Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars131
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£3.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 24 June 2012
For me this is exactly the type of ghosty flick I enjoy. Nothing full of gore and unnecessary blood with disgusting, messed up faces lunging at the screen as a freak way of adding a scare. I probably sound incredibly dull but I love ghosty films that have the suspense and creepiness throughout the film then ends with a sudden twist that (for me) makes me understand why everything happened in the film and makes me less creeped out by it - because i do want to get to sleep at night.

This film certainly will go on my dvd shelf along with The Others, An American Haunting and The Orphanage as well as other films that didn't need blood and fancy special effects to make the hair on the back of my neck prick up.
88 comments|78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 September 2012
The good old fashioned ghost story is back, in the form of cinema. The likes of `Paranormal Activity' and `The Orphanage' in 2007 have helped green light many a decent chiller since. These are stories that forgo the gruel of `Saw' style movies and instead rely on the classic scares and atmosphere of a `The Haunting' or `The Innocents'. `The Awakening' follows in these footsteps of the genre, with the cynical Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) visiting an all-boys boarding school during a school break to investigate a series of mysterious happenings.

It takes a combination of several things to tell a good movie ghost story and `The Awakening' gets most of them right. Good casting is a start and in Hall and Dominic West they have two more-than-capable leads. Atmosphere is the next things and director Nick Murphy provides this by the bucket load with creepy shots. He is aided in no small way by some eerie sets and great sound effects/music. Finally, the story itself must hold up. Like with many ghost stories the premise of `The Awakening' is a basic one, but it feels believable and packs a big enough punch at the end so you feel your time has not been wasted.

A film like this lives and dies by the subtly of the scares and it is here that `The Awakening' is a triumph. The slow build up, coupled with shock moments means that you spend the entire film on the edge of your seat. My partner for one was terrified, without being put off by too much gore. The only real downside to `The Awakening' is that it is so traditional. It is a classic ghost story told in a classic way, but with modern techniques and sensibilities added for the scares. There is nothing truly fresh about the film, but it does the classic things well.

With its luscious sets, `The Awakening' is best seen on BluRay, the sound will also be better in this format.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 October 2015
The Awakening is directed by Nick Murphy and Murphy co-writes the screenplay with Stephen Volk. It stars Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Shaun Dooley and Joseph Mawle. Music is by Daniel Pemberton and cinematography by Eduard Grau.

Britain, post World War 1, and Florence Cathcart (Hall) makes a living as an exposer of charlatan spiritualists, a debunker of ghost sightings. When she receives a request from school master Robert Mallory (West) to investigate the supernatural events at a remote boarding school for boys, she is suitably intrigued to take on the assignment...

It comes as no surprise to find that numerous reviews for The Awakening make reference to ghost story films that were made previously. The Woman in Black released a year later would suffer the same fate, charges of it not bringing nothing new to the table etc. A ghost story set in a big mansion or remote educational/correctional establishment is what it is, and will continue to be so, all fans of such spooky fare ask is that it does it well and maybe add some adult themes into the bargain. The Awakening does these in spades.

The concept of a disbeliever in ghosts having their belief system tested to the full is not new, but it's a great concept and one with longevity assured. Here, boosted by a terrific performance from Hall, the screenplay consistently keeps you guessing. The possibilities of real or faked are constant as the director pumps up the creep factor, whilst he simultaneously crafts a number of genuine shock sequences - including one of the best doll house scenes put to film! This really has all the requisite jolts and atmospheric creeps for a period spooker.

It's not until the final quarter when the screenplay begins to unravel its mystery, a finale that has proved both ambiguous and divisive. The ambiguity factor is a little baffling since everything is made clear in a nicely staged scene, and this is something which the director has gone on record to state as well. As for the divisive side of things? That's a blight for this sub-genre of horror. It's convoluted! Contrived! It has been done before they cry! These are true to be sure, and without doubt there's a leap of faith required to not get annoyed, but it garners a reaction and has done its ghost story essence very well indeed.

