Oct 15, 2014

15 of 31: The Awakening (2011)

A vain attempt by a formerly prolific blogger to review 31 new (to me) horror films in the 31 days of October. We did it last year and it was a gas. Can we do it once more? Let's find out.

Platform: Netflix on Roku
Starring: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West

Florence Cathcart (Hall) is a paranormal skeptic and hoax exposer working in England after World War I. The premise of the film is that there were so many deaths in England due to war and influenza, and ordinary people turned to the supernatural in order to communicate with their departed loved ones. Which led to a rise of greedy charlatans and hucksters, looking to profit off of their grief.

A headmaster (West) at a boy's boarding school comes to London to beg for her assistance with a ghost problem that they may or may not have at the school. The ghost of a murdered boy has been making the rounds, possibly even involved in the death of one of the headmaster's students. Using his Dominic West-ish charm, he convinces her to come for a visit to investigate.

The boarding school is one of those remote, atmospheric, very British places where ghosts roam. At least in horror films. It was formerly a large country estate of some pre-War family. I'd be very surprised if there weren't a bunch of ghosts roaming the halls of a spooky joint like that. Despite a night of freaky freakishness that would scare the piss out the staunchest of staunch folk, Florence quickly deduces that some of the boys have been playing pranks. And the boy who died was being punished by one of his teachers for insisting he saw the ghost. A punishment that left him outside in the elements and susceptible to an asthma attack.

Case closed. Or is it?

Of course it isn't closed. Wouldn't be much of a ghost film if that were the case, now would it? I'll refrain from adding anything specific regarding the last two acts of the film. If you are interested in a well-made, moody period piece of a ghost story then give it a try. Nothing over-the-top, but a decent little ghost story with some good scares.

Verdant Dude Rating: 3 out of 5 pumpkin ales


Waterlogged Canine said...


Verdant Earl said...

WLC - I'm finding all these horror flicks much less terrifying than actual world events. You got that bunker built yet? Um...can I join you?

marty mankins said...

I saw this when it initially came out on video. It was ok, but lost my interest in many areas. I wonder if it would have had a bigger effect in the theater.