The Awakening (1980) Poster

(1980)

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5/10
The Viewer Has the Sensation that Has Already Seen Before
claudio_carvalho26 August 2017
In Egypt, the archaeologist Matthew Corbeck (Charlton Heston) is obsessed to find the tomb of the ancient Queen Kara with his assistant Jane Turner (Susannah York) and his expedition. When he finds and opens Kara's tomb, his pregnant wife Anne Corbeck (Jill Townsend) simultaneously delivers their daughter Margaret. Eighteen years later, Margaret (Stephanie Zimbalist) has a strange behavior and Matthew believes the evil spirit of Kara is trying to possess his daughter. Now Matthew intends to perform an ancient ritual to save Margaret. Will he succeed?

"The Awakening" is not a totally bad film, having a great cast and good cinematography. Unfortunately the predictable story and the screenplay are ripoff of many films and the viewer has the sensation that has already seen before. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Reencarnação" ("Reincarnation")
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6/10
Tension, thriller, suspense, and unsettling images set in Egypt and London.
ma-cortes4 November 2009
A veteran archaeologist (Charlton Heston) in Valley of Kings , Egypt , discovers the coffin of a nasty queen (Hatsetsupt ?) but open the tomb , the mummy's spirit is transferred to his baby daughter (one time grown-up is played by Stephanie Zimbalist) , born from his wife (Jill Townsend) at that moment . His spouse flees and Heston falls in love with his archaeology's partner (Susanna York).

This supernatural picture based on Bram Stoker's novel is packed with thrills , chills , suspense and wonderful outdoors from Egypt . The chief excitement lies in watching that new and innocent victim can be executed (Omen-alike) by the Egyptian mummy . The movie is full of grisly killings , terror , shocks and several eerie scenes . It displays a mysterious and sinister atmosphere , while the look is suitable spooky and frightening , the plot spreads to breaking point and the final turns out to be a bit frustrating . It appears as secondary Ian McDiarmid , today famous for his role as Chanciller Palpatine in Star Wars and Myrian Margolies who shows up in Harry Potter films . Colorful cinematography by the classic Jack Cardiff , the shooting unit filmed to capture the grandeur in Valley of Kings , Karnak , Luxor , which is considered as being one of the great wonders of the world and other splendorous locations in Egypt . Good and evocative musical score composed by Claude Bolling . The motion picture was professionally directed by Mike Newell . He's a nice director film-making for BBC television , dramas as ¨Enchanted April¨, ¨Mona Lisa smile¨, who achieved successes as ¨Donnie Brasco¨ and ¨Four wedding and a funeral¨; furthermore , ¨Adventures of young Indiana Jones¨ series and ¨Harry Potter and goblet fire¨, among others . The film will appeal to Charlton Heston fans and Egyptian theme aficionados.
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5/10
"I want her here".
lost-in-limbo12 March 2011
As grand productions go (which was a box-office flop), "The Awakening" is professionally catered for but remains a very tepid, old hat supernatural drama enterprise that consisted of excellently dedicated performances ( a serviceable Charlton Heston and an impressive Susannah York) and some stunningly projected Egyptian locations and decors. Outside of that, the story (adapted off Bram Stoker's "The Jewel of Seven Stars") while moodily haunting just felt like it was going through the motions and laboured along. The usual Egyptian tombs, curses unleashed, possessions of loved ones and an archaeologist's obsession to his work. No surprises and little interest, but I did like it's rather gloomily, downbeat conclusion that waited. It's suggestively slow-burn and crisp, dealing with a complex psychological edge filled with melancholy, detachment and righteous ideas. It's the beautiful imagery and majestic score that lingers, as everything is suggestively subtle with a slightly surreal, but more so grounded atmosphere. Stephanie Zimbalist is decent as Heston's possessed daughter and Jill Townsend as her mother.
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4/10
The Sleepening.
Spikeopath10 October 2013
The Awakening is directed by Mike Newell and collectively adapted to screenplay by Clive Exton, Chris Bryant and Allan Scott from the Bram Stoker novel The Jewel of Seven Stars. It stars Charlton Heston, Susannah York, Jill Townsend and Stephanie Zimbalist. Music is by Claude Bolling and cinematography by Jack Cardiff.

