Wednesday 11 April 2012

The Awakening (2011)

The Cast -
Rebecca Hall as Florence Cathcart
Dominic West as Robert Malory
Imelda Staunton as Maud Hill
John Shrapnel as Reverend Hugh Purslow
Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Tom
Shaun Dooley as Malcolm McNair
Joseph Mawle as Edward Judd

Director - Nick Murphy

Writers - Stephen Volk & Nick Murphy

The Plot -
The movie is set in 1921, England. Florence Cathcart is a published author on supernatural hoaxes who works with the police to expose charlatans and debunk supernatural phenomenon, having begun her foray into her profession upon the death of her lover in World War I. Upon a visit from Robert Malory, a teacher from a boarding school with the request to investigate the recent death of a student and how it is related to sightings of a ghost of a child, she travels to the school hoping to explain the sightings and the death.

The Review -
The movie starts off set in a room with a table surrounded by people attempting a seance. Things get a little spooky with ghostly things happening, but it is quickly interrupted by Florence, exposing the whole proceeding as a hoax, where upon the police swoop in and make arrests.
Later on Florence is paid a visit by Robert Malory, who has a case for her, involving the death of a boy at a boarding school which is believed to be link to a ghostly sighting. She decides to take the case.
Arriving at the school just before vacation time, using simple investigation methods, it doesn't take long for her to find the real reason why the young student died. When the students and the teaching staff leave for vacation, only Florence, Robert, Maud, the caretaker Edward and student Tom are left. Florence goes about setting up her equipment around the mansion, in order to debunk the ghost stories and complete her work there.

After discovering the truth behind the boy's death, not all is over as Florence experiences some strange goings-on herself and her equipment picking up the appearance of a spirit. With the start of Florence suffering flashbacks, it soon becomes clear that Tom has a pivotal role in Florence's investigation. But what do the flashbacks mean and how is Tom connected? Will Florence find the truth and unlock a hidden secret?

With this classic British supernatural thriller comes a feel of a Spanish movie, much like The Orphanage (2007) (, it's slow paced but keeps your attention with good acting from the main cast and good directing. When it comes to the use of the ghost detection equipment, it's a lot like the reality TV Show Ghost Hunters, but without the hand held cameras. The small amount of scares are predictable but it has a nice little twist towards the end. This movie is an enjoyable watch, if you like suspense instead of all out horror, blood and gore.

The Awakening gets a pleasant 6/10

Check out the trailer below...

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