The Awakening (2011)

logoDirector: Nick Murphy

Writer: Stephen Volk, Nick Murphy (Screenplay)

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Shaun Dooley, Joseph Mawle


Plot: Florence Cathcart (Hall) goes around London exposing the truth behind supernatural hoaxes fooling people in 1921. Building up her reputation she gets recruited by Robert Mallory (West) into finding out the truth about a ghost child haunting a boarding school. The ghost has caused one pupil to die and after researching photos through the years it appears that the same child has appeared in the school photo every year for twenty years.


Against her better judgement Florence goes to the school during a half term leaving the school pretty much empty apart from one lone school boy Tom (Wright) and few staff including Matron Maud (Staunton). Setting up her equipment in hopes of finding an easy solution she ends up question her own beliefs in a case she can’t seem to solve.


Verdict: Ghostly goings on


Story: What looks like a simple sceptic trying to solve the mystery of ghosts takes a surprise twist that will test that person’s belief. Along with the idea of offering us plenty to guess what is going on the end surprise will shock but make you think. It also has under storyline of social difference in a post war England. If truth be told this has nothing new in the ghost side of the story but the twist will and does make this a better film. (7/10)


Actor Reviews


Rebecca Hall: Florence the de-hoaxer with a haunted past that may well catch up with her in the end. Solid lead performance showing she is ready for bigger roles. (8/10)


Dominic West: Robert the war veteran turn school teacher who is also haunted by his past and that he made it back while his friends didn’t. Good performance but the character seems very against any possibility if what is going on. (7/10)


Imelda Staunton: Maud the matron of the school, all the children like her and her calm persona makes it easy to see why. Solid performance but it is once the secret is revelled that we see her in action. (7/10)


Isaac Hempstead Wright: Tom the only child to be left behind who wants to help but is he real? Good performance from the young man who will only go onto bigger things. (7/10)


Director Review: Nick Murphy – Creates a good atmospheric horror thriller that will keep you guessing. (7/10)


Horror: Only a few jumps none of which are shocking. (7/10)

Thriller: Doesn’t pull you in as well as it should. (7/10)

Settings: The isolation setting works perfectly for this film. (10/10)

Special Effects
: Good special effects to create the ghost appearances. (8/10)

Suggestion: I think this is only one to try it doesn’t tick enough boxes to be scary and could offer some simple jumps. (Try It)


Best Part: The Dollhouse seconded visit.

Worst Part: Not scary enough.

Scariest Scene: A moment in the attempted rape scene.

Believability: (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Haunted


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $209,696

Budget: £3Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: All the children are gone… except one.


Overall: Easy Jumps A Clever Twist That Saves It

Rating 70

Leave a Reply