Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Awakening

Brilliant and traditional MR James style ghost story from Nick Murphy (who also directed) and Stephen Volk (who gave us the infamous Screen One play Ghost Watch in the early 90s and Ken Russell's Gothic)

Set in the Great Britain of 1921, a country still suffering the after effects of The Great War, it stars the beautiful and talented Rebecca Hall as the instantly likeable ghost hunter Florence Cathcart and The Wire's Dominic West is excellent as always as Mallory, a teacher at a boarding school in Cumbria that may or may not be haunted. There's also sterling support from Imelda Staunton as the school's Matron.

In my opinion, this is a film to watch, enjoy and savour. But if you're looking for cheap frights per minute and the old ultra violence, then this isn't the 'horror' film for you; though there are some moments that really do make you jump! This is however, on the whole, a beautiful slow paced suspenseful film with some heart. Rejoice that they still make them like this, occasionally.


  1. I watched this last night and I'm afraid I wasn't as bowled over by it as you. Rebecca Hall was superb and incredibly easy on the eyes, but for the most part I thought this was a fairly paint-by-numbers "ghost house" story. It may not have had much in the way of gore, but it certainly had more than its fair share of tired "bait and switch" scares - oh he's behind you... oh no he isn't etc. In terms of recent British horror, I thought The Woman in Black was much more effective (and I wasn't blown away by it either).

    1. Oooh you're a tough dour Celt to impress aren't you?! ;p I get what you mean, but I felt this was only ever trying to be a traditional ghost story and in that respect it achieved perfectly.