BY ISA MONTAGNESE
The Awakening is the second new release horror movie I’ve watched this month. Usually I avoid new release horror until I’ve heard a lot more about it from reviews and from trusted horror fan friends. But the great thing about reviewing movies for this site is I get to dive into movies I know nothing about! So I dove in this one kind of excited.
It started off so promising, 1920s England, sceptical leading lady, creepy house, creepy kids, creepy adults, creepy colour scheme… all good. There were a couple good scares at the beginning (though I’m an easy target for a ghost story) and then things just went to shit. Nothing made sense, some plot lines just disappeared, people showed up then went away, there were ghosts but maybe not but probably but you’ll have to guess, and the time jumps from day to night to day, to indoors at night but outdoors during the day, and is it two days or ten days? WHO KNOWS! I’d like to give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt and say they tried to make it confusing on purpose to help with the big reveal at the end, but seriously, I couldn’t have cared less about the big reveal by the time they got to it. To be honest, the big reveal was followed but a really unclear, almost cheery ending that didn’t answer anything but also didn’t leave me curious at all. It was like a weak, messy The Others.
I have a bone to pick with most new horror filmmakers, mainly American more mainstream horror filmmakers. What the hell is wrong with all of you? I don’t want to get too much into this, but seriously people, get it together. I understand the horror audiences are smaller these days and people care more about the new Batman then an old-timey ghost thriller, but us “all-the-time horror fans” are still around and we want to support you! But throw us a friggin’ bone here! The last few newer horror movies that I’ve seen have almost always started off pretty great and then got too worried about being innovative or shocking or original and just crashed and burned. Why try so hard? Some of the best horror movies are simple and well thought out. Just not good enough, people.