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The Awakening
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The Awakening More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Tension, thriller, suspense, and unsettling images set in Egypt and London.

Author: ma-cortes
4 November 2009

A veteran archaeologist(Charlton Heston) in Valley of Kings, Egypt, discovers the coffin of a nasty queen ( Hatsetsupt ?) but open the tomb , the mummy's spirit is transfered to his baby daughter (one time grown-up is played by Stephanie Zimbalist), born from his wife (Jill Townsend) at that moment. His spouse flees and Heston falls in love with his archeology's partner(Susanna York).

This supernatural picture based on Bram Stoker's novel is packed with thrills, chills,suspense and wonderful outdoors from Egypt. The chief excitement lies in watching that new and innocent victim can be executed (Omen-alike) by the Egyptian mummy. The movie is full of grisly killings, terror, shocks and several eerie scenes. It displays a mysterious and sinister atmosphere, while the look is suitable spooky and frightening, the plot spreads to breaking point and the final turns out to be a bit frustrating. Appears as secondary Ian McDiarmid , today famous for his role as Chanciller Palpatine in Star Wars and Myrian Margolies who appears in Harry Potter films. Colorful cinematography by the classic Jack Cardiff and good musical score is composed by Claude Bolling. The motion picture is professionally directed by Mike Newell. He's a nice director film-making for BB television, dramas as ¨Enchanted April¨, ¨Mona Lisa smile¨, who achieved success as ¨Donnie Brasco¨and ¨Four wedding and a funeral¨, furthermore ¨Adventures of young Indiana Jones¨ series and ¨Harry Potter and goblet fire¨,among others.The film will appeal to Charlton Heston fans and Egyptian theme fonds.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

An Egyptologist's daughter's life becomes entwined with in her father's obsession to revive the mummy of an evil queen.

Author: thomasbecker108 from United States
26 June 2007

If you are any kind of Egypt enthusiast, you will love this! The university lecture, the tomb scenes, the obsession with research, the special organ jars (spelling of which "c a n o p i c" is denied by IMDb!) -- it is all well done and fun. Having taught ancient Egyptian history for many years, I find that this movie is filled with great realia and references to the rich mythology of Egypt. I routinely showed it to my 6th grade ancient history class! The plot moves well and there is a great sense of rising action and suspense. The acting is solid, and the music and the filming are well done. I really have no idea why this film has been rated so low by the viewers. Please see yourself and boost the rating on this fine piece of suspenseful work!

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Where all good horror tales of Egypt should go.

Author: ozthegreatat42330 from Central City, Kentucky
14 April 2007

A beautifully atmospheric movie in the genre of Mummy movies and a cut above most of the others. This one is a personal favorite of mine, and Heston once again shows why he has been consistently popular with the movie going public for a half century now. As a driven archaeologist he manages to bring ruin down upon himself by once again failing to heed warnings to not disturb the resting place of a particular burial. As he is opening the tomb, miles away his daughter is being born at the same moment. The two events will come together in the future to cause a catastrophe. The pace here is somewhat slower than most horror films but allows you to get more deeply into the characters. Just a good movie for those who like such things.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A Masterpiece of a Sophisticated Horror Movie

Author: Zoltan Carnovash (zoltanc666) from Germany
6 May 2002

Ignore the bad reviews the movie got here - I guess they are by people who wanted to see something like "The Mummy" with Brendan Fraser, but this movie is something completely different. This is one of those sophisticated horror movies like "The Haunting" (1963) that build up extreme tension through great directing, acting and an unique score. No silly gore or mummies roaming the landscape. The photography and the directing is great and will capture you immediately. The acting is excellent, Heston is the right guy for this job, just like York and Zimbalist, who is wonderful in impersonating the innocent girl on the one hand and the wicked queen who wants to repeat the affair with her father on the other hand, and this shows one of the deeper meanings of the movie: incest. Kara was forced to marry her father (it was an usual custom in the ancient egypt). The movie is very well historically researched and can give you a lot of info about the ancient egypt. "The Mummy" gets every historic fact ludicrously wrong. This atmospheric movie is one you won't forget, especially the slightly melancholic ending (the melancholic note is delivered by the great score). Yes, you don't really know what will happen, now that Kara is free again, but this is even more than you will know when you have finished the novel, since the novel leaves *everything* unclear, even whether Kara is free or not. And Zimbalist looks simply *great* with that make-up, and her acting is wonderful. This is a movie just screaming for a proper DVD and soundtrack release!