Beautifully photographed, scored and performed by the leads to boot, this is for sure one for fans of period spookers with brains. 7.5/10
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 April 2013
A decent little atmospheric ghost story. Refreshingly free of the cheap scares currently associated with '15' rated so-called horror movies, and virtually gore-free. I thoroughly enjoyed this for what it is, and a steal at the current deal price.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Set between the two world wars, this is the story of a debunker of all things paranormal as she's asked to investigate ghostly sightings at a boy's boarding school. Dominic West, as ever, is brilliant as the school's history teacher, Rebecca Hall's fresh-faced portrayal of the sceptic is crisp and consistent and Imelda ` Delores Umbridge' Staunton plays the school matron with great aplomb. This small cast, well chosen location and superb direction by Nick Murphy (previously known for TV series' and documentaries) makes for a bleak & spooky atmosphere. There are plenty of `jump' moments and the masterfully managed tension just keeps building throughout the film. The enigmatic ending rounds the whole experience off very nicely and you can't help being reminded of the superb ` The Others'. If your taste in horror leans towards the creepy & psychological rather than slasher blood & guts then this is a movie for you; our copy will lurk next to `The Grudge' and `The Ring' and will no doubt be watched many times more.
0Comment|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 July 2014
The film would get four and a half stars. The director-writer's commentary is unusually intelligent as well. I knocked it down from a probable five to three stars because of the rather tiresome disc navigation but mainly because of the forced trailers at the start of the disc. These last about 7-8 minutes and although you can scan through them they cannot be bypassed. Presumably courtesy of Studio Canal. I don't object to this kind of thing on rented discs but certainly do object to this kind of advertising on something I've bought.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 August 2015
A great direction but a not fully accomplished story.
Enjoyable anyway for the gothic atmosphere and setting, and some really scary and effective scenes (the opening scene, the one with the miniature house).
A good twist before the end but the sensation is that of a not fully taken opportunity.
It could have been another The Others, but it is just a good old style gothic horror, with some thrilling and chilling moments.
Actors are good and have a certain credit in engaging the audience
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Florence Cathcart'(Rebecca Hall) does not believe in the super-natural, she's even written a successful book on the matter.
A teacher from a boarding school approaches her telling of images seen frequently at the school, even showing photographic evidence, he wants her, before the end of term to go to the school and reassure the children that they have nothing to fear, and despite a recent tragedy it was safe to return after the holiday.
'Florence' sets up several 'Ghost' traps and photographic settings, if anything came into the room it would be recognised.
Still disbelieving, Florence soon see's and hears things and initially brushes aside the evidence, however as it intensified 'Florence' has to question her long held beliefs.
The early part of the film does indeed have moments of tension, the outcome ??? ...well i'd say, worth watching at least.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 September 2012
The Awakening has the qualities of a potentially classic British supernatural film. I expected a lot more. I feel injustice has been done. I feel the potential has been ruined on what could have been remembered as a classic ghost film. I have seen much better ghost films than this.

The plot is about a boarding school set in the beautiful countryside. An author and paranormal expert has been requested to investigate haunting stories by a headteacher (West), despite initial reluctance. Many pupils have reported seeing the images. The boarding school unfolds a horrifying past, as it once used to be a residential home. There is a story behind the haunting images. It is interesting and fascinating to hear about a spooky tale. In terms of a plot, it seems a great idea. but poor execution let the film down. I applaud the historical settings, as shows what life was like in Post World War 1. These settings add a sinister and creepy atmosphere to the film. The plot is disjointed and confused mid-way through following a promising start.

The atmospheric and periodic settings show minimal effects . The film failed to keep me glued. It needed a sprinkle of imagination to build interest of the audience. There are plenty of dialogues throughout the film, but does not really head any direction at all as ideas become depleted. The critic's comments about the film are misleading "Jump out of your seat scary". There are few ghostly images, but it did not scare me at all and it not convincing enough to grip me. There is a lack of suspense and is missing the oomph factor. The characters are plain boring and bland. The leading character lacks depth and warmth. The acting to the performance lacks passion and spark. I am questioning whether Hall's forte is suitable for playing periodic characters. It requires a special type of performance. Her character is not engaging.

Three stars is a fair reflection as the ideas are great, but the execution and suspense element ruins the film. Overall, I was left disappointed as I looked forward to a gripping film. It fails to deliver.
33 comments|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 May 2013
Spooky, enthralling, great twist.

It was nice to watch a film that kept you in suspense but didn't include the usual gore and standard scare tactics to keep the audience interested. It only lost a star because it got a little slow in places, but aside from this a good un-messy ghost story.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)