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p>From executive producer Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Free Fire) comes a mind-bending British psychological thriller to sit alongside such classics of the genre as Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell s Performance, David Lynch s Lost Highway and Christopher Nolan s Following.
Chris is a homicide detective called to London to investigate a strange double murder. Both victims appear to have continued moving towards their assailant despite multiple gunshots to the face and chest. On a hunch, and with the help of an old colleague and former girlfriend Chris decides to go undercover as a patient to investigate the suspect s psychotherapist, the mysterious Alexander Morland, who has a taste for the occult...
The debut feature of writer-director Gareth Tunley, starring Tom Meeten (Sightseers), Alice Lowe (Garth Marenghi s Darkplace) and Dan Renton Skinner (Notes on Blindness), The Ghoul is the latest standout addition to a thriving new wave of British cinema.
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SPOILER ALERT. The rest of this review would include SPOILERS and readers should not continue if they don't want plot points revealed.
Well, the movie starts off this way and then goes sideways and makes no sense for the rest of the entire movie. First off, the big plot hole is the fact that London metropolitan police wouldn't call in a homicide detective from outside of London because they have their own detectives or they could call in Scotland Yard. The second plot hole is that the detective doesn't bother to talk to the medical examiner or even bother to read any autopsy reports on the two victims. Nor does he ever report to the London police authorities during the entire movie. These were the clues that he never actually was a police detective. But, the writer puts in some vague references to make the audience think maybe he is being made to believe that he is not a real police detective and actually is a police detective. It's like the writer can't decide which way he wants the story to go and leaves the audience in a lurch at the end.
It would appear that the "detective" who tells his analysts that he has a fantasy of being a police detective actually is a patient suffering depression who only actually fantasizes about being a police detective and he imagines the entire movie due to his delusions. The ending is super lame and explains nothing.
I honestly can’t describe much of the plot of The Ghoul without giving away certain plot details and twists and turns. However, even if I did try to explain the plot; I probably would do a piss poor job of it anyway. From what I can surmise from the film, we follow Chris (Tom Meeten) who is investigating a double murder and goes undercover as a patient to the murderer’s therapist, but really, that isn’t what the movie is about at all.
Part of me liked The Ghoul, a lot exactly, but another part didn’t enjoy it. I felt it was slow at times and confusing. There isn’t a coherently structured plot like most films, which is going to put plenty of people off. It put me off at first, seeing how I thought this movie was going to be one thing and then it turned out to be something completely out there and weird. Still, as the film rolled on, I felt it gripping me tighter, and I was glued to screen to the end credits.
The Ghoul benefits immensely from Tom Meeten’s emotionally unstable portrayal of Chris. If it weren’t for him, the film wouldn’t hold up. The film follows his character so closely, barely giving other actors a chance to do anything.
Arrow Video has been kind with the release of The Ghoul, providing a solid Blu-ray release. The transfer was handled by the film company and provided to Arrow. There are some issues with shadows becoming blocky, but it doesn’t happen often. For the most part, the video is watchable. Also supplied is a 5.1 uncompressed soundtrack which doesn’t go crazy with the rear channel use. In fact, I don’t remember much rear use at all.
Special features provided are an extensive look at the making of The Ghoul with plenty of interviews with the cast and crew. If you want to know more about the film, which you most likely will, this is a great feature to check out. Also provided is a short film from director Gareth Tunley, which is pretty enjoyable and provides a few solid laughs. Rounding everything out is a trailer and of course, a fancy booklet with writing from Adam Scovell, author of Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange.
The Ghoul warrants a few repeat viewings to understand what the hell is going on completely, and even then you might still be confused. It’s a twisty film that doesn’t follow the typical structure of storytelling, and you will find yourself scratching your head until it’s raw. The Arrow Video Blu-ray provides a few answers with its features and a reliable watching experience with the audio and video presentation. If you enjoy a film that will screw with your noggin, The Ghoul is one flick worth checking out.
Though not a traditional horror film despite its title, “The Ghoul” builds suspense as Chris investigates the weird circumstances of the double murder. The British-made film is structured in a way that combines the grittiness of a police investigation with the often surreal world of mental illness. It bases its scares on creating a nightmarish world from the ordinary. Meeten plays Chris as a low-key guy doing his job as he’s been trained, not expecting to confront what may be the occult.
For hardcore horror fans, “The Ghoul” might disappoint, since it doesn’t dwell on overt “Boo!”-type frights, graphic images or monsters. But those who enjoy a solid tale woven with craft will appreciate how “The Ghoul” avoids cliches, assumes its viewers are intelligent, and establishes a mystery that sustains attention until the revealing climax.
Bonus materials on the unrated widescreen Blu-ray release include commentary by writer-director Gareth Tunley, actor Tom Meeten and producer Jack Healy Gutmann; “In the Loop,” a brand new documentary on the conception and making of “The Ghoul;” “The Baron,” a 2013 short film with optional commentary by writer-director Tunley and writer-actor Meeten; and theatrical trailer.
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Chris (Tom Meeten) is investigating an odd murder pretending to be a patient to get information about another patient.Read more