Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Rebecca Hall
Dominic West
Imelda Staunton.
Directors
Nick Murphy.
Screenwriters
Stephen Volk
Nick Murphy.
Running Time
107 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Vacation
2 Star Empire Rating
Strange Magic
2 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Love
3 Star Empire Rating
Pressure
3 Star Empire Rating
Misery Loves Comedy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

The Awakening
Who you gonna Hall?


submit to reddit


Plot
In the aftermath of World War I, a "hoax exposer" (Hall) travels to an English boarding school to reveal the truth about a supposed ghost.


Review
The Awakening
Browse more images »
Beginning with a séance that hints at a strong supernatural element that it will never deliver, this British chiller features strong performances and an over-complex script that all but degenerates into far-fetched nonsense. Rebecca Hall plays Florence Cathcart, a professional debunker of the occult who is brought in by Dominic West to investigate strange goings-on at his boarding school. Orphanage-style scares follow, as the boys claim to witness the ghost of a deceased pupil, and Hall makes a convincing sleuth as she combs the halls for clues. The film’s excellent BBC production values only delay the inevitable, however, and a trite twist ending will have you longing for the more honest pulp thrills of Scorsese’s superior Shutter Island.


Verdict
Solid production values lend a polish to the spooks and there are strong performances all round, especially from the ever-excellent Rebecca Hall, but there's little here to add to the well-worn haunted house genre.


Reviewed by Damon Wise

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Awakening
Empire Star Rating

RE: The Awakening

keningAwakening is a handsome, well-acted thriller with a script that's never cringe-inducing. So why did it sneak its way onto home video with no fanfare? ... More

Posted by chang at 12:12, 31 December 2013 | Report This Post


A decent ghost story with an eerie vibe but I was expecting the twist about halfway through. Aside from some strong performances and high production values it felt just a little to much like a rip off of 'The Others'. Particularly the scenes when Rebecca Hall searches the School with an oil lamp, that and the fact this is set post world war 1 and the Others is post World War 2. A lot of similarities but it was still decent film and I'd probably watch it again to look for clues to the ending. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChrisAJ20 at 20:43, 13 October 2013 | Report This Post


A decent ghost story with an eerie vibe but I was expecting the twist about halfway through. Aside from some strong performances and high production values it felt just a little to much like a rip off of 'The Others'. Particularly the scenes when Rebecca Hall searches the School with an oil lamp, that and the fact this is set post world war 1 and the Others is post World War 2. A lot of similarities but it was still decent film and I'd probably watch it again to look for clues to the ending. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChrisAJ20 at 20:43, 13 October 2013 | Report This Post


Who you gonna call?

The frights and chills are wholly expected, but delivered with a restrained perfection. As a ghost story, it sets out its stall and sells its wares beautifully. As is usual with this sort of thing, a lot of the story's power lies in the first telling, so avoid spoilers if you can. Best watched in the dark. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 11:36, 31 August 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Bit Harsh

Completely agree with the Hall's character inconsistencies Herr Schnitzel... Given the talented cast, the stylistic approach and its ideas around the devastation of loss suffered in the great war; those hoping for an experience mirroring the likes of the Orphanage are in for a crushing disappointment. What starts off as a depiction of a woman skeptical over the existence of ghosts but troubled by something in her past quickly descends into a chaotic mess with character motivations becoming... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 13:43, 28 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bit Harsh

I thought this was fairly awful. Starts out intriguingly enough, but by the second half the film falls apart when revelation is piled upon revelation, none of it making that much sense or being that unexpected if you've seen similar films. The usually excellent Rebecca Hall stands no chance against a clunkily written role that has her strut around as an anachronistically proto-feminist ghostbuster, spouting lines totally out of place for that period. In the second half, just like the rest of th... More

Posted by Herr Schnitzel at 11:29, 17 November 2011 | Report This Post


Bit Harsh

I thoroughly enjoyed this last night. some solid scares and a few spine tingling moments (the dollhouse especially). I guessed the twist pretty early on but it didn't diminish the impact of the film as I could sit back and enjoy the director's attempts to continually hoodwink the audience. Strong performances throughout and a nice ending that sets out to be ambiguous but wraps things up quite nicely. see it if you enjoyed The Sixth Sense, The Others or The Orphanage 3.5 out of 5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChudMonkey at 10:33, 17 November 2011 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Black Mass Trailer Breakdown With Director Scott Cooper
Find out what's what with Johnny Depp's take on Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Read Empire's official verdict

Empire Meets Joely Richardson
On Maggie, Arnie and Event Horizon

100 Greatest Movie Characters
The complete list of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

Vote Now For Your Favourite TV Shows
Pick your top five - if you can...

Paul Rudd Is Awesome
Being awesome: from Clueless to Ant-Man

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)