17 August 2012 11:45 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

A month or so ago a rather terrible film called Red Lights, featuring Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy as experts in the paranormal who go around debunking supposed hauntings, opened and closed in the blink of an eye. It had no idea of what it wanted to be — serious and somber, or campy and ridiculous? — and as a result just kind of flailed about helplessly veering between genres, between tones. Almost as if in response to that catastrophe, we now have The Awakening, which features Rebecca Hall as a writer and “ghost hunter” in 1921 England who, yes, goes around debunking supposed hauntings. Both films open with séances that are disrupted by our heroes, and both films take some surprising directions after setting up their thriller plotlines. But The Awakening has the good sense to find a mood and stick with it. It’s not afraid to take itself »

- Bilge Ebiri

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