Anastasia PhillipsCrystal Reed...
In 1 Cinema
Incident in a Ghostland was driving steady on the cliché highway, with most horror films of the year driving by its side, but luckily it took the first exit into “Having a Genuine Thought” city. The exit was one of the best decisions in the film, no matter how weird and unsettling it got.
The film follows the return of successful horror author Elizabeth (Emilia Jones) to the house where she, her sister Vera (Taylor Hickson), and her mother were traumatised by violent intruders. However, the more time Elizabeth spends at the house, the more she realises something is terribly wrong and things may not be the way they seem.
Saying more about the plot would mean spoiling the twists that are in the film and are at the essence of its making. However, it is refreshing to see a film pivot from the cliché paths most horror movies have been going down recently.
This film is not for the faint-hearted; there is a lot of violence, especially towards women, which will be too much for many, if not most. The film’s French director, Pascal Laugier, is known for his gory scenes and in this film, he did not fall short, with much more than half the film consisting of sadistic and gruesome violence.
The concept of Incident in a Ghostland is scary, not in the jump cuts or the effects, but in the brutality of the violence in it, and the fact that it can happen to anyone. It is not a house or a place or a doll, it is two very evil men that are quite real.
The house where the events take place is also very creepy, with a multitude of dolls, dungeon-like basements, and a screaming puppet that jumps out of mirrors. The set design for the house adds a bit of elegance and style to the film which is otherwise completely brutal.
The acting consisted mainly of screaming, crying, and running, and both Emilia Jones and Taylor Hickson were able to convey genuine fear, panic, and even disgust at times. Unlike most horror films, the acting in this film entailed a constant almost non-stop portrayal of fear and hysteria which can be hard for actors as they have to be consistent. But, Jones and Hickson did not face such a problem.
Incident in a Ghostland is a really tough film to watch because of the extreme sadistic violence, but if that doesn’t get to you, it is definitely a new experience that can be worth the watch.