Saturday, February 11, 2017

Day 103: The Awakening

This film is a very classy production that stars Rebecca Hall and Dominic West (McNulty from The Wire). Ghost stories, as I often say, are hard to do well but this movie manages to keep things moving very well. It is centered on a boys home in England where strange things have been happening. The headmaster finds Hall's Florence Cathcart, a writer who helps debunk hauntings and spiritualists. She comes to the school and quickly figures out there is no ghost, just some tragic circumstances and some bullies.

The real fun starts once all the children leave for the half-semester break, leaving Cathcart with a skeleton crew running the building and one child whose parents are away in India. The mysteries, threats and desires of the various people who remain build at a fairly heated pace until revelation upon revelation keeps changing the nature of the movie. Why is Cathcart attracted to the old house where the school is located? How does her childhood in Africa fit in? Are there any ghosts in the house? Will Cathcart and the headmaster get it on? All these questions are answered over the course of the film and it is a pretty enjoyable ride. Well made and creepy, this is one of the better horror movies I have seen on Netflix in recent years.

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