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The Awakening (2011)

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In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.



(screenplay), (screenplay)
1,354 ( 62)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McNair
Edward Judd
Diana Kent ...
Harriet Cathcart
Alexander Cathcart
Reverend Hugh Purslow
Freddie Strickland
Constance Strickland
Anastasia Hille ...
Dorothy Vandermeer
George Vandermeer
Tilly Vosburgh ...
Vera Flood
Albert Flood


In 1921, in London, the arrogant and skeptical Florence Cathcart is famous for exposing hoaxes and helping the police to arrest con artists. The stranger Robert Mallory tells her that the headmaster of a boarding school in Rookford had invited her to travel to Cumbria to investigate a ghost that is frightening the pupils to death. He also tells that many years ago there was a murder in the estate and recently pupil Walter Portman had died. The reluctant Florence finally accepts to go to Cumbria. On arrival, she is welcomed by governess Maud and the boy Thomas Hill. Soon Florence discovers what had happened to Walter and then the students, teachers and staff are released on vacation, and Florence remains alone with Robert, Maud and Tom in the school. Florence is ready to leave the boarding school when strange things happen, leaving Florence scared. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All the children are gone... except one.


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

11 November 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Buđenje  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The inside of the school used in the film is Marchmont House, the outside is Manderson House, both on the outskirts of Duns in the Scottish Borders. See more »


After finding her cigarette case in the pillow that she's ripped open, Florence goes outside with feathers stuck in her hair. In the next shot, however, the feathers are gone and her hair is clean again. See more »


[first lines]
Vera Flood: [answering the door] Miss Simpson? Are you prepared?
Florence Cathcart: [yes] I brought this.
[shows photograph of a soldier]
See more »

Crazy Credits

[opening title] Observation: Between 1914 and 1919, war and influenza claimed more than a million lives in Britain alone. Conclusion: This is a time for ghosts. Florence Cathcart "Seeing Through Ghosts" p7 See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Review of 2011 (2012) See more »


Oh Coccinelle
Written by Nick Murphy
Performed by Nick Murphy
See more »

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User Reviews

Ghosts in every closet.
1 February 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ghost debunking author, spiritual hoax nemesis and early benefactor of the suffragette movement, Florence, is invited to a boys boarding school where the children are terrorised by a phantom child and the teachers by the aftermath of WW1. She is to debunk the ghost story and return the school to business as usual.

A rational explanation quickly reveals itself, through the simple application of Holmesian deduction, a chemistry, set and some bells on strings. However, haunted by her personal sense of guilt and loss, Florence finds the rational solution unsatisfactory and searches instead for an antidote to her own suffering.

Haunting cinematography, a strong cast and a story line which supports both suspense and character depth, enable this film to stand alongside "the orphanage" and "the Others" rather than being shadowed by them.

Winner of the Jury Prize at the Gerardmer Film Festival in France.

45 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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