|A talented Rebecca Hall and a smouldering West|
This was a bit of a shame as the other movie, a film called The Awakening is a cracking little horror!
Set in 1921 this story has emancipated academic and emotionally closed Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) acting as a sort of bright-young thing ghostbuster amid the flurry of post Great War fake spiritialists.
She is asked by war survivor teacher (Dominic West) to travel to his isolated school in Cumbria to look into the ghostly sightings of a young boy which occurred at the same time as a pupil died in mysterious circumstances , and during her investigations,Cathcart has her eyes opened to a potentially real ghost story of some complexity.
|Footsteps in the attic|
Nick Murphy's first film is a genuinely creepy and atmospheric twist of the Gothic horror tale and it is made all the better with a subtle and rather interesting central character, the emotionally distant but educationally bright Florence Cathcart. She is a woman with a past, one of the millions that lost someone in the war; so the "awakenings" reference of the title not only refers to Florence's realisation that ghosts may well exist but also eludes to her own sexual awakenings after meeting the strong silent and very sexy Mr West.
|Staunton: a class act|
As Cathcart has her beliefs challenged, the ghost story cranks up a gear, and Murphy delivers some incredibly tense and frightening set pieces as her "reality" is made increasingly unclear .The performances by Hall, West and Imelda Staunton as the school's frightened matron, are particularly strong, and capture perfectly the film's central themes of grief, loss and loneliness in the austerity years after the armistice.
A very Good film