Incident in a Ghostland (2018) Movie Review

Director: Pascal Laugier

Writer: Pascal Laugier (Screenplay)

Starring: Crystal Reed, Mylene Farmer, Anastasia Phillips, Emilia Jones, Taylor Hickson

Plot: A mother of two who inherits a house is confronted with murderous intruders on the first night in their new home and fights for her daughters’ lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, things get really strange.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Overly Twisty Film

Story: Incident in a Ghostland starts as a mother Pauline (Farmer) is moving her two daughters Beth (Jones) and Vera (Hickson) across country to a new home, only for them to get attacked by a serial killer. Years later Beth (Reed) has become a horror author, one of the most famous in the industry, while Pauline and Vera (Phillips) remained in the home.

Beth returns to the home to discover Vera is struggling with the nightmares, but not everything is what it seems in the home, but can Beth handle the truth.

Thoughts on Incident in a Ghostland

Characters – Beth suffered through the traumatic childhood event moving to LA to become a successful author and having her own family, she must return to the home where the trauma happened to make a discovery that will leave her shocked. Vera never left the home, constantly traumatised by the events of what happened, showing the warnings of the truth to her sister. Pauline is their mother who does want to move them to a new home, she is trying to give the girls a fresh home. When it comes to the killers, we get to see their twisted fantasies unfolding.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, we must look at the pairs, the younger and older versions of both the girls, Crystal Reed and Emilia Jones as Beth, who both show the strengths in their character, while Anastasia Phillips and Taylor Hickson bring more of the panic to everything we are seeing.

StoryThe story here follows two sisters that see their new life shattered by a serial killer attack, one escapes the pain of the world, while the other remains trapped, only for a reunion to bring about a new nightmare for one of them. This is a story that does do something different with what would be just a normal reunion horror, it does diving into the mental state caused by such a break, which does drive the story forward, it might well go for too many attempts at twists, which doesn’t help with the final outcome. We can’t go into too much more of the story without giving away too much of the truth behind twists.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film does come from seeing what the serial killer wants to do with the family and the nightmares it has left them experiencing, this does dive into the mystery of everything too, showing us just what might be happening to the family in the aftermath of the attack.

SettingsThe film uses the isolated home to show us how the serial killer would act, what it would mean to them to get the family alone to do what they wanted, while older Beth has the perfect life, a complete opposite to what the killers want.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong, we do get to see the gore the director is know for, only not as intense, but we still get skin being ripped off body parts.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Dumb Cops.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does keep us guessing, while diving in a direction we didn’t see coming, it has strong gore, only it ends up pulling into the overuse of twists to get the biggest impact.

Overall: Overly Twisty.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2021 – B – Becky (2020) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion

Writer: Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye (Screenplay)

Starring: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Robert Maillet, Amanda Brugel, Isaiah Rockcliffe

Plot: A teenager’s weekend at a lake house with her father takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts wreaks havoc on their lives.


Tagline – There once was a little girl…

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Becky starts as we meet 13-year-old Becky (Wilson) who has been struggling with the death of her mother, as her father Jeff (McHale) is looking to start moving on with their lives, inviting his new girlfriend Kayla