Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Awakening (2011)


Number Rolled: 34
Movie Name/Year: The Awakening (2011)
Tagline: All the children are gone… except one.
Genre: Thriller
Length: 106 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: StudioCanal, BBC Films, Creative Scotland, Lipsync Productions, Origin Pictures, Eagle Pictures
Executive Producer: Jenny Borgars, Will Clarke, Olivier Courson, Robin Guise, Peter Hampden, Norman Merry, Joe Oppenheimer, Peter Raven, Carole Sheridan
Director: Nick Murphy
Writer: Stephen Volk, Nick Murphy
Actors: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Shaun Dooley, Joseph Mawle, Diane Kent, Richard Durden, John Shrapnel, Cal Macaninch

Florence believes in science, not ghosts. She makes her living by proving that the supernatural is fake. When a man comes to her with claims that he has found a real ghost, she reluctantly agrees to investigate.

Selina’s Point of View:
Wow.

The first thing that caught me about this film was the setting. Even before fifteen minutes had gone by, I felt drawn in because of the realism and intensity of the imagery. Every set in this film is beautifully done.

On top of that amazing background, the writing was superb. There were some holes in the plot here and there, but I don’t really believe it mattered. The story sucked me in, the foreshadowing gave me something to hold on to, and there was a significant depth to the characters.

Stephen Volk (Afterlife, Octane, The Guardian) and Nick Murphy (Blood, Prey, Occupation) wrote their story brilliantly. Although there were some jump scares, the majority of the thrill and horror revolved around a constant build up and hidden danger. It gnawed at my psyche, got me to wait for jump scares that never came. Instead, the real meat of the frightening aspects was subtle and crept up on me.

I can’t say enough about the actors in this film. Joseph Mawle (Half of a Yellow Sun, Game of Thrones, Made in Dagenham), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Game of Thrones, The Wil Wheaton Project, The Boxtrolls), Dominic West (The Affair, The Wire, The Forgotten) and Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Freedom Writers, Maleficent) were amazing in their roles. Each of them affected me exactly as they were supposed to.

Rebecca Hall (A Promise, Closed Circuit, Iron Man 3), however, stole the show. I felt for her character even before I knew why I was supposed to. I felt pain from Florence that had no context until later in the film. That shows remarkable talent by the actress. She became Florence in a way I don’t believe anyone else could.

Despite the minor plot holes I mentioned, I still loved this movie. I would easily recommend it to others.

Cat’s Point of View:
This was one of the random movies that I’ve gone into blind. I hadn’t heard a lot about it that I could recall; nor had I seen any of the trailers, or read any reviews. The teaser synopsis on Netflix was the entirety of my foreknowledge of this film.

Rebecca Hall (The Prestige, Dorian Gray, Transcendence) encapsulated the role of the intelligent and determined Florence Cathcart with finesse. From the beginning you see there is more to her than her brusque exterior, and the pain of the obvious loss in her life. It made me wonder what else had happened to her that hadn’t been revealed yet.

I had an eerie feeling while watching the young Isaac Hempstead Wright’s (Closed Circuit, The Boxtrolls, Family Guy) performance. I knew I’d seen him before in something, and yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. I would later understand why. This young talented actor just so happens to play Bran Stark on Game of Thrones (2011-).

The ending of the film took quite the unexpected turn for me. I knew something funny was up, but I didn’t see this particular twist coming. The final scene leaves me in doubt of whether I know what the true resolution of this story actually was. There were elements to support either way that could be answered.

Once you’ve watched it – which way do you think it turned out?

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 61%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 51%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.1/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Movie Trailer:


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