The Horror of Disappointment

Hate being disappointed by a horror film I have hopes for… You build it up in your mind and compare it to other like films that have won you over before. Maybe you anticipate a certain level of production quality based on a sampling of the trailer, the cast, the crew, etc. And then something is inevitably lacking and it lets you down, leaving a very unsavory aftertaste.

Nick Murphy’s period piece, The Awakening offered a fantastic lead in Rebecca Hall (The Town, The Prestige, Starter for 10), and cast members, namely the amazing Imelda Staunton (Sense and Sensibility, Vera Drake, and two of the Harry Potter films); also, it should be noted that Dominic West has a bathtub scene that exposes a rather nice posterior, just saying.

Anyway, the film held such promise, what with a premise that follows a hoax exposer in the 1920s who visits a boarding school haunted by a small boy. I really appreciate strong female characters who are not easily swayed by things that go bump in the night.

While nothing poor can be said of the acting, alas, the latter part of the narrative is poorly organized and terribly executed. Overall, the film was also lacking in effective scare tactics. There are extraneous bits that add nothing to the story as well: I can’t understand why the film includes a near-rape scene by a side character who has no real weight or importance in the narrative, who might as well been cut from the movie. I have to wonder about the story/script editing on this one. (For another disappointment, see: Sinister, which also has a great initial concept, and a few genuine moments of terror – the lawnmower clip definitely got me – then becomes ridiculous in the latter half. And don’t even get me started on Mama).

Oh, the pain of it all…♦

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