Before the Dawn (2019) Review

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Hot for Teacher

Before the Dawn (2019): 5 out of 10: A young teacher fleeing an abusive marriage (Alana de Freitas) starts anew at a small catholic school where she befriends a troubled male teen (Jared Scott) who is sensitive and looks likes a male model. Lots of really poor decisions ensue.

The Good

The Good: What works? There is good chemistry between the teacher Alana de Freitas and student Jared Scott. They are a cute couple and there is a legitimate ease and flirtation about them. They sell the central romance in the film.

In addition, Alana de Freitas is believable as an idiot, which her character definitely is. I cannot begin to even list the complete dumbass things she does to cause this. One reason that our teacher/student couple works so well is for better or worse, they are at the same level of emotional maturity.

Alana gives an excellent performance. She does the little things right but during the sex scenes and outside of them. You will see her lightly touch her co-stars chest with her fingers with great affection. She nails the details many actors miss when they try to show intimacy.

The Bad

The Bad: What doesn’t work? Some of the side characters are very off. There is a trio of gangbangers which appear to be important to the plot but honestly seem to have teleported from a different movie…. and there is a character who becomes a rapist, so out of the blue, one can only assume alien parasite in his brain as an explanation.

Before The Dawn also seems to have issues with the whole wrong side of the tracks theme. Jared Scotts family really doesn’t seem that poor, and Alana de Freitas has a really nice apartment for a first year teacher at a catholic school who fled an abusive husband with nothing but the clothes on her back. (In addition, Alana claims she comes from the neighborhood despite sounding like Elle Woods in I assume an attempt by Alana de Freitas to hide her Australian accent.)

The Ugly

The Ugly: As a movie about a female teacher having an affair with a troubled student, Before the Dawn never quite overcomes its made for TV or Lifetime Movie of the Week feeling.

Before the Dawn avoids exploitation and it is a bit to its detriment. A little exploitation would have done wonders to wash away the feeling we are watching a made for TV drama.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: Alana de Freitas and Jared Scott are a cute couple but the story is both too conservative in its presentation and too batshit crazy in some of its plot twists for its own good. Unfortunate as there is a decent romance at the core here and Alana de Freitas really sells a vulnerable, recently divorced from a physically abusive relationship, woman who falls for a male model who for some reason is a student in her English class.

Yeah, our band could play in your movie for the exposure. (They are not bad and don’t play too long). In addition, Before the Dawn snagged Nami Melumad to do the soundtrack. She has recently blown up doing the music for 2022’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Thor: Love and Thunder respectfully.
Does Cillian Murphy have a kid we don’t know about?
You know, generally speaking, a teacher should not stand in the rain with a student while wearing a white shirt and no bra.
And she should probably discourage him from touching her breasts.
Yup, he touched my breasts. Well, this was a onetime mistake. I doubt it will go any further.
Oh Dear….
An example of Alana de Freitas nailing the affection of post coital touching.
Teacher got more than an apple. (Yes, I see the banana there as well, but I erased that joke.)
Runner-up for my cover shot.
Do you want a brain eating amoeba? Because that is how you get a brain eating amoeba.
I see you Before The Dawn.
Special effects ladies and gentleman. Albeit, the kind you might see in a Seventies TV movie about a boy in a plastic bubble.
Seriously Before the Dawn you had a violent stalker ex-husband in the script. Certainly that makes more narrative sense than a doofus coworker that turns into The South Hill Rapist after a few drinks.
And the movie narratively goes off the rails.
Carissa Dalton does an excellent job as the mean girl teacher. Which is thankful since the school only has three teachers (mean girl, violent rapist (our incel gym coach) and non-violent rapist (Our teacher who may want to check the laws on sexual assault in the second degree. It isn’t you have to move out of town and change careers.)

In reality, she is the best of the bunch.
You know I wonder if the movie meant to have a violent rape plot in a film glamorising non-violent rape. It is like having a serial killer plot in your mercy killing movie.
I have made a big mistake.
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