Title: The Awakening
Released: 2011

Fix: Suspenseful Ghost Story
Platforms: AMC+, Tubi TV, Kanopy, DirecTV, Shudder, Spectrum On Demand

Netflix Summary:

In post-World War I England, a boarding school haunted by a boy’s ghost calls on Florence Cathcart, who disproves hoaxes for a living. But Cathcart senses something truly strange about the school, leading her to question her belief in the rational.

FYA Summary:

Florence Cathcart is a woman ahead of her time. She doesn’t believe in much that the other people of her time do—particularly anything supernatural. When she is called to investigate a supposed haunting at a boy’s boarding school, she finds that she can no longer explain everything away with science. And it doesn’t sit well with her at all.

Familiar Faces:

Rebecca Hall as Florence Cathcart

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Rebecca in anything other than her role as Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3, and I wasn’t really a fan of that character in that film. In The Awakening, however, she plays a strong, forward-thinking woman in a time that neither of those things were seen as good traits in a woman. Florence has a bit of Sherlock Holmes about her, too, which is appealing.

Dominic West as Robert Mallory

Dominic plays a teacher who was a soldier during World War I. He’s handsome and kind, but flawed. He brings to the movie some of the stern smoulder he’s often had in other roles, which is good since he’s the leading man.

Richard Durden as Alexander Cathcart

Richard has been acting for decades upon decades, so I definitely recognized him. He was only in this movie for a brief moment, as Florence’s father, however, so I can’t say much about how different this role is from any of his others.

Joseph Mawle as Edward Judd

Although I recognized Joseph, I couldn’t really remember where I knew him from until I looked him up. He’s played roles in both Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Game of Thrones, but they’ve not been big roles. His role in The Awakening was similarly minor, but he did a really great job of lurking in the background (and other not so savory things).

Imelda Staunton as Maud Hill

Imelda plays the headmistress of the school, but the role is almost a complete 180 from the other headmistress we’ve seen her play: Dolores Umbridge (a.k.a. THE ABSOLUTE WORST).

Isaac Hempstead Wright as Tom Hill

Tom is a sweet kid how can be awfully whiny. The only other role I’ve seen Isacc play is that of Bran Stark in Game of Thrones … who is also a sweet, yet whiny kid. Poor guy’s been a little typecast so far in his career.

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

I don’t do well with scary movies on my own, so when I do watch them, I make an effort to have as many other people in the room with me as possible. The Awakening wasn’t one of today’s typical scary movies—i.e., not loaded with gore and psychopathic killers—but it was suspenseful enough to make me thankful I was sharing my couch with loved ones.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low

The Awakening is the kind of movie that wants you to concentrate just enough to be surprised but not blown away by the ending, so I’d suggest a clear head for this one.

Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Meh

This movie tried hard to be an intelligent, suspenseful thriller, but fell a little flat. I feel like I’ve seen it before, and more than once. It’s not a terrible film, but I wouldn’t rush to watch it unless you really enjoy period dramas with ghostly aspects.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.