Heston plays archaeologist Matthew Corbeck, who after discovering the tomb of disgraced Egyptian Queen Kara discovers his daughter is possessed by Kara's spirit and to save mankind he may have to destroy her.

It's honourably serious, a willing attempt to make an intelligent end of the world type picture with flecks of troubling family dynamics. The production value is top draw, every effort has been made to make it look great, with lavish photography (nice to see a film of this type actually be filmed in Egypt), skillfully crafted set designs and an evocative score that drifts across the sands with distinction. Hell, even the casting of Heston at a time when his star had considerably faded, still gave the production some weight. If only it wasn't so immeasurably dull and distant!

The makers, obviously tugging on the coat tails of The Omen and Mummy movies previously, never develop the edgy themes bubbling away just below the narrative's surface. It's often feels like a big compromise was put forward by an executive, a request that they must ensure deaths are the draw card and to hell with the possibility of making a substantial brain tickler. Or it could just be that there were too many writers in the mix?! So what we essentially get is a laboriously paced movie going through the motions until the next death scene arrives, and then it's back to some slow brooding again.

The cast are solid, the ending suitably downbeat, and if you like Omen type deaths then there are a couple here worth your time, but you may need plenty of energizer drinks to keep you awake first. 4/10
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Not THAT Bad...Not THAT Good Either
BaronBl00d3 September 2001
The Awakening is a film about an archaeologist that finds the tomb of a nameless Egyptian queen named Kara. Charlton Heston plays Dr. Corbeck, a man consumed with finding evidence to support this legendary status of Kara. A man who puts work ahead of family, even during the birth of his own daughter. Heston finds the tomb in the very long introductory flashback of 18 years ago beginning the film. He finds it under somewhat strange circumstances. A man is killed attempting to stop his dig mysteriously. Whilst all this is going on, Heston's estranged wife is bearing his daughter after waking from a coma. Now, I am not really sure what the significance of all these events are, but I found the first part of this film in particular very engrossing. The next three fourths is what really lost me and some logical credibility as Heston meets his sultry 18 year-old daughter, they discuss how Queen Kara had killed her father and everyone that touched his hand because he killed her lover and made her partake of his own bed, and then takes her(Heston's daughter) to Egypt. While in Egypt, Stephanie Zimbalist goes under some strange transformation as if she is becoming Kara and we go from there. This film has some beautiful location shots in Egypt, and I found the information, whether real or imaginary, about the queen, mummification, canopic jars(jars used for organs), etc... quite fascinating. The acting is pretty good. I thought Heston did a fine job. Zimbalist is good as well. The biggest problem is the writing. After you watch the film, you really are not sure what happened. I still don't know. The film is also a bit slow in the first half, but there are(for those who really enjoy it) some very gruesome deaths too. I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the film, but if you enjoy the mysteries of Egypt or mummy movies in particular...I would give it a look see. What could it hurt?
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10/10
An Egyptologist's daughter's life becomes entwined with in her father's obsession to revive the mummy of an evil queen.
thomasbecker10826 June 2007
If you are any kind of Egypt enthusiast, you will love this! The university lecture, the tomb scenes, the obsession with research, the special organ jars (spelling of which "c a n o p i c" is denied by IMDb!) -- it is all well done and fun. Having taught ancient Egyptian history for many years, I find that this movie is filled with great realia and references to the rich mythology of Egypt. I routinely showed it to my 6th grade ancient history class! The plot moves well and there is a great sense of rising action and suspense. The acting is solid, and the music and the filming are well done. I really have no idea why this film has been rated so low by the viewers. Please see yourself and boost the rating on this fine piece of suspenseful work!
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10/10
A Masterpiece of a Sophisticated Horror Movie
zoltanc6666 May 2002
Ignore the bad reviews the movie got here - I guess they are by people who wanted to see something like "The Mummy" with Brendan Fraser, but this movie is something completely different. This is one of those sophisticated horror movies like "The Haunting" (1963) that build up extreme tension through great directing, acting and an unique score. No silly gore or mummies roaming the landscape. The photography and the directing is great and will capture you immediately. The acting is excellent, Heston is the right guy for this job, just like York and Zimbalist, who is wonderful in impersonating the innocent girl on the one hand and the wicked queen who wants to repeat the affair with her father on the other hand, and this shows one of the deeper meanings of the movie: incest. Kara was forced to marry her father (it was an usual custom in the ancient egypt). The movie is very well historically researched and can give you a lot of info about the ancient egypt. "The Mummy" gets every historic fact ludicrously wrong. This atmospheric movie is one you won't forget, especially the slightly melancholic ending (the melancholic note is delivered by the great score). Yes, you don't really know what will happen, now that Kara is free again, but this is even more than you will know when you have finished the novel, since the novel leaves *everything* unclear, even whether Kara is free or not. And Zimbalist looks simply *great* with that make-up, and her acting is wonderful. This is a movie just screaming for a proper DVD and soundtrack release!
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8/10
Where all good horror tales of Egypt should go.
ozthegreatat4233014 April 2007
A beautifully atmospheric movie in the genre of Mummy movies and a cut above most of the others. This one is a personal favorite of mine, and Heston once again shows why he has been consistently popular with the movie going public for a half century now. As a driven archaeologist he manages to bring ruin down upon himself by once again failing to heed warnings to not disturb the resting place of a particular burial. As he is opening the tomb, miles away his daughter is being born at the same moment. The two events will come together in the future to cause a catastrophe. The pace here is somewhat slower than most horror films but allows you to get more deeply into the characters. Just a good movie for those who like such things.
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6/10
Despite it's bad reputation & slow pace I actually quite liked it.
poolandrews14 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Awakening starts in Egypt 'Eighteen Years Ago' where an archaeologist named Matthew Corbeck (Charlton Heston) & his assistant Jane Turner (Susannah York) are on the verge of making the biggest archaeological find since the discovery of Tutankhamen. Corbeck is obsessed with locating the ancient 3,800 year old tomb of the evil Egyptian Queen Kara. Corbeck is so obsessed that he neglects his heavily pregnant wife Anne (Jill Townsend) who is in Egypt with him. Corbeck eventually locates Queen Kara's tomb & ventures inside, as he is about to open Kara's sarcophagus Anne gives birth to a stillborn baby girl. As Corbeck opens the lid to reveal the mummified Queen Kara his daughter starts to breathe almost magically coming back to life. It's now 'The Present' & Queen Kara's sarcophagus is housed in a museum in Cairo, Corbeck is now married to Jane & teaches in England while his ex wife Anne & his daughter Margaret (Stephanie Zimbalist) both live in New York. News reaches Corbeck that Queen Kara's remains may be deteriorating due to a fungus & that it needs to to treated. Margaret, who is just one week away from her eighteenth birthday, suddenly decides she has to see her Father & flies to England at the same time the mummified remains of Queen Kara arrive from Cairo. However death seems to follow Kara around, almost as if a supernatural force is guiding her to a predetermined destiny & anyone who stands in the way can expect to experience a fatal accident. Margaret starts to change, she appears to become possessed by the evil Queen Kara who wants to live again...

