The Awakening

Watch The Awakening

"They thought they had buried her forever!"
  • R
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 4.8  (2,814)

The Awakening is a 1980 horror film that delivers a dark and atmospheric adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel "The Jewel of Seven Stars." The movie was directed by Mike Newell, who later gained fame for directing "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Starring Charlton Heston, Susannah York, and Jill Townsend, The Awakening weaves a chilling tale that merges the fascination with Egyptology and ancient curses with the suspenseful elements of a supernatural thriller.

Set against the backdrop of both Egypt and England, the movie follows the story of an archaeologist named Matthew Corbeck (played by Charlton Heston), whose obsession with uncovering the secrets of a long-dead Egyptian queen named Kara propels him into a world of mystery and peril. Corbeck's scholarly pursuit is more than a quest for knowledge; it's a personal journey that tugs at the very fabric of reality, challenging his rational mind with the intangible forces of an ancient curse.

The film opens with Corbeck and his colleague, Dr. Khalid (played by Ahmed Osman), as they are about to make an extraordinary discovery in the tomb of the Queen. The tomb, untouched for thousands of years, holds the promise of unraveling the mysteries of the past and potentially offering academic glory for those who reveal its secrets.

Simultaneously, we are introduced to Corbeck's wife, Anne Corbeck (played by Jill Townsend), who is in England about to give birth to their daughter. As the clocks strike midnight, a series of strange and unexplainable events occurs, linking the birth of Corbeck's daughter, named Margaret (played by Susannah York), to the powerful aura of the ancient Queen Kara. It becomes evident that Margaret's birth is no mere coincidence and that there are forces at play beyond the understanding of the modern world.

Years pass, and the narrative advances to when Margaret has grown into a striking young woman, who holds an uncanny resemblance to the queen whose resting place her father had desecrated. This resemblance is not merely superficial; as Margaret's character develops, it becomes increasingly clear that her connection to the mysterious queen runs deep, hinting at a bond that defies time and mortality.

As Corbeck delves further into translating ancient texts and uncovering artifacts from the tomb, the power of the curse begins to manifest in distressing ways. The intricate plot intertwines the lives of the protagonists with historical intrigue, awakening consequences that were dormant for eons. Corbeck's rationality and scholarly ambition are tested as he faces the growing realization that some discoveries come at a terrible cost.

The Awakening employs a palpable sense of menace that lurks within the shadows of Corbeck's life, affecting not only him but also those he holds dear. The cinematography captures the brooding and vast landscapes of Egypt as well as the Victorian ambiance of 1980s England, allowing viewers to journey through both time and space.

Charlton Heston leads the cast with his authoritative presence, bringing a profound gravitas to the role of a man whose drive for knowledge leads him towards a collision course with the supernatural. Meanwhile, York delivers a haunting performance, exuding both vulnerability and a mysterious allure that ties her inevitably to the heart of the ancient curse. Townsend's portrayal of Anne Corbeck adds an emotional layer to the narrative, offering a window into the human cost of her husband's obsession.

Although The Awakening was not a significant box-office hit upon its release, it has since gained recognition for its atmospheric tension and eerie visual storytelling. The film's script, penned by Chris Bryant and Allan Scott, leaves room for ambiguity, allowing the suspense to build incrementally as the story unfolds. The soundtrack, composed by Claude Bolling, matches the gloomy and foreboding atmosphere that pervades the movie.

In essence, The Awakening is a film that takes the viewer on a journey through the thrilling intersection of archaeology, ancient myths, and the supernatural. It plays on the fear of the unknown and the idea that some things, perhaps, should be left undiscovered. While it may not have achieved the cult status of some other horror classics, it remains an intriguing piece of cinematic history for fans of the genre and those captivated by the mysteries of ancient civilizations.

The Awakening is a 1980 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.8.

The Awakening
Where to Watch The Awakening
The Awakening is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Awakening for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.8  (2,814)