Judas Ghost starts with flashing images that you would expect to find in a horror, just to let you know what you are in for. It then cuts to four characters entering the hall that the film stays in throughout the whole film. You learn about these characters and exactly why they are there. They are introduced as Ghost Finders and are there to find just what type of ghost is haunting the hall. I like that it openly tells you that the film will be hunting for ghosts as a real thing as opposed to most horrors, where its a real event and then oh no something scary and spooky is going to happen.
The characters fit the horror genre archetypes so well, you have your egotistical leader, your geek with his computers trying to make sense of it all, the strange outsider everyone is unsure of and the pretty physic who is mysterious and kind. Each character on their own isn’t particularly likeable, but when you throw all of them together the dynamic works and you find yourself caring for each one.
There are many things that work in this film, I like the first person camera shots when the presenter is talking to the camera about what they are doing and the archived footage showing the different types of ghosts that they have encountered. The fact that it was all shot within the one room (with the exception of archived footage) also worked. I thought it could get boring if the they didn’t expand any further, but enough happens in the room to keep the story moving. That being said it did have a slight lag moment before the ghost arrived. It did feel almost like a check-list of a horror film. Cant see beyond the windows but will stare outside in case something pops up – check, answer a ringing phone to listen to a scary voice telling us we will die – check, room will go cold and we will breath out cold air – check, but these are the things that keep a horror film going, its just if you find it tedious or not.
Its worth pointing out that Martin Delaney who played Jerry the presenter came across as a bit hammy at times but it did seem that this could have been a trait of the character as he was quite egotistical yet loveable as the film progressed. When the ghost possessed him though, it was an excellent piece of acting and he really did mimic the actual ghost well.
Hardcore horror fans may find this film a bit tame, but not for me. There was enough to make me jump and want to watch through my fingers and I think although the ending felt a bit rushed and the story lacked direction slightly, it was definitely a good film that I wished I hadn’t watched alone in the dark.
Dir: Simon Pearce
Scr: Simon R. Green
Starring: Martin Delaney, Lucy Cudden, Simon Merrells
Prd: Wolfram Parge
DOP: Roger Pearce
Music: Paul Cartledge, Philip Jewson
Run time: 75 mins
Judas Ghost is available on DVD now via Bulldog Film Distribution.