Directed by Mike Newell I actually quite liked The Awakening despite the stick it seems to get. The script by Chris Bryant, Clive Exton & Allan Scott based on the Bram Stoker novel 'The Jewel of Seven Stars' is intricate & you need to have patience to get the most out of it. If you want CGI mummy's & explosions every couple of minutes then The Awakening is definitely not the film for you, stick with Stephen Sommers The Mummy (1999) & it's sequel The Mummy Returns (2001) both of which I throughly like by the way. This is basically the same film as Hammer's Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) which I thought was crap & I much prefer this take on Stoker's novel. The biggest problem I had with The Awakening, & the one most of it's detractor's seem to have, is that when the film returns to 'The Present' it is just too slow, it desperately either needed a couple more killings to liven things up a bit or to be edited down by five or ten minutes to quicken the pace. There is no mummy walking around in bandages so don't expect any of that sort of thing, the core storyline of The Awakening relies on a supernatural angle & possession rather than a guy in bandages. I think The Awakening is a very handsome film with real Egyptian location filming, in fact it's probably the only mummy film ever to be actually shot in Egypt! The cinematography by Oscar winner Jack Cardiff is as accomplished as you would expect. The sets especially Queen Kara's tomb, the Egyptian artifacts & general production design credited to Micheal Stringer are excellent throughout. I thought director Newell managed to create some good scenes & have an overall foreboding atmosphere for most of the film. There isn't much in the way of blood or gore but there is a really cool scene when a slither of glass falls from a broken window & impales someones throat, ouch! The acting is pretty good, well I thought so anyway. I liked The Awakening despite the fact everyone else seem to hate it, sure it's slow but I found it quite involving as well & was a nice change of pace without ever threatening to put me to sleep. I'm not sure I can recommend The Awakening as it would probably put most people into a coma but what the hell, I liked it & that's all that really matters to me.
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6/10
Why can't archaeologists just leave tombs alone?
lee_eisenberg16 February 2007
Moses returns to Egypt, but not to free his people. In this case, Charlton Heston plays an egyptologist who opens the tomb of an evil queen. Sure enough, the spirit awakens with it, and possesses Heston's newborn daughter. And anyone who gets in her way is asking for it.