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Not THAT Bad...Not THAT Good Either

Author: BaronBl00d ( from NC
3 September 2001

The Awakening is a film about an archaeologist that finds the tomb of a nameless Egyptian queen named Kara. Charlton Heston plays Dr. Corbeck, a man consumed with finding evidence to support this legendary status of Kara. A man who puts work ahead of family, even during the birth of his own daughter. Heston finds the tomb in the very long introductory flashback of 18 years ago beginning the film. He finds it under somewhat strange circumstances. A man is killed attempting to stop his dig mysteriously. Whilst all this is going on, Heston's estranged wife is bearing his daughter after waking from a coma. Now, I am not really sure what the significance of all these events are, but I found the first part of this film in particular very engrossing. The next three fourths is what really lost me and some logical credibility as Heston meets his sultry 18 year-old daughter, they discuss how Queen Kara had killed her father and everyone that touched his hand because he killed her lover and made her partake of his own bed, and then takes her(Heston's daughter) to Egypt. While in Egypt, Stephanie Zimbalist goes under some strange transformation as if she is becoming Kara and we go from there. This film has some beautiful location shots in Egypt, and I found the information, whether real or imaginary, about the queen, mummification, canopic jars(jars used for organs), etc... quite fascinating. The acting is pretty good. I thought Heston did a fine job. Zimbalist is good as well. The biggest problem is the writing. After you watch the film, you really are not sure what happened. I still don't know. The film is also a bit slow in the first half, but there are(for those who really enjoy it) some very gruesome deaths too. I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the film, but if you enjoy the mysteries of Egypt or mummy movies in particular...I would give it a look see. What could it hurt?

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"I want her here".

Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
12 March 2011

As grand productions go (which was a box-office flop), "The Awakening" is professionally catered for but remains a very tepid, old hat supernatural drama enterprise that consisted of excellently dedicated performances ( a serviceable Charlton Heston and an impressive Susannah York) and some stunningly projected Egyptian locations and decors. Outside of that, the story (adapted off Bram Stoker's "The Jewel of Seven Stars") while moodily haunting just felt like it was going through the motions and laboured along. The usual Egyptian tombs, curses unleashed, possessions of loved ones and an archaeologist's obsession to his work. No surprises and little interest, but I did like it's rather gloomily, downbeat conclusion that waited. It's suggestively slow-burn and crisp, dealing with a complex psychological edge filled with melancholy, detachment and righteous ideas. It's the beautiful imagery and majestic score that lingers, as everything is suggestively subtle with a slightly surreal, but more so grounded atmosphere. Stephanie Zimbalist is decent as Heston's possessed daughter and Jill Townsend as her mother.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The first horror movie I ever saw and still not beaten.

Author: Rabensblut from Slovakia
9 June 2006

This is actually one of my most favourite horrors about ancient Egypt. From the archaeological and egyptological sides all fits (see name Ka-ra written in hieroglyphics that really corresponds to the signs and mean - the spirit of the sun). The scene with the tombs was made in one of the tombs discovered by Howard Carter in valley of the kings. I really think that this film can be appreciated only by those who like intelligent movies and who like ancient Egypt (and know about the place and history a lot like me). I am a big fan of Charleton Heston as well. Here You can see one of his best appearances. I didn't find a mistake on this film so the rating is 10/10.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A real beauty

