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The Awakening starring Rebecca Hall & Dominic West: Good Enough

The Awakening starring Rebecca Hall & Dominic West.

The Awakening starring Rebecca Hall & Dominic West. A 2011 movie.

Horror-thrillers are more inclined to be torn apart by the critics and movie-goers than any other genre.

Sure, romantic comedies are doomed to be put-down because they follow a formula, but nobody really expects a twist at the end. And even the haters know that the best thing a romcom can do is to provide some good jokes, better-than-average acting and some non-cheesy romantic moments.

And please don’t give me the “but 500 Days of Summer (I do like that movie by the way- just not as a romcom) was a different, unique romcom” reply. First of all, it is not a romcom, it is a romantic/comedy/drama. And yes, even that gave a happy ending-just not with the real girl.

Sorry if I gave you spoilers, but I am sure you knew something was different with that movie since it was rated at 7.9 on IMDB and it had Joseph Gordon Levitt in it as opposed to Matthew McConaughey in it.

Romantic comedies don’t typically feature drama and unhappy endings so that’s why even the ones that guys loved hardly ever see a rating close to 7.

But horror-thrillers are an entirely different story. Not only we want to be frightened, but we want it in a subtler, creepier way. We don’t want the director to think he can get us with big stars and stupid sound effects (aka What Lies Beneath- to this day I still don’t know what Harrison Ford or Michelle Pfeiffer ever saw in that script!)

It is very rare for a horror/thriller to pull off a twist to fool even the most-movie-going folks won’t see coming. But even those good-twist movies run the risk of being all about the twist and nothing else. I’m sorry, but The Sixth Sense was a bore until we found out about what happened to Bruce Willis.

I’ll be impressed, however, when you shoot a haunting type of movie where you are creepy without being gory, where you count on the story and the acting than sound effects to scare me. It is great if you can engage me throughout the whole movie using some clichés (but not too many), care for the characters, sit curious till the end and give me a twist that is not all The Sixth Sense or The Others.

And The Awakening is all that. Not that it doesn’t have its issues and some boy-we-have-seen-that-coming moments. But it also manages to be unique in its own way. Rebecca Hall and Dominic West were a joy to watch and the ending can be interpreted in different ways.

It has the atmosphere, good ideas, intelligent protagonists and solid acting. And in this day and age where all the stories were pretty much written, this story is done pretty well against the odds

P.S. I really simplified the story to avoid giving spoilers-so don’t think it is that plain.

The  Awakening: Story

Post WW1, Florence (Rebecca Hall) is a Cambridge graduate published author who exposes ghost scams whenever she can.

Her next mission is to expose the imposters at a boarding school. And at first she does find a prankster and unravel a mystery. Unfortunately, there seems to be other pranksters around. But the longer she stays, the more she begins to question her own sanity, will to live and her ability to connect with others. Could it be that there are real ghosts haunting the school? And if there are, what the hell do they want from her?

Dominic West plays one of the teachers/love interest/wounded ex-soldier with quite a few mysteries on his own.


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