Obviously, a movie like this can't reach the quality of "The Shining", but it is good in a pinch. I really liked the end scene; as NRA president, couldn't he have just pulled out a rifle and dealt with it that way? But anyway, "The Awakening" will almost certainly keep you awake. As far as I'm concerned, these archaeologists need to just leave tombs alone; they deserve to experience bad things for opening them.

Also starring Susannah York, Jill Townsend, Stephanie Zimbalist, Ian McDiarmid (of the "Star Wars" movies) and Miriam Margoyles.
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10/10
The first horror movie I ever saw and still not beaten.
Rabensblut9 June 2006
This is actually one of my most favourite horrors about ancient Egypt. From the archaeological and egyptological sides all fits (see name Ka-ra written in hieroglyphics that really corresponds to the signs and mean - the spirit of the sun). The scene with the tombs was made in one of the tombs discovered by Howard Carter in valley of the kings. I really think that this film can be appreciated only by those who like intelligent movies and who like ancient Egypt (and know about the place and history a lot like me). I am a big fan of Charleton Heston as well. Here You can see one of his best appearances. I didn't find a mistake on this film so the rating is 10/10.
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5/10
The Omen Meets The Mummy
bkoganbing10 December 2007
Starting in the Eighties although he certainly had some duds earlier in his career, the number of decent film projects seemed to dry up for Charlton Heston. My guess is that Heston decided to cash in on all the end time films that seemed to be cleaning up at the box office starting with The Omen. So the man most famous for starring in The Ten Commandments decided to do a combination of a Omen and Mummy tale.

Thus was born The Awakening. In it Charlton Heston plays an archaeologist who discovers the tomb of an unknown Egyptian princess. Heston knows something's afoot because he has previously uncovered records of a royal household member whose name like that of Prince Moses was stricken from all records because of some terrible occurrence.

Around the time Heston is unsealing the tomb in the valley of kings, his daughter is being born who grows up to be Stephanie Zimbalist. Flash forward to 18 years later and the daughter like Damien the devil's child seems to have a whole lot of people dropping dead around her.

Any film fan will recognize the plot threads in both The Omen and in the Boris Karloff classic, The Mummy. They're combined here in The Awakening with more or less mixed results. Susannah York is also along for the ride as Heston's girl Friday assistant who meets a rather grisly end.

It's not the worst film Heston ever did, but you sure long for the days of even the stilted Victorian dialog of Cecil B. DeMille.
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5/10
All this time we thought it was the big sleep...
rmax30482326 May 2002
This movie isn't as terrible as some reviewers have made it out to be. Let's say, overall, about average for its type. The photography is more than adequate, the locations unmistakably including Egypt. The score does its job well. And the acting is on par with Charlton Heston's usual. He can do better when he wants to, as in "Khartoum." Stephanie Zimbalist is fresh, attractive, and seductive -- both before and after she is possessed by the spirit of Kara. She's pretty sexy too, decked out in tight bell-bottomed slacks and wearing her long auburn hair held back by a barette -- is that the word? One of her more exciting moments comes when she steps down in the tomb and kisses her father warmly on the lips. She seems to have not much more than a few expressions to work with, which is okay; Gary Cooper only had one and a half. She relies mainly on an intense stare and half smile, which can signal either happiness or evil intent. The editing is confusing and the ending leaves the story open for a sequel which will probably never come. The story itself is dated, although spiced up with some Omen-like executions.

