Awakening, The

Featured In Issue 174, February 2013

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Some violence and sexuality/nudity
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Nick Murphy
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In "The Awakening," they say, the boy was scared to death. When the death of a child at a boarding school is blamed on a ghost, hoax exposer Florence Cathcart (Hall) is certain that science and reason can explain it. But the truth she discovers is more terrifying than she could ever imagine, and soon the ghost hunter becomes the hunted. (Gary Reber)

Special features include eight deleted scenes introduced by Director Nick Murphy (HD 28:13); the featurettes "A Time For Ghosts" (HD 24;46), "Anatomy Of A Scene: Florence And The Lake" (HD 15:16), and "Anatomy Of A SCREAM" (HD 17:12); a behind-the-scenes featurette (HS 36:02); an extended interview with Murphy (HD 19:28); and upfront previews.

The 1080p AVC picture quality is superb and exhibits a stylistic muted color palette, to convey a dated period in London. Hues are weighted toward browns and grays, depicting a visual depression. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and nicely delineated shadows. The sense of overcast exteriors is perfectly rendered. Resolution is outstanding, with fine detail revealed in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. The cinematography is wonderfully haunting and mysterious. This is a fine visual thriller that is suspenseful throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is heavily dreadful, with a slowly moving orchestral music score that intensifies the building emotional impact. The sound is nicely spatial, with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the surrounds, for effective envelopment. Atmospherics and sound effects are nuanced but energized during dramatic and tense segments. Deep bass is, at times, extended to sub-25 Hz frequencies for effect. Dialogue sounds a bit forward, but spatial integration is convincing. This is a terrific sonic experience that nicely support the intrigue and suspense. (Gary Reber)