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Movie review: The Awakening

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Movie review: The Awakening


Florence Cathcart disproves spiritual hoaxes for a living in post-World War I England. Called to a boys boarding school, Florence finds it is being haunted by a boy and sets out to prove it nothing more than a hoax. But could she find a real ghost this time?

Rebecca Hall (Florence), Dominic West (Robert), Imelda Staunton (Maud), Isaac Wright (Tom), Shaun Dooley (Malcolm), Joseph Mawle (Edward), Diana Kent (Harriet), Richard Durden (Alexander).

The Awakening begins with a short bit of backstory, showing us Florence's job after which her services are requested at a remote boys boarding school. From there the film gets more interesting as Florence tries repeatedly to prove the ghosts aren't real. The film being set in the past is interesting and helps keep the focus on the supernatural. Of course, a nice twist or two provides us with an enjoyable ending.

Acting was okay in this one. Hall did well for the most part though her transitions from proper English woman to sexually aggressive seemed a bit awkward. West did nicely in his part with good emotion and delivery. Staunton was another good choice with a solid performance. Wright and the remainder of the supporting cast did a decent job as well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were well done and seemed to fit the period. Effects, both physical and CGI, were nicely done though a bit more CGI might have added to the supernatural aspect. Dialogue was good and helped move the story along. Sound and soundtrack were both solid.

Overall The Awakening is an interesting film but not quite as scary as expected. Those who enjoy some depth to their horror will enjoy this the most while those wanting CGI or gore will be disappointed.

With violence, disturbing images, sexuality, and some nudity save this one for the oldest teens and above.

Released: 2011
Reviewed: 10.1.13
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Horror, British Horror, Supernatural horror

copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel

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