Heston would never get away with removing those artifacts from Egypt today. Not unless there was a huge under-the-table payoff made. No more Elgin-marble controversies. The archaeological techniques are dated as well. The archaeologists we seem to think of as heroes would be considered criminally sloppy by today's standards. If you excavate a site now, you don't just dig into it to see what you can find. You dig a trench into the site, from the outside inward, so you leave most of the site intact for future research. We don't know what analytic techniques will be available a hundred years from now, anymore than Carnaveron and the rest could foresee Carbon dating. Brouilloin, the information theorist, called this "the principle of fundamental surprise." If we knew now what we will have discovered a hundred years from now, we would already have discovered it. What Schliemann did at Troy was simply dig it up until all the information was gone, the archaeological equivalent of strip mining. King Tut's tomb was handled just as badly. When they first cracked the wall of the as-yet unsullied part of the tomb, a breath of air whooshed out from the opening. That air was three thousand years old. It was the same air breathed by the Egyptians who built the tomb. We will never know its chemical composition or what kind of particulate matter might still have been floating around. And the soil of the tomb, which surely contained biological materials like pollen and the residue of three-thousand-year-old microorganisms, was treated like -- well, like ordinary dirt.

The movie has few zingers. It moves slowly and deliberately, a pace that many modern moviegoers are no longer used to, after so much exposure to MTV techniques. And the director -- all directors -- need to have it pounded into their skulls that when a character looks into a mirror on screen, the audience is not supposed to see her staring obliquely into the camera lens. Not only does the use of this stupid trick contribute absolutely nothing, but it is distracting and jarring, and an insult to at least some of the viewers.
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2/10
Laughably bad
jjnxn-110 October 2013
The words claptrap, junk and hokum all spring to mind when this silly possession movie is mentioned. Produced during that unfortunate period after The Exorcist hit big and every other movie was some type of scare flick this one doesn't even have a very plausible script to start with. Charlton Heston, more wooden than ever, seems as unconvinced as the audience in the twists and turns of the plot. Poor Susannah York, the most talented of the actors trapped herein, spends the beginning of this turkey in one of the most unbecoming wigs ever seen. Stephanie Zimbalist pops up as Heston's daughter in an early role but her behavior is just as nonsensical as everybody else. Watch this only if you want to make fun of something.
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5/10
Archaeologists never know when to leave well enough alone.
Hey_Sweden24 August 2015
Matthew Corbeck (Charlton Heston) is a veteran Egyptologist who discovers the tomb of Queen Kara. As fate would have it, her spirit leaves the tomb at the moment he enters it, and possesses his newborn daughter. 18 years later, the headstrong daughter (Stephanie Zimbalist) determines to reunite with her father in Egypt. She becomes concerned over her blackouts, and fears the worst. And the somber Matthew believes that in order to stop the evil queen, he will have to kill his girl in a ritual sacrifice.

It does sound like a good plot, doesn't it? It's based on the novel "The Jewel of the Seven Stars" by Bram Stoker of "Dracula" fame, which was previously filmed by Hammer as "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb". The Hammer version is more entertaining than this plodding effort, however. Director Mike Newell treats the material as straight drama for the most part, with thrilling and creepy moments few and far between. In his hands, the story just isn't as interesting or compelling as one might like it to be. Still, some genre fans may appreciate it for taking a more adult, restrained approach than a traditional one. Major assets include an excellent score by Claude Bolling and cinematography by the great Jack Cardiff.

Heston does a good job, as could be expected. He's actually rather low key in the leading role. Susannah York, as his associate Jane, and Jill Townsend, as his wife Anne, are fine. Zimbalist, unfortunately, just doesn't come off that well. There are some strong actors in the cast, though: Nadim Sawalha, Ian McDiarmid, Miriam Margolyes.

On location shooting in Egypt, and the resulting atmosphere of the settings, help to make this passable if never really exciting. It only picks up a little during its last third.

