The Awakening

Star Rating:  4 stars
(for Star Rating key:


I am constantly on the hunt for AWESOME-COVER-MY-EYES-GRIP-THE-ARM-OF-MY-SEAT ghost movies.  I for one believe in ghosts.   To find an authentic movie these days is virtually impossible. Everything is either reality based these days ( a la Paranormal Activity-ish) or a remake of a remake that was first remade 20 years ago.  But, horror is really my favorite genre of stories/movies.  So imagine my surprise as we were going through our Amazon Instant Videos to find this gem of a movie!  It just showed up on our list—I  had not ever heard of it, seen a trailer or even knew of it’s existence!  It showed up just like Sarah’s Key (a WONDERFUL DRAMA that just appeared on my tv!!!) did. You can take this to heart . . . this is one of the best authentic ghost movies since The Sixth Sense and The Others.  Super impressed with the actors in this flick.


This story takes place in 1921 England.  How fascinating is that already? Then add the fact that the leading lady is a ghostbuster.  Love it.  The movie begins with a gal named Florence the ghostbuster (played by Rebecca Hall — you can see her next in Iron Man 3).  She is a skeptic that works to debunk hoaxes and assists the police in catching con artists.  She gets called to a boarding school by a stranger named Robert (Dominic West). He says the students have been seeing a little boy with a  blurry face moping around the grounds . . . creepy . . . right, right??? I tried to find a picture on the internet but couldn’t find one . . . so I drew it. It looks like this:


Ok . . . so the picture is not that accurate, but you can use your imagination which I am sure is far more scary than anything I can draw… or not… drawing is not my forte.



Florence, Robert the stranger who invited her, Maud the housekeeper (played by Imedla Staunton … you know her as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films) and a student named Tom stay on the school grounds to assist in the ghost hunt when the rest of these school goes on vacation.  Florence sets up old timey cameras, trip bells and thermometers throughout the school.  Through the course of the movie, you see hints of belief in the supernatural from Florence as the  occurrences increase.  There is one scene . . . all I have to say is DOLLHOUSE.  UGH.  WTH?  WHY ARE DOLLHOUSES SO CREEPY?  OMG.  I would have NOT been as graceful on the screen as she was.   See, I have to be very careful when I watch scary movies.  Especially ghost stories since I believe in all things “ghostly.”  I used to watch horror movies ALL the time when my husband was deployed to Iraq. Now, two kids later, I don’t know if it’s fear of something happening to my children or what, but I just can’t take horror stories or even my beloved ghost movies like I used to.


… now back to the story…


What happens as the story unfolds is a twist that I would never have guessed. This movie ties up loose ends and still keeps you looking around every corner and wondering about every sound in the school.  Every photograph she takes has something awesomely unexplainable in it.  (Quick question– Is it just me or are old timey photographs just freaky? Every time I look at one it seems as though something is moving.. or something extra is there.. right?  Bah. Freaks me out just thinking about it.)


If I go too much farther into the story I will give away important plot twists so I will just leave my review as it is now.  If you’re into ghost movies, this one should be the next on your list. It’s definitely worth the time to watch.


Papa’s quote:  “ I mustn’t tell lies.”

Mama’s quote:  “Finally– something other than a Paranormal Activity ghost story.”

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