The Awakening (2012)
Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 66
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 26
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 14
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 15,096
Set in London in 1921, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), author of the popular book "Seeing Through Ghosts," has devoted her career to exposing claims of the supernatural as nothing but hoaxes. Haunted by the recent death of her fiancé, she is approached by Robert Mallory (Dominic West) to investigate the recent death of a student at the all-boys boarding school where he teaches. When students at the school report sightings of the young boy's ghost, she decides to take on the case. Initially,
Aug 17, 2012 Limited
Jan 29, 2013
Cohen Media Group - Official Site
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Though the story spirals a little out of control in the film's final scenes, "The Awakening" offers the low-key pleasures of an old-fashioned thriller and a lovely central performance.
The cast is anchored by two wonderful actresses: Imelda Staunton and Rebecca Hall, whose talents are squandered on this lackluster horror drama.
When these sudden surprises work, as in "A Beautiful Mind" or "The Others," you're too stunned to swallow that next handful of popcorn; when they don't, you're tempted to throw your whole box at the screen.
A dull British import that never lives up to the pretensions of its period setting.
An enjoyably old-fashioned ghost story in the vein of "The Others" and "The Orphanage."
a ghost story that wants to be more than just a ghost story, but in the process of trying to be a movie that transcends a genre, it insults the genre
The Awakening glides ghost-like through its story, laying its own elaborate traps along the way.
The Awakening is a handsome, well-acted thriller with a script that's never cringe-inducing. So why did it sneak its way onto home video with no fanfare?
[Rebecca Hall] captures Florence's flinty intelligence and the vulnerability that emerges as she slowly discovers the school's dark secrets.
A concise little old-school British ghost story, and I say there's always room for a few more of those.
Murphy exhibits a deft touch for a first-timer and can feel satisfied that his film honours the tradition of such spooky Brit works as The Haunting and The Innocents.
... manages some effectively creepy imagery along with a few clever plot twists.
Exquisite production design and admirable performances can't overcome the lackluster scares.
Murphy shows tremendous skill with genre elements, helping The Awakening to overcome its formulaic origins, keeping attention on panic and skepticism, not just on cheap thrills.
Though slightly undone by a twist that demands a grain or two too much credulity on the part of the viewer, it nonetheless triumphs as a tone poem of an unsettled zeitgeist that plays cat-and-mouse with that same viewer right until the very end.
A strong, moving performance by Rebecca Hall coupled with an eerie atmosphere thanks to the top-notch cinematography provides enough palpable tension and scares to compensate for its weak, convoluted ending.
While it offers more goosebumps than gasps, it's a pleasurable reminder of the sort of discreet supernatural thriller that was once a staple but is now, unhappily, a rarity.
The big climactic reveal intended to explain the entire movie ends up being both confusing and ridiculous.
Audience Reviews for The Awakening
- Robert Mallory: These boys aren't worried about bumps in the night. They are frighted... to death.
- Florence Cathcart: You can't hunt what doesn't exist.
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