Five out of 10.
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8/10
A real beauty
in_any_case10 January 2007
the story is as old as egyptomania, a dead queen, a curse, apocalyptic threats. so, that's nothing new, the plot is not surprising at all. though there truly are some thrilling moments the final is not spectacular. it doesn't offer a lot for minds papered by action in these days. after "the mummy" (from egyptological and aesthetic point of view a catastrophe) most of the people are to fastidious to recognize the value of this even-tempered and atmospheric composition. but what a beauty it is! photography and music are brilliant and project the fascination for the beauty of Egyptian art and culture, the desert and all its colours. To call the work of the actors a "bad" is downright unreasonable. The fact, that most of the actors are stage-proofed is not just noticeable, but essential for the style and charmism of the movie. it doesn't need shock-effects or blood-fountains. maybe it needn't to be called a horror movie either. it's just a sad but truly beautiful short-story about a man's blind love for a place and an idea.
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10/10
Excellent Atmospheric Movie
liderc28 February 2000
I love this movie. The photography is wonderful, as is the music. It is not a movie for people who want to see a lot of blood, but if you like The Haunting from 1962 you will like this one too. My favourite character is Margaret (Zimbalist), her transformation to the bad queen Kara is really thrilling. With the oriental make-up at the end she looks really good! I also like the open ending of the plot very much. After seeing the movie, I rushed into the bookstore and bought the novel by Bram Stoker, and it's very good too.
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10/10
a great movie
MarkusOtzak12 November 2001
This movie is just great: a good script, good directing, photography, superb acting (especially by the daughter) and a *wonderful* soundtrack. This is one of the movies that doesn't need a lot of gore, but really creates atmosphere through the good photography/music/acting. If you are tired of the usual modern horror trash like "scream" etc., go and see this one!
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3/10
Boring, unsuccessful.
gridoon22 September 2001
This could have been a chilling horror movie, and a quite profound one as well, examining the eternal "science vs. magic" subject, but it doesn't cut it. You keep expecting it to become tense, but that only happens in the final 5 minutes. Until then, it moves like molasses, and the two or three scenes that work are those that try to imitate similar sequences from the "Omen". Unfortunately, this movie is not nearly in the same league. (*1/2)
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1/10
So bad it's painful
twassel27 February 2001
Other than Susanna York, badly acted, horribly plotted, even horribly edited. (There's one scene that just sort of appears out of nowhere, and ends just as quickly, with no connection to the rest of the film). No suspense, no laughs, just plain bad.
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10/10
Definitely underrated
morena_addersin22 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I think a lot of the bad reviews here are caused by the fact that sadly this movie attracts the wrong viewers. It *should* attract the kind of people who like classic and sophisticated supernatural thrillers like "The Haunting" (1962, already mentioned here by some reviewers), "The Changeling" (1980), "The Stepford Wives" (1974) or the sadly underrated "Eye of the Devil" (1963, underrated because of the same reasons as this movie I guess). Sadly it obviously mostly attracts viewers who find sophisticated movies like this quite disgusting (no too fast paced MTV style, no silly and disgusting gore and/or sexual abuse, no silly and/or violent storyline) and want to see something like those badly done and very badly written movies that come from Hollywood nowadays. It is really interesting to observe that some people are obviously conditioned to the point of absolute numbness by that bad fast-paced MTV-style editing and therefore e.g. find the excellent editing here "confusing" and believe that a scene just "appears out of nowhere, and ends just as quickly, with no connection to the rest of the film". After reading a review on another site I guess the scene meant is when an assistant from the museum is killed during the final scenes of the movie. We see him enter the house of Professor Corbeck (to check on something) while Corbeck is at the museum preparing the ritual to revive the mummy, we then see Corbeck's house from the outside and hear the assistant scream. So it's quite obvious that he has become another victim of the spirits. This movie here features first of all great directing not unlike such movies as "The Haunting" that slowly and deliberately creates a very very tense atmosphere through the use of the great photography, editing and eerie sound effects. This movie's main ambition is not to really shock you, but to create a disturbing and/or eerie atmosphere. And it certainly succeeds. The script is very well done and works out the various characters very well. Margaret's psychological dilemma and her family's situation and the professor's point of view are very well portrayed and worked out. I remember a great dialogue between Margaret and her father while sitting in the garden with the wind eerily howling all the time. Also the expedition of the professor with his daughter to the tomb is very, very effective. The actors all do a very good job and the photography *and* the historical correctness of the portrait of the ancient egypt is stunning. Just look at most of the "Mummy Movies" like the recent version with Brendan Fraser that get really nearly every historical detail completely wrong. Compared with this movie, the movie with Brendan Fraser is nothing but a cheap comedy. The novel the movie is basing on seems to be the basis for quite a lot of "Mummy Movies", but no other movie has treated it with so much class and dignity. The open ending is great and is in fact just like it is in the novel! The professor doesn't want to destroy his daughter (like in "The Omen", the reviewer who wrote that proofs that obviously a lot of people simply quote the movie wrong) but he wants to destroy the mummy. (SPOILER: But this proofs to be useless, since through the ritual the spirit of the queen has gone completely into Margaret's mind.) Also the score by Claude Bolling is simply breathtaking! This movie really needs a well-done DVD release and a release of a soundtrack album. If you want to watch a very well done sophisticated supernatural thriller, go and watch it! If you are into the bloody, badly done type of "Horror" (in every sense of the word) movie, please stay away.
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8/10
An underrated and overlooked little gem
rainey-329 September 2010
I watched this movie on Netflix the other night, and I must confess, as irritating and badly acted as the first wife character was, and as creepy looking as I found Heston's unkempt beard and aging, weird, opened-mouthed expressions to be, I was surprised that I liked it, and that it actually scared me, twice! There's one quick scene in particular, which I will not spoil, but which actually gave me a nightmare. Dang. I have to give it an 8 for that and for the beautiful interiors of the tomb and the museums, and the obvious discomfort the on-location shooting had to have caused the actors and crew. The scratched-up and off-handedly bloodied left knee of Susanna York as she assists in translating some desert hieroglyphs is a case in point. An underrated and overlooked little gem.
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1/10
Boring, boring, BORING!!!!!!
preppy-34 October 2001
Stupid plot (the ghost of a mummy possessing a newborn kid--please!), lousy acting (except for York) and snails pacing sink this movie. I saw it at a theatre in 1980 (I was one of the very few dummies who paid full price to see this) and I couldn't believe it. It was just the worst--I considered walking out but just had trouble staying awake. Did Heston and York actually read the script before committing to this? The only thing that was halfway interesting are a couple of very gory murders that (I assume) were put in the film to keep people awake. There's no need for them to be so bloody--but I'm not complaining! They were the only interesting things in this crap. One of the worst horror films EVER! If you don't believe me, name all the people you know who actually have seen (or even heard) of this film.
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8/10
Lost gem of Egypt
quridley8 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Its an Omen and Exorcist ripoff. But its from a time when people knew how to make intelligent, well-made and unique ripoffs. Its probably much better than the sequels to both of those films anyway.

