Awakened (USA, 107 minutes)
Directed by: Joycelyn Engle, Arno Malone (Co-Directors)
Written by: Joycelyn Engle & Christopher Capwell
JULIANNE MICHELLE as Samantha, STEVEN BAUER as Lucas, EDWARD FURLONG as Thomas, JOHN SAVAGE as Jack, SALLY KIRKLAND as Harriet, STELIO SAVANTE as Benny
Samantha Winston (Julianne Michelle), a 22 year old woman, returns to her home town after 14 years in search of answers to her mother’s untimely death. She is convinced that her father, Jack Winston (John Savage), murdered her mother. In a quest for vengeance, Samantha uncovers an evil and devastating truth.
Samantha tried to escape tragedy much of her life. After her young mother’s sudden passing, when Samantha was only 8-yrs old, she went to live with her aunt in MN. Within one year her world was shattered again when her aunt was killed in a car crash. Young Samantha was then sent to live with abusive foster families, and finally she ran off to live on her own at age 16.
Returning to her childhood home as a young adult conjures up loving memories of her life as a child. However, harsh reminders of her father’s drunken rampages and the sudden death of her 32 year old mother dominate her thoughts. She is convinced that her father, 20 years her mother’s senior, a jealous and verbally abusive alcoholic, committed this unthinkable crime.
In the exhaustive search for evidence Samantha seeks answers from Lucas Drake (Steven Bauer), a successful funeral director and mortuary owner, and her Uncle Thomas (Edward Furlong), amongst others. As the deep dark secrets of evil plots and schemes in this town unfold, the mystery thickens.
As writer and director, my vision for AWAKENED was to expose the audience to temptation, greed, stress, obsession, guilt, choices, hope, the unknown and also the great joy in life by focusing on the trials of Samantha Winston, a 22-yr old woman. This film contains psychological as well as supernatural powers that reach beyond the grave.
After extreme heartache, torment and unthinkable tragedy, Samantha Winston’s obsessions and need for vengeance can either force her to surrender to the dark side and her demise or fight for life, hope and love. We all have weakness and strengths, and we make choices everyday. The audience will cling to their seats in fear at times and also be touched emotionally and moved to tears.
Life can be an agonizing hell or a reward beyond expectation.