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The Awakening

3.8 out of 5 stars 280 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

They say, the boy was scared to death. When the death of a child at a boarding school is blamed on a ghost, hoax exposer Florence Cathcart is certain that science and reason can explain it. But the truth she discovers is more terrifying than she could ever imagine, and soon the ghost hunter becomes the hunted. Starring Rebecca Hall (The Town), Dominic West (John Carter) and Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter), The Awakening is a terrifying mystery filled with haunting twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes Introduced by Nick Murphy
  • A Time for Ghosts
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Florence and the lake

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Shaun Dooley
    • Directors: Nick Murphy
    • Writers: Nick Murphy, Stephen Volk
    • Producers: David M. Thompson, Sarah Curtis, Julia Stannard
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      R
      Restricted
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2013
    • Run Time: 108 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0097C046W
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,067 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 1, 2012
    Format: Blu-ray
    This creepy gothic thriller/horror is set in old England, 1921. This production is your typical British Haunted House Movie, starring Rebecca Hall who plays Florence Cathcart. Florence is hired to investigate a haunted boarding school, who has her doubts at first that ghosts are haunting the school. However, as the investigation continues, so do the eerie occurences around the school. The ghost hunter then becomes convinced that spirits of the dead are angry as the terror begins. Acting Performance of Rebecca Hall is perfect for this chilling movie, along with England as the spooky setting. Delightful for horror and thriller lovers on a dark, summer evening!
    Comment 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Blu-ray
    Rebecca Hall stars as Florence Cathcart an educated woman who debunks spiritualists. The movie opens with a seance in 1921 London. Our heroine springs into action.

    She is then requested to come to an orphanage where a ghost of a boy has been spotted and photographed. She dismisses the ghostly images, and accepts the task.
    Florence is an independent and educated woman, who smokes. She reminded me of Anne Hathaway in this role. As her investigation proceeds, Florence begins to doubt her skepticism/atheism.

    Interesting film with a twist that has clues. Good use of sound. Enjoyable. 4 1/2 stars.

    PARENTAL GUIDE: Sex and nudity (male and female)
    11 Comments 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    I saw the reviews about the ending being somewhat contrived and cliched. Perhaps that is so. But for me, the ending could not detract from an artful, interesting, subtly creepy, atmospheric ghost story that kept me guessing. I loved the measured but powerful performances, the historical context and the moving but quietly frightening story line. (That peering into dollhouse scene is going to stay with me for a long time!)

    I love this type of horror story and I loved this movie . . . be warned: this is not a slick, gory, cheap thrills, special effects type of movie.

    Anyone else agree, would you please let me know of other movies that are similar? I find them far and few between.
    5 Comments 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    This is a very well done ghost story set in early 1920's Great Britain. It is shortly after the first World War and terrible influenza epidemic and "a time for ghosts". Florence Cathcart is a nonbeliever who investigates claims of the supernatural and has never found evidence to support any kind of haunting. Then she is asked to investigate a boys' boarding school where the ghost of a boy is haunting the halls and has led to the death of one of the pupils. Florence is a strong minded, modern woman who goes about her task a bit like Sherlock Holmes does when solving his cases. Everything, in her mind, has a scientific explanation. She sets up tests to record temperature, measure magnetic fields, and even track footprints. As her investigation proceeds, what started out as just another false claim begins to get more complicated. The story is interesting and the actors are perfect in their roles. It's a bit predictable at times but never boring. This is a film that I would highly recommend for horror fans. There is some brief nudity and sexual situations so not for the younger ones.
    Comment 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I love scary movies and its hard to find a ghost story that offers a lot of suspense these days with out the gore. This is by far the best one I've seen in years. Its got everything you would want from great actors to a strong story line and a great twist at the end yoiu never saw coming . Its just a great movie .
    Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    The Awakening has all the trappings of a classical ghost story and starts strongly off the mark, mixing the post-Victorian fascination with seances, the massacre of World War I and the oddly placed skeptical brilliance of an educated lady who debunks the nonsense. Twenty minutes in, I was expecting a tightly plotted masterpiece that would keep me guessing and finally reveal some grand view from the jigsaw of clues. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

    The movie is shot beautifully and the director trades cheap scares for a long brooding eeriness that permeates the look and feel of everything. There are even moments of horror genius involving a doll's house that will make your skin crawl. There are so many good elements that make it feel like The Shining meets the Woman in Black.

    But then there are so many scenes that go nowhere, clues that mean nothing and a rushed (and ambiguous) conclusion that doesn't ring true. I must have counted a half dozen red herrings that add nothing to the plot and have no payoff whatsoever. And once you know the big secret of the film, playing it backwards doesn't make much sense either.

    This is brilliantly acted, especially by Rebecca Hall who practically carries the movie, and the direction is perfectly creepy. The script on the other hand needed more polish - it could have been a indie horror film classic but instead leaves the viewer frustrated.
    16 Comments 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I absolutely, thoroughly, and completely love this movie. It took me about six or seven viewings to be able to say that. As an American, it helped me (a lot!) to finally run it with the subtitles turned on to catch all the snippets of English-accented dialog that I missed the first few times around.

    Rebecca Hall is perfectly cast as the spiritual medium- (read: con artist-) debunker who takes pity on the frightened children who think they've seen a ghost at a remote boys' boarding school. I didn't recognize the fine English/Irish actor Dominic West at first because I'd only seen him play an American in "The Forgotten"; his accent in that movie sounded so natural to me as to seem native. Here he plays a history master who's seen a little too much of war's fickle cruelty. The rest of the cast is uniformly excellent, with Shaun Dooley a stand-out as a brutishly stern teacher with a hacking cough and a guilty conscience. Ever-present, lurking in the background, is the true horror of that age, World War I.

    But it's the young actor Isaac Hempstead Wright whom you'll remember above all the others, he of the haunted and haunting eyes. He almost made me believe in ghosts.

    There are a few moments that will make you jump in your seat, but this is not a gore-fest. The overall tone is somber, some of the action horrifying in its cruelty, but it's the psychological violence visited on the characters themselves that forms the core of the suspense of the film. In the end, all of the main characters have changed, some heartbreakingly so.

    I have to just mention here that I loved the device of the doll house.

    This is a film that will leave you with questions. If you're willing to play along, suspend disbelief, and take it at face value, you'll enjoy it.
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