The Minute You Wake Up Dead (Digital)

A stockbroker in a small southern town who gets involved in an insurance scam with a next-door neighbor that leads to multiple murders.

November 8, 2022 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

“Where will you be the minute you wake up dead?” That is a question asked through the film, The Minute You Wake Up Dead. The film currently has a limited theatrical release and is also streaming on digital platforms. I opted for the latter in this case. It seemed mildly intriguing and was also filmed in my home state of Mississippi. Staring Morgan Freeman, who is also a Mississippi native. While I have seen my share of films shot here, this one is a bit better than most. It has well defined characters all involved in things we most certainly know won’t end well for them.

The film stars Cole Hauser as Jason, a local stockbroker who has lost not only himself, but a lot of people a lot of money. This, of course, was the result of him giving bad advice after a merger fell through. We see him in an early scene at a local diner where he is harassed by a local after he is one of the ones who lost a large amount of cash. Before long, Jason grows closer to Delaine (Jaimie Alexander) who is a waitress at the diner and she and Jason went to school together. The film makes a point of wanting us to get to know these characters, and I found that element refreshing. Jason rents out a house next door to where Delanie lives with her father. The three of them have dinner one night, and not long after, Delaine’s father is shot and killed. Questions arise as to who would want to hurt a man who seemingly has no enemies. Jason informs Sheriff Fowler (Morgan Freeman) and puts together that it was a case of mistaken identity. He believes that he himself was the target, but the killer simply got the wrong house. It wouldn’t be fair of me to spoil what happens next, but there are a lot of twists and turns in the film. I for one found myself involved and wanting to see how things would all play out. For every predictable moment, there is another that turns the screws once more.

The Minute You Wake Up Dead kept me with it and moves along at a nice pace. It builds the characters, and their relationships then adds the various plot threads to them. I won’t say it is a perfect film as some characters tend to make foolish decisions. I wonder why, in a small town, would you not conceal a large bruise on your forehead when you know several people will notice. Also, characters don’t always conceal dead bodies as well as they should, or have a clear plan of just how they’ll explain things. Still, that is part of the people that they are. These aren’t the brightest of minds. The acting by our leads is fine, but some of the supporting players could use some acting lessons. There are also moments where the film throws scripture at us. This isn’t heavy-handed mind you, but I feel it wasn’t entirely necessary either. Nitpicking aside, I am glad I sat down to watch this one.

Video: How’s it look?

While I’m uncertain of the exact ratio, this one did seem wider than most. Visuals were solid as they should be for a recent film. It appears as if the film was shot in the winter and Mississippi can have some dreary winters and this reminds me. All told, the transfer looked just fine. I can’t speak of the future Blu-Ray release. The digital streaming was UHD.

Audio: How’s it sound?

What I assume to is Dolby Atmos still sounded good. Vocals have the expected clarity and crispness. There are some action sequences that kick things up, but mostly this is a “talky” film. Like the transfer, this track should satisfy viewers.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This digital version contains no supplements.

The Bottom Line

While not without its flaws, I still found myself involved in this one. The plot kept me hooked, and I cared enough about the characters to wonder the outcome. Rent it.

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