16 August 2012 7:01 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

All too often, the horror genre is at the less respectable end of the critical spectrum, with cheap, gory exploitation fare designed to bring in hordes of teenagers on opening weekend, and not do much beyond that. But there have been exceptions over the years, in the form of a classier kind of scare fest, a tradition that goes back to films like "The Innocents," and that is currently kept alive by international filmmakers like Guillermo Del Toro, Alejandro Amenabar and Juan Antonio Bayona.  And British chiller "The Awakening," while certainly commercial, is a more old-fashioned kind of ghost story, firmly of a piece with recent genre hits like "The Others" and "The Orphanage." With backing from BBC Films, and a strong cast led by Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton, it certainly seems to be on the classier side of the horror movie spectrum, and our hopes were »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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