Author: in_any_case from Germany
10 January 2007

the story is as old as egyptomania, a dead queen, a curse, apocalyptic threats. so, that's nothing new, the plot is not surprising at all. though there truly are some thrilling moments the final is not spectacular. it doesn't offer a lot for minds papered by action in these days. after "the mummy" (from egyptological and aesthetic point of view a catastrophe) most of the people are to fastidious to recognize the value of this even-tempered and atmospheric composition. but what a beauty it is! photography and music are brilliant and project the fascination for the beauty of Egyptian art and culture, the desert and all its colours. To call the work of the actors a "bad" is downright unreasonable. The fact, that most of the actors are stage-proofed is not just noticeable, but essential for the style and charmism of the movie. it doesn't need shock-effects or blood-fountains. maybe it needn't to be called a horror movie either. it's just a sad but truly beautiful short-story about a man's blind love for a place and an idea.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Despite it's bad reputation & slow pace I actually quite liked it.

Author: Paul Andrews ( from UK
14 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Awakening starts in Egypt 'Eighteen Years Ago' where an archaeologist named Matthew Corbeck (Charlton Heston) & his assistant Jane Turner (Susannah York) are on the verge of making the biggest archaeological find since the discovery of Tutankhamen. Corbeck is obsessed with locating the ancient 3,800 year old tomb of the evil Egyptian Queen Kara. Corbeck is so obsessed that he neglects his heavily pregnant wife Anne (Jill Townsend) who is in Egypt with him. Corbeck eventually locates Queen Kara's tomb & ventures inside, as he is about to open Kara's sarcophagus Anne gives birth to a stillborn baby girl. As Corbeck opens the lid to reveal the mummified Queen Kara his daughter starts to breathe almost magically coming back to life. It's now 'The Present' & Queen Kara's sarcophagus is housed in a museum in Cairo, Corbeck is now married to Jane & teaches in England while his ex wife Anne & his daughter Margaret (Stephanie Zimbalist) both live in New York. News reaches Corbeck that Queen Kara's remains may be deteriorating due to a fungus & that it needs to to treated. Margaret, who is just one week away from her eighteenth birthday, suddenly decides she has to see her Father & flies to England at the same time the mummified remains of Queen Kara arrive from Cairo. However death seems to follow Kara around, almost as if a supernatural force is guiding her to a predetermined destiny & anyone who stands in the way can expect to experience a fatal accident. Margaret starts to change, she appears to become possessed by the evil Queen Kara who wants to live again...

Directed by Mike Newell I actually quite liked The Awakening despite the stick it seems to get. The script by Chris Bryant, Clive Exton & Allan Scott based on the Bram Stoker novel 'The Jewel of Seven Stars' is intricate & you need to have patience to get the most out of it. If you want CGI mummy's & explosions every couple of minutes then The Awakening is definitely not the film for you, stick with Stephen Sommers The Mummy (1999) & it's sequel The Mummy Returns (2001) both of which I throughly like by the way. This is basically the same film as Hammer's Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) which I thought was crap & I much prefer this take on Stoker's novel. The biggest problem I had with The Awakening, & the one most of it's detractor's seem to have, is that when the film returns to 'The Present' it is just too slow, it desperately either needed a couple more killings to liven things up a bit or to be edited down by five or ten minutes to quicken the pace. There is no mummy walking around in bandages so don't expect any of that sort of thing, the core storyline of The Awakening relies on a supernatural angle & possession rather than a guy in bandages. I think The Awakening is a very handsome film with real Egyptian location filming, in fact it's probably the only mummy film ever to be actually shot in Egypt! The cinematography by Oscar winner Jack Cardiff is as accomplished as you would expect. The sets especially Queen Kara's tomb, the Egyptian artifacts & general production design credited to Micheal Stringer are excellent throughout. I thought director Newell managed to create some good scenes & have an overall foreboding atmosphere for most of the film. There isn't much in the way of blood or gore but there is a really cool scene when a slither of glass falls from a broken window & impales someones throat, ouch! The acting is pretty good, well I thought so anyway. I liked The Awakening despite the fact everyone else seem to hate it, sure it's slow but I found it quite involving as well & was a nice change of pace without ever threatening to put me to sleep. I'm not sure I can recommend The Awakening as it would probably put most people into a coma but what the hell, I liked it & that's all that really matters to me.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Some good ideas but increasingly silly and dreary as it goes on

