One of my biggest complaints with contemporary horror is the lack of a genuinely creepy period piece. Sure, we had An American Haunting, and although I have yet to see it, I've been told it nothing to write home about. The last period piece that comes to mind that was worth anything was Pan's Labyrinth, though I'm hesitant to ascribe to it the moniker of horror. With luck, the new BBC-helmed ghost story Awakenings will add some period piece-flavor to the surprisingly modern horror movie landscape.

As Screen Daily reports, Nick Murphy (Surviving Disaster and Occupation), who up until now has been primarily a director of television in the UK, will make his feature film debut behind the lens for the BBC-produced period piece Awakenings. Set in post-World War I England in 1921, the film follows a skeptical woman who travels to a countryside boarding school to investigate rumours of an apparent haunting. Just when she thinks she has debunked the ghost theory, she has a chilling spectral encounter which defies all her rational beliefs.

StudioCanal, along with BBC Films and Scottish Screen will head up the financing for the film, which will star Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Dominic West (300) and Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). The script was co-written by Murphy and Stephen Volk, which David Thompson of Origin Pictures called "a riveting and very original script."

All of this sounds intriguing, though I'm always wary of "ghost stories," as they have a tendency to be filled with nothing more than jump scares. See A Haunting in Connecticut for a prime example of this. Of course, this is also a British production, and while many may disagree with me, I have a bit more faith in foreign horror than I do American. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Special thanks to Bloody Disgusting for the heads up.

categories Movies, Horror