‘Awake’ Review: Netflix Thriller About a Sleep Deprivation Pandemic Has Opposite Effect

In director Mark Raso’s occasionally engaging but mostly frustrating sci-fi thriller, an unexplained event causes a massive electromagnetic pulse that fries most electronics and leaves nearly all of humanity incapable of sleep.

From the mysterious incident onward, the characters slowly slide toward insanity as fatigue takes its toll, although it’s not clear how everyone on earth immediately recognizes (or believes) that the resulting restlessness is permanent.

If the recent real-world pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that early in a health crisis, nobody knows anything, and the resulting confusion tends to be more exhausting than engaging.So, at the risk of sounding facetious, I confess that while exasperated ex-military, ex-junkie super-mom Jill (Gina Rodriguez) worries about whether she’ll ever be able to sleep again, I had no such problem.

Between its low-energy suspense and all-around failure to grip, “Awake” took me three separate sittings to get through.

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