbuster.) And a lot of what Lori Beth goes through and resorts to is logical and I always seemed to agree with her plan. I particularly liked her desperate attempt to contact someone off the Internet (but don't miss the cheap rip-off version of AOL called American Chat that she logs onto, it's pretty bad). It was an interesting idea, because yes, she could get in contact with someone, but they probably wouldn't help her. Smart idea.

In fact, despite overall weak characterization, Stephanie Jones did a lot with Lori Beth's character. She conveyed a great deal of emotion, and she was a very strong character and a terrific heroine. On the other hand, in the other starring role, Muse Watson as lead baddie Daryl was over the top, and I wasn't impressed. He's slightly more menacing here than in "I Know What You Did Last Summer," but a better actor would have done much more with the role. Imagine Robert DeNiro in his role. Now that would be scary.

For a better version of this, try Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" (see my review). It's a Dutch film (with subtitles) about a family (mother,father, son, dog) taken hostage at their secluded vacation home by two subtly disturbing teenage boys, who proceed with psychological warfare on the family, daring them to survive until 9:00 the next morning. It's an absolutely terrifying movie, and brilliantly made. I recommend it.

Overall, I still recommend "If I Die Before I Wake," too. It's tense, it's scary, and it pulls a few unexpected punches. With more exposition of the characters, and a minute or two longer of an ending (I felt there could have been a little more to it before the credits rolled), this would be an excellent movie. Still, it's very well done. Check it out.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How was Ben killed? babydoll4579
on fear net now dalten96
I looked everywhere badsideefex
For Muse Watson Fans sistergrimm
Billy... JckWabt
What the heck? erino620
Discuss If I Die Before I Wake (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: