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The Awakening

4.3 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Mention Bram Stoker's name, and literature and movie buffs will conjure up Count Dracula. But there was more blood in Stoker's pen. He also wrote The Jewel of the Seven Stars, later filmed with chilling effect as The Awakening, grippingly directed by Mike Newell (Dance with a Stranger, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and sensuously shot on Egyptian locations by veteran cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Charlton Heston stars as an Egyptologist with a passion that will trigger several mysterious deaths. He's obsessed with a sorceress whose return has been prophesied - and whose tomb he opened at the exact moment his daughter was born. Can ancient evil reach forward in time to curse the present? Horror movie fans know the terrifying answer.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Susannah York, Jill Townsend, Stephanie Zimbalist
  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0082G8SLC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,898 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Egyptologist Charlton Heston has had a string of bad luck, ever since unearthing evil old Egyptian sorceress queen Tara. His wife died in childbirth, and numerous colleagues associated with the find suffered dreadful accidents. Still, the find made him famous.
Eighteen years later, his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist (in her first film role) is coming into her own, and wanting to travel with dad to Egypt and get to know him better - she's often been away, while Heston was making time with his new wife and former assistant, Susannah York, and conducting his lecture tours. Stephanie's a sweet kid, even if she is suddenly developing problems. Seems she doesn't always know where she's been at night - or what she was doing. In fact, she isn't even sure who she is, anymore, half the time.
Heston is equally afraid he is losing his own appreciable mind. He's coming to recognize that he is the fulfillment of Queen Tara's prophecy for her own resurrection in a later age. As before, those near and dear to him are dying, paving his way to become Tara's new prophet, and Heston is beginning to think the ancient Egyptian magic has more going for it than any of his own modern science. The problem is, it appears his daughter may have to die to fulfill the prophecy...
This movie was one whole star better, before the releasing studio completely reshot its ending. What was a clever conclusion became instead more heavy-handed and far less satisfying, and even somewhat comical. It also occasionally suffers from a bit of heavy-handedness in direction, inadvertently turning some melodramatic moments into humorous ones.
However, the production itself is superior. Maurice Binder did the stylish opening credit sequence. Robert H.
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Format: VHS Tape
"The Awakening" isn't a summer blockbuster; it was never meant to be. This is a story about an archaeologist trying to break ground despite being the 17 millionth person studying ancient Egypt. He is a believer and his passion consumes him. He is also not a perfect man. He is a man of science who's work defines his whole being. This is why I think the audience may have a hard time warming up to him.
I don't like to give details in my reviews. What this story has to offer is a realistic horror film. Even though there are virtually no special effects, we are still drawn in to a world of silent malevolence.
This is not a "slasher" film. There is much weight given to suspicious happenings and ancient curses that frankly, makes this story much more creepy. There is virtually nothing offered in the movie that I couldn't see actually happening. Not that I believe in curses, but you never know, there are things in the universe that you don't want to piss off. Leave them alone, you may live longer.
Some have said that is story is "slow". Yes. It is a drama. It's trying to weave a tale for you that is intelligent, thoughtful and if you're willing sit and be invested in the story, it may scare you more than Freddy Kruger ever could.
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Format: Amazon Video
This movie's really, really bad. And I love it. I have pretty well worn out my old VHS tape so it's time to buy the digital version. It's an over-the-top potboiler only distantly related to its alleged source material, Bram Stoker's "Jewel of the Seven Stars." It has lots more in common with the original Boris Karloff mummy movie. Both Charlton Heston and Stephanie Zimbalist chew the scenery with vigor, which makes it all the more fun to watch. Ian McDiarmid, erstwhile Emperor, has a small role.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch it. Don't go into it expecting high art. Just settle yourself in for a great stinkbomb of a movie and have a lot of fun.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
1980's "The Awakening," an Orion release, here from Warner Archive is an attempt to give Charlton Heston another chance since he passed on "The Omen" four years earlier giving Gregory Peck a reviving hit film. As far as sequels went, "The Awakening" would come and go without one even though it tries to take the best things from "The Exorcist" and "The Omen" and recycle them into Bram Stoker's lesser known novel, "Jewel of the Seven Stars" which Hammer filmed as a way to inject new life in their "Mummy" series in 1971 called "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb." I have not seen this Hammer effort, but Hammer always has a certain charm which, sadly, with "The Awakening" there is none. It's hard to know what went wrong with it as it is said that the studio re-shot what had been a more satisfying ending which is chiefly why ones feels robbed at the end. Stephanie Zimbalist (Efrem Jr.'s daughter), who since remained in TV movies, is not frightening enough on her own, as written. They don't even spend much on her wardrobe as she wears practically the same pair of bell bottoms and top and an occasional blazer throughout. A little excess make-up and she's supposed to be terrifying? Mike Newell, the director, who apparently has gone on to better things ("Dance with a Stranger," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral") can not elicit credible performances from either Heston nor a capable actress like Susannah York, who seems to make up her performance as she went along. Jill Townsend is totally miscast and dreadful in this. It's filmed by the great Jack Cardiff, but does not really have any memorable images.Read more ›
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