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.
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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
[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 »
The Awakening is the best old-fashioned ghost story made in modern time since The Others. The film to me was so emotionally powerful, with an engrossing tale of loss, loneliness, grief and fear. Don't go in with expectations of being scared out of your mind even though there is some well executed scares in this film. It's not the type of horror film that really focuses on that element because it doesn't need to rely on it so heavily like most horror movies do these days. The film's strengths are its atmosphere, effective suspense, impeccable performances, a story worth telling and a twist that through me for a loop. The most under appreciated horror film of 2012.
Rebecca Hall plays Florence Cathcart, a Hoax exposer who is called to a boarding house to investigate strange paranormal activity. Rebecca is one of the most under used actresses of today! She was so mesmerizing in this role and it's a shame that this didn't get a wide theatrical release so people can see what a great actress she is; this was Oscar worthy to me. The rest of the cast was great too, that include Dominic West who plays Robert Mallory and Imelda Staunton who gives a heartbreaking performance as the caretaker Maud Hill. These characters were so moving and heartfelt and give the story an emotional punch.
Director and writer, Nick Murphy shows true talent in his first full length feature film, and has strength as a writer. His ability to capture emotion along with shocks and spooks is breathtaking to me; his film grabs and doesn't let go. He is a director to look out for. Stephen Volk who is no stranger to the horror genre, he also wrote screenplays for Gothic, The Kiss, The Guardian, Superstition and Octane. He shows true growth here as a solid writer for this genre. They should collaborate again! Overall, The Awakening treads a lot on familiar grounds, but there is true talent in front and behind the camera that you can really appreciate the presentation. It could of used a couple more scares but the ones thrown at us were effectively spooky. The acting, characters, suspense and surprising twist though, truly drive this film. Recommended! 7.9 out of 10
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