The Awakening DVD Review
Written by Rosie Fletcher
DVD released by Steel Productions and Midnight Sun Entertainment
Directed by Mike Conway
Written by Mike Conway, Kelly Johnston and Erik Manion
2005, Region 1 (NTSC), 100 minutes, Not Rated
Tamra Ericson Frame as Lara Andrade
Mike Conway as David Andrade
Heather Lei Guzzetta as Michelle Richards
Timothy S. Daley as Capt Michael Harris
Clay Finan as Sgt Jeff Benson
Keith Ford as Major Craig Konrad
Charles Oisten as Chief Scientist Butts
Greg Parker as Donald (Lab Technician)
Blake Mitchell as Beverly Andrade
The Awakening is low budget sci-fi film telling a story that comic books have used variations of for years. A generally decent person comes into contact with some bad science and gains special powers. As Spidey said, “With great power comes great responsibility” – these people either become your Spidermans, Hulks, Swamp Things, or they become the Green Goblin, Poison Ivy or The Riddler. In this case it’s Lara Andrade, dying of cancer, whose husband gives her some radical radiation treatment. She becomes all powerful, starts having a few mood swings, and fails to see the implicit warning in her husband’s words: “Now that you’re perhaps the most powerful person on the planet, what do you intend to do?”
Evidently she intends to make herself a snazzy outfit, right the wrongs done to woman-kind and flip over a few cars, as well as teaching her noisy neighbour a lesson or two.
It’s a low budget film and it screams low budget at you at the top of its lungs. The acting is terrible, especially from the two leads, the effects fluctuate between fairly good and completely ridiculous and the script is appalling.
And what a boring film to watch.
This isn’t a new story by any means, and it’s certainly not being told in a new way. There’s no fun, no spectacle, no joy. I wonder if the filmmakers had any fun whatsoever making it – the whole thing is so tired and laborious. It’s impossible to have any affection for any of the characters (acting, script and dull, dull, dull story are to blame for this), there’s no suspense. And while someone’s obviously tried to make things a little less washed out by adding a couple of gore scenes and explosions, it just feels so perfunctory as to be no consolation whatsoever. A more pointless film I’ve yet to watch.
I’m struggling to think who this film would appeal to. All I can think is that only the most obsessive of sci-fi fans might be able to stomach it. The lead actress has quite a nice figure, for example, and, other than the effects, it’s a fairly consistent film (consistently dull). I can’t see any reason to sit through this – I did, so you don’t have to.
Video and Audio:
Acceptable but not great – colours are a little washed out.
The sound effects are intrusively loud and on my equipment the sound levels fluctuated at points.
Documentary Girls, Guns and Clones. It’s a sad thing when a documentary about the making of a film is more fun to watch than the actual film itself. Lots of info about how effects were done, chats with the actors and director, and amusing scenes with the director’s children, plus a few bloopers in the last five minutes. Definitely worth a look.
Other than two trailers there are no other extras.
Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.