Monday, 20 October 2014

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Judas Ghost - Review

I sat down and watched horror film "The Judas Ghost".....Here is what I thought!


"Lights Off! Headphones in!.......Why did I do this to myself?"


So, I was lucky enough to be sent through a copy of a UK independent Horror Film called "Judas Ghost" recently and asked what my thoughts on it are. 
I am a "Horror" film fan, although I wouldn't call myself a Horror Aficionado.

I love cinema! I love the whole art of filmmaking. This annoys may of my friends and family as I will always look beyond a film and give my thoughts and opinions on it without them asking.
"Adam, what was the film like?" 

"Well, the whole mis-en-scene really empthasised the meaning behind the secondary characters loss in act two, allowing us to engage in the whole denumaux and twist. The cinematography really showed the inner workings of the antagonists mind too" 

"............So was Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles good then?"

I had a Friday night free, so I thought it was a great chance to check out the film. So I sat down to my laptop, turned off the lights, put in my headphones and looked into a dark living room, only to be lit up by the laptop screen........Why did I put myself through this?

Before my thoughts and Review of the film, here is a little bit of info on the movie.
Award winning horror Judas Ghost thrills at Festivals


Spartacus: War of the Damned’ Simon Merrells, Zero Dark Thirty star, Martin Delaney and Law and Order: UK actor Alexander Perkins all join together to star in Simon Pearce’s Judas Ghost; based on the fan favourite ‘Ghost Finders’ novels written by The New York Times best selling author Simon R. Green.
Judas Ghost tells the tale of 4 experienced Ghost Finders who think they have seen it all…that is, until they encounter the chilling Judas Ghost. This elite team is sent out to an old village hall, on what they think is an apparently standard haunting. However things go from bad to worse when it becomes clear that they are facing something far more sinister than they initially anticipated. The hall harbours a dark secret and the team must use every trick they know to get out of there alive. Who will survive and what will be left of their souls?



As well as being a fan favourite as Crassus in the extremely popular Spartacus: War of the DamnedSimon Merrells is also a known for his roles in Family Affairs, Doctors and The Tomorrow PeopleJudas Ghost co-star Martin Delaney is also known for starring in Family Affairs, as well as Shortland Street and Beowulf & Grendel, alongside Gerard Butler. Also starring in this captivating film is The Office star, Alexander PerkinsDoctors actress Lucy Cudden and Game of Thrones star Grahame Fox.
This thrilling film won ‘Best Horror’ at London Independent Film Festival as well as ‘Best International Horror’ at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival.
Falling Shadows Productions’ Judas Ghost, was written by Simon R. Green, directed by Simon Pearce and produced by Wolfram Parge



What did I think then? well......I LOVED this film. Ok, I know you may be sitting there thinking "Of course you are going to say that..." well you are wrong sir! (or madam, sorry if i called you a sir, you look lovely today....lovely blouse). I always sit down to watch films with an open mind and honest opinion at the ready. I came out the end of this film happy that I managed to watch it. 
Independent cinema is tough. It is tough for many of the films to find an audience. We live in a world where many people, outside of the film lovers community, assume that if a film doesn't star Channing Tatum or Jennifer Lawrence then it can't be very good. Apparently "ONLY" films that make it to the cinema are worthy for peoples attention, when we all know the majority of all film viewings occur at home. For some reason Independent films must be bad because they are cheaper to make compared to a Hollywood Blockbuster. The less money these things spend, the less quality they are.
Now the last statement I kind of agree with, to a degree. If you don't use your resources (ie.Budget) wisely then you are on the wrong path. Independent films have to work on a small budget and this means the film makers must realise their limitations and set up that way.
Judas Ghost is a brilliant example of how to use their small budget, limited resources, tiny cast and create something that looks and feels 100 times better than many current run of the mill Horror films you see clog up the cinemas with budgets in the high Millions.
The Story is set up swiftly in this film and as basic as the plot is, it never feels like it isn't moving along at a great pace. The introduction of characters is played out with sly precision and with relevant expedition.


The characters, again bordering on stereotypical horror tropes, are played out superbly.Martin Delanney (Jerry) is a great screen presence as the self assured, confident bordering on cocky ghost hunter who seems to be channelling his inner Derren Brown, all the way from his smart suit to his dialect and accent.
(I remember seeing Martin back on my screen in the late 90's in the "Renford Rejects"). His entire performance was fantastic from his sly smirk to the danger to the realistic panic at being one upped by this ghost.
Lucy Cudden (Anna) and Simon Merrells (Mark) both brought some  humanity to their roles. Both playing against Martin's "Showman" archetype and brought a sense of fear and worry to their surroundings whilst Martin embraced his characters need to be centre of attention.
Bringing in the, abeit sterotypical, geek/tech scared character was Alexander Perkins (Ian) who was the voice of the audience and slight expedition in regards to the spooky goings ons. Us as an audience will instantly connect with him as his comic relief and pessimistic attitude will have you shouting at the screen
"YES! Let's get out of here!"



The writing for this film really impressed me. Some films tend to try and break away into a dialogue-ridden world that sounds like "Normal everyday" conversation. This film doesn't. I felt this script, Narrative and dialogue had a definite "MovieWorld" feel about it. There was no need for filler, there was no need for stringing out back story, There was no need in trying to get the audience to try and warm up and believe this is a "real" world scenario. This works for this film, as it does for many Horror films out there. I like watching something I know is a "film" as we have found ourselves trapped in a world of "Found Footage" films that try to make you believe this actually happened and by doing that it takes away many tropes that we associate and enjoy from the horror genre. The script and dialogue said enough without having to say too much. I understood the characters relationships within 5 minutes and got in to the action within 10 minutes. From then it was hit after hit after hit until an extremely creepy and 80's inspired (Hellraiser anybody?) horror finale with "The Judas Ghost",



I am extremely pleased I managed to see this film. Like I said before, Independent films have a tough ride to find an audience and anybody who is a fan of creepy, bloody and inventive horror flicks will love this film.

A Thoroughly enjoyable, creepy and Gore-tastic film.! Seek it out when you can.




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