Someone Needs Their Coffee: First Ten Minutes of The Awakening
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Someone Needs Their Coffee: First Ten Minutes of The Awakening

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | August 13, 2012 | Comments ()


Ghost stories are best when they work on the slow burn, letting the tension pile up through the accumulation of small events. Any of the individual items is laughable if explained, but the total is much more than the sum of its parts. That's why ghost stories work so well with characters who are already suspected of insanity, of inherently unreliable narrators, because then there's a meta tension, a mystery not only of the events but of the veracity of the events.

The Awakening is one of those slow burn stories, and it grounds itself firmly in 1921, in a society that moves just a beat slower than ours anyway. It can get away with harsh colors and stark architecture because it fits with the time, all the while creeping us out with scenery with hardly a diversion into anything actually supernatural. 1921 is probably the least popular year of the twentieth century in which to set films. It's too late to be World War One, too early to be the Great Depression. The year is one of those middle children of history.

Here's the full plot summary:

Set in London in 1921, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), author of the popular book "Seeing Through Ghosts," has devoted her career to exposing claims of the supernatural as nothing but hoaxes. Haunted by the recent death of her fiancé, she is approached by Robert Mallory (Dominic West) to investigate the recent death of a student at the all-boys boarding school where he teaches. When students at the school report sightings of the young boy's ghost, she decides to take on the case. Initially, the mystery surrounding the ghost appears nothing more than a schoolboy prank, but as Florence continues to investigate events at the school, she begins to believe that her reliance on science may not be enough to explain the strange phenomenon going on around her.

And here is the first ten minutes of the film:

Paranormal Downton for the win.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Dragonchild

    I suppose it's classic Hollywood "beat you over the head with what's supposed to be a subtle insight" by not making the protagonist a mere skeptic, but a PROFESSIONAL skeptic. Because god forbid we have a character in a movie where reason just happens to be a trait. That said, if the "slow burn" storytelling makes up for it, I might check it out. (Unfortunately, I couldn't view the clip.)

  • TheOriginalMRod

    That looks like my kind of movie! Checking my theaters now!

  • annie

    Even a wimp like me enjoyed the movie. A few good creeps, and the luminescent Rebecca Hall. Nice way to spend two hours.

  • Blake

    Rebecca Hall... mmm I'm in.

  • Miss Kate

    I enjoyed this movie! I'm a sucker for an old-fashioned ghost story, and this was delightfully creepy.

  • Quatermain

    You'd probably like 'The Woman in Black', then. I just saw it the other week and it pretty much surpassed my expectations.

  • Dragonchild

    I surpassed my expectations because I didn't expect much. As a fright film it challenged the imagination as much as pasta. However, I'd say it's a great mood film. The location has some genuine richness to it, and it makes excellent use of ambient lighting. The acting isn't great overall, but certain scenes are legitimately gripping. If it's possible to praise a horror film by calling it "pretty", I would do so for "The Woman in Black". I considered it well worth a Redbox, but if you paid full price for a scare you were probably disappointed.

  • Miss Kate

    Glad to hear it! I read the book and liked it. I'm eager to see how they expand it into a full-length movie (the story is pretty short).

  • ,

    Set in London in 1921, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), author of the popular book “Seeing Through Ghosts,” has ...
    That's some terrible writing there. Florence isn't "set in London," the story is.

    I can't read the rest after that.

  • Darcy

    So because the movie summary uses an elliptical clause (look it up), which is perfectly valid in this case because it's *obvious* the author didn't want to start off by awkwardly saying "The movie, which is set in London in 1921, ...", you aren't going to take the 10 seconds to finish reading? It must be lonely in your glass tower.

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