Wednesday 7 March 2012

Today's Review: The Awakening

The Awakening is a horror set in the early 1920s. Rebecca Hall stars as Florence, a woman who has devoted her life to exposing supposed ghost sightings and savants as fakes. When a man named Robert (Dominic West) shows up and states he has a case of a real ghost haunting the boarding school he works at, Florence is intrigued. After seemingly getting to the root of the problem in a matter of days, it starts to become clear that not everything is as it seems, and there is certainly some presence in the school, with interest in Florence.

The Awakening is quite a slow burner. It takes a while to start out, and even then it plods along slightly. But it's very deliberately done in order to keep up the confusion and suspense. There's great imagery all over the place, and clues that point towards the ending. Not that they ruin anything, but when you look back at the events of the film after watching, everything falls into place. It's very well put together, although not overly scary. There are a few good jump scares, yes, but most of the effort is put into creating a constant sense of unease.

Pretty much everyone in The Awakening is fantastic. Rebecca Hall does an outstanding job going from confident hoax exposer to quivering wreck, and West takes on a great lead male role. The children are all pretty convincing too, and only help to add to the atmosphere of the movie, especially one boy by the name of Tom (Isaac Hempstead Wright).

If you're after a good horror, The Awakening is definitely one to go for. It's not an outright crap your pants scare fest, but it's a deeply thought out and involved movie. It may be a bit slow at times, but the payoff is satisfying and will leave you thinking for a while.

My rating: 4/5

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