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Are You Awake?

By Alan Ng | January 24, 2023

Gabriel Caste’s short film thriller, Are You Awake? touches on that paralyzing moment some of us feel in deciding whether to wake up or not. Dale (Ellyn Jameson) is a woman with a peculiar job. She runs a route every day where she checks in on clients to see if they are awake and ready to get out of bed.

Dale gets them out of bed with the stern question, “Are you awake?” The results are mixed, but the answers are the same, “Yes.” Today, one of the other drivers at her company calls in sick, and Dale has to take over his route. The job sounds simple, but a client often is not ready to get up and would rather stay in bed all day. When Dale meets the widowed Bradley (Paul Archer), who is experiencing nightmares after the loss of his wife, she feels a strong connection to him and his dreams.

“…gets them out of bed with the stern question, ‘Are you awake?’

Are You Awake? takes an aspect of the human condition and turns it on its head in the way only science fiction can. Writer/director Gabriel Caste takes the idea of loss to its logical, emotional extreme. Loving another is one of the reasons we wake up in the morning. However, loss induces nightmares, placing us in a weakened state and leading to depression and seeming paralysis.

Are You Awake? masterfully turns the theme of loss into a thought-provoking psychological thriller. The cinematography presents an intersection of sci-fi, thriller, and horror within the story. Director Caste takes the less-is-more approach to his story showing us precisely what is at play without ever telling us. So much is said in a simple picture on Dale’s dashboard. The film hits all the right buttons when it comes to an authentic sci-fi tale.

For more information about Are You Awake?, visit Gabriel Caste’s official website.

Are You Awake (2023)

Directed and Written: Gabriel Caste

Starring: Ellyn Jameson, Paul Archer, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Are You Awake Image

"…turns the theme of loss into a thought-provoking psychological thriller."

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