This film is beautifully shot to capture the crumbling souls and psyches of the main characters, who's relationship is one of the weirdest ever. Charleton Heston is a scientist who has inadvertently reincarnated an evil Egyptian princess in his daughter. This leads to a lot of unsettling violence, heavy incestuous tension and people losing their minds.

Charleton Heston gives one of his most restrained and darkest performances. He is damn chilling in many scenes. Also, in terms of nuance, its one of his most amazing performances as he plays a defeated, dejected archaeologist with a learned a British accent. The man was a pro with these kinds of fantastic dark thrillers after Soylent Green, The Omega Man and, of course, Planet of the Apes.
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A sad waste of talent.. Heston can do better.
barnabyrudge25 December 2002
It's sad to find a legendary actor like Charlton Heston working on a tenth rate horror film like this. The story takes its inspiration from a largely forgotten Bram Stoker novel and casts Heston as an obsessive archaeologist searching for the tomb of an evil Egyptian queen. He finds it, but at the very same moment his wife is busy giving birth to a baby daughter. You don't have to be a detective to figure out that the spirit of the long-dead evil queen possesses his daughter. Nor do you have to be particularly bright to guess that as she grows into a teenager, she begins to demonstrate worryingly dangerous behaviour. By the end, daddy Heston (just like Gregory Peck in The Omen) is convinced that his little girl is demonic and attempts to destroy her.

Jack Cardiff tremendous photography provides the film with its sole merit, bringing to life the glorious Egyptian vistas in all their sun drenched beauty. Heston and York act decently, but the material is hardly challenging. The main problem with the film is the dullness of the script and the absence of pace and urgency in the narrative. It's predictable too, which is a shame. Worst of all, it commits the sin that so many horror films commit: it completely fails to push the viewer out of their comfort zone. No questions are posed, no disturbing ideas are explored and no menacing message is used to underpin the film. It's just a bland, boring travelogue that dares to call itself a bloodcurdler.
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