Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Spooks Vs Skeptics

Rebecca Hall stars as a sceptical paranormal investigator in the classical ghost story The Awakening. Fresh from debunking a conniving spirit medium she's approached by a stammering Dominic West to visit a boys boarding school that's a touch haunted but her confidence in reason is soon shaken by the peculiar happenings. The strong cast and still, clean cinematography somehow offset the desperately unoriginal plot and it musters a reasonable amount of creepy but that's sadly mostly dissipated by the too obvious finale and the fumbled attempt at ambiguity in the final scenes. A decent film, just too derivative to be particularly effective.

A more modern bunch of ghostbusters set up shop in a family home in Apartment 143 another addition to the found footage subgenre. Already traumatised by death, the family are besieged by a poltergeist and seem to be on the verge of mental collapse when the cool headed boffins roll up with a truck full of equipment. As their investigation proceeds they're witness to a number of anomalous phenomena but they cling to rational explanations almost to the very end. It's quite a modest little film with some reasonable performances but like Awakening it's achingly predictable and any atmosphere is squandered by the clunky denouement.

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