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The Awakening (2006)
--Review by Nic Brown

What would you do to save someone you love? In the independent sci-fi film The Awakening that’s the question facing Dr. David Andrade (Mike Conway) when his wife Lara (Tamra Ericson Frame) is dying of bone and pancreatic cancer. The prognosis is that she has 6 months to live and no chance even with chemotherapy. Of course David isn’t any normal doctor, he’s actually a scientist working on a secret government project, and his experiments may be able to save Lara. David sneaks Lara onto the base and gives her the treatment he’s been developing and by the next day Lara is completely cured of her cancer.

Lara’s miraculous recovery was not the only result of David’s experimental treatment. Within days of returning home Lara begins to develop superhuman powers. Her bone and skin density increase making her immune to most forms of harm. Lara also becomes superhumanly strong and her senses become more acute. This all seems wonderful to Lara, but David is worried. He realizes that as she grows stronger and more powerful, Lara is also becoming more and more unstable. Her efforts to use her powers for good result in her killing criminals and even the police when they try to interfere.

Even as David realizes he must stop Lara he learns there is another threat he must face. A shadow agency within the government has learned about Lara and wants her, and David’s treatment for their own purposes. Now David teams up with the commander of the base (Timothy S. Daley) in a last ditch effort to save Lara and put an end to his own research before it falls into the wrong hands.

Lara (Tamra Ericson Frame) flips over a van because she feels like it!

The Awakening is a fun movie to watch. The acting is solid and the story, which on the surface seems simple and almost comic book like, is well developed and enjoyable. The DVD of the film also includes a behind the scenes look at the making of the film and the special effects used in it. Many times “making of” features are overlooked, but take the time to watch this one. Writer/director (and co-star) Mike Conway uses a number of special effects techniques in the movie and the audience might be surprised where some of these effects appear. In fact the effects are so well done that most times viewers wouldn’t even realize they are seeing them because they are so unobtrusive, yet affective.

Special effects aren’t the only thing The Awakening has going for it. The film is well made as a whole. The acting, direction, and editing all speak of a film that goes beyond the norm for a independent action/sci-fi movie. The film has plenty of action, gore, and a good dose of humor as well. The Awakening was made by Mike’s production company: Midnight Sun Entertainment so visit their website and pick up a copy of this exceptional example of quality independent science fiction.

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