Fear Needs No Translation: Sleep With One Eye Open – An Analysis of “The Awakening”


The supernatural has been a topic of interest since man has walked the earth. Life after death has piqued our ancestors’ interests, in attempts to gain some sort of closure for the inevitable end. Is there a sort of new life we gain upon crossing over to the other side, or do we simply rot in the ground as a forgotten body? Some believe there is no end of suffering — an eternal purgatory, doomed to haunt the halls which we once called home. In this week’s review on Fear Needs No Translation, the apparitions of the British Isles have returned to scare us once more in The Awakening.

Transitioning from television to the big screen in his 2011 film, British director and writer, Nick Murphy, has proven himself to be more than just a documentarian. Having experience in editing for the BBC newscast and directing a sizeable amount of television mini-series, Murphy previously demonstrated his cinematographic skill not only visually, but audibly as well. Utilizing expertly timed shots, accompanied by a soundtrack to enhance the fear, The Awakening chronicles a paranormal narrative that questions the morality of a post-war society ravaged by the ghosts of the past.

After the loss of her love due to World War I, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) has put all her time and energy into her work: debunking the mystical. Her writings, along with her assistance in many police cases, have made her a household name among the British public. When the death of a student at a boarding school for young boys turns into claims of a haunting, Professor Robert Mallory, played by Dominic West, turns to Cathcart as the institution’s only hope.

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