One to Watch: The Awakening (2011)

May 4, 2013 — 4

Forever on the lookout for decent horror films on Netflix, and usually woefully disappointed, I was happy to discover this old-fashioned ghost story from among the found footage rubbish and countless bad zombie movies.

The Awakening, released in 2011, is set just after the bloodbath that was World War I.  At the time spiritualism was both gaining popularity, and attracting con-artists out to fleece those looking for a final contact from a loved one, or proof of existence after death. Similar to Houdini’s efforts, the heroine of this film is out to expose that fakery, though her disbelief in the supernatural appears somewhat fragile at times.

Florence Cathcart, our hoax-and-ghost buster, is called to a boarding school to investigate sightings of a child’s ghost, and whether or not it is related to the recent death of a student there.

Here’s a look at the trailer:

There were a couple of good scares in this one, though if you were raised watching the  Saw movies they might be wasted on you.  Overall, it’s more ambiance and atmosphere than in your face horror, but I enjoyed it.  Unlike this insightful Netflix reviewer…


Like, totally.

Really, it is worth a watch.  Here’s the Netflix link.


  • bmj2k

    May 5, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Ambiance and atmosphere beat in your face horror every time. In your face “horror” is really just a momentary shock. Atmosphere and ambiance create a mood of tension, a mood of fear, a mood of unwanted expectancy that is the bread and butter or real horror. Of course, I do think that some in your face horror, used properly and not overdone, is amazingly effective in horror.


    • Jim

      May 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      I couldn’t agree more! There still needs to be some shocking/gory moments, but they’re so much more effective when used sparingly and framed in the right environment.


  • JRD Skinner

    May 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Looks right up my alley – I love a bit of historical bent to my horror flicks. Thanks for the tip!


    • Jim

      May 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      You’re welcome.

      Different time periods always add interest for me as well.


Leave a Reply