Author: TrevorAclea from London, England
14 August 2010

Glancing over the credits of The Awakening, you can't help thinking so many talented people, such an ordinary film. Charlton Heston, director Mike Newell (making his debut), legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff (Black Narcissus, A Matter of Life and Death), editor Terry Rawlings (Alien, Chariots of Fire) and a trio of quality scribes in Ten Rillington Place screenwriter Clive Exton and Don't Look Now co-writers Allan Scott and Chris Bryant. The latter's involvement makes you think that Nic Roeg could have really made something of the material at that time. Certainly this should have been much better than it is. It's not that it's a rehash of Bram Stoker's Jewel of the Seven Stars that served as the basis for Hammer's infinitely superior Blood From the Mummy's Tomb less than a decade earlier – producer Robert H. Solo had remade even better source material with surprising intelligence and success with 1978's Invasion of the Body Snatchers – more that it's a horror film that doesn't chill and which feels like it's only just getting down to business when it ends. It certainly has the kind of budget Hammer could only dream of, but none of the compensating imagination.

It's one of those films which it's obvious the leading man has taken on largely because he turned down a similar film that proved a huge hit and figures that he'd better not miss the boat a second time, in this case Charlton Heston clearly regretting his decision not to make The Omen. Still, at least he has the right cinematic pedigree to convince as an obsessive Egyptologist who unearths a forgotten tomb of a damned queen in the Valley of the Kings only to come to suspect in later years that the evil one's spirit is possessing his daughter, who was stillborn but miraculously came to life at the moment he looked upon the Nameless One's face. Flash forward 18 years, a couple of violent accidental deaths, a failed marriage and one wig later, and Heston's daughter is coming of age and developing some sudden mental health problems while the Nameless One's mummy is suddenly affected by a post-eclipse virus that's starting to eat it away. Reunited with his great discovery, Heston becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea of bringing her back to life as anyone who stands in the way of her reincarnation meets a horrible death… You just know that's not going to end well, but what's surprising is how sloppy it is getting to its drawn out but not especially involving finale. The editing seems surprisingly haphazard in places, with a couple of early deaths very clumsily executed with no proper build up, and only a couple of moments really build up the kind of atmosphere the film desperately needs to work. Other moments, such as one of a sleeping Heston being dragged across a room by unseen hands while Stephanie Zimbalist has what looks like either an asthmatic fit or an attempt to suppress a fit of giggles, are just plain laughable. The attempts to make the stars look younger in the lengthy opening section don't work at all – Susannah York actually looks younger in the '18 years later' section of the film – and Heston is all too obviously giving a performance here, and it's a highly variable one at that, veering from competent to plain bloody awful.

The script suffers from too many cooks and too many half-developed ideas: on the one hand it wants to take its premise seriously, yet it never quite develops ideas that it touches upon, like the possibly incestuous relationship between father and daughter being a repeat of the Nameless One's relationship with her own father or a vaguely alluded to suggestion that it's all in their mind. Instead it relies increasingly heavily on the scraps from bigger and better horror hits. Like The Exorcist it begins at an archaeological dig and has a possibly possessed child, like The Omen it has a neurotic mother and a child who scares zoo animals plus the obligatory would-be horrible death by truck and a woman falling to her death from a window. The end result is a watchable film with some good ideas it doesn't really know what to do with but which becomes increasingly silly and dreary as it goes on. You're much better off sticking with Blood from the Mummy's Tomb.

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