In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.
In 1921, in London, the arrogant and skeptical Florence Cathcart is famous for exposing hoaxes and helping the police to arrest con artists. The stranger Robert Mallory tells her that the headmaster of a boarding school in Rookford had invited her to travel to Cumbria to investigate a ghost that is frightening the pupils to death. He also tells that many years ago there was a murder in the estate and recently pupil Walter Portman had died. The reluctant Florence finally accepts to go to Cumbria. On arrival, she is welcomed by governess Maud and the boy Thomas Hill. Soon Florence discovers what had happened to Walter and then the students, teachers and staff are released on vacation, and Florence remains alone with Robert, Maud and Tom in the school. Florence is ready to leave the boarding school when strange things happen, leaving Florence scared. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
After finding her cigarette case in the pillow that she's ripped open, Florence goes outside with feathers stuck in her hair. In the next shot, however, the feathers are gone and her hair is clean again. See more »
[opening title] Observation: Between 1914 and 1919, war and influenza claimed more than a million lives in Britain alone. Conclusion: This is a time for ghosts. Florence Cathcart "Seeing Through Ghosts" p7 See more »
Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) is a conceited and renowned expert in the otherworld of ghastly ghosts. Or to more exact - an expert in demonstrating that they do not exist and uncovering parlour tricks used to create illusions of their presence. Nonetheless each and every time she disproves another false ghost, Florence sighs in anguish, almost hoping that her conviction were misplaced. When Robert Mallort (Dominic West) arrives from a boy's boarding school in Rockford, Cumbria, where a boy was supposedly murdered by a ghost, she reluctantly agrees to aide him. On arrival, she is welcomed by governess Maud (Imelda Staunton), who shows an very intense admiration for Cathcart. Florence immediately sets out to scientifically explain the ghostly apparitions.
Similar in tone and atmosphere to "The Others", Nick Murphy explores the haunting corridors of a vast run-down boarding school, together with all its creaking secrets and dimly lit corners. Despite my intense liking for old-fashioned ghost stories, "The Awakening" however failed in intrigue and turn on, quickly falling into traps of formulaic treatment. A far cry for recreating lasting suspense and - more importantly - an interest in the mansion's mystery, it plods out to a somewhat surprising, but ultimately dreary conclusion, which feels as if ripped off from a nameless ghost flick already seen. Despite some splendid visuals the overall feel just missed a touch of individual flair, making it overly repetitive for anyone with a wider outlook on similar movies. The disjointed narrative naturally does not help proceedings, as it jumps around failing to really get a hold of whatever key story it was telling - rushed in some places, sleepily overstaying its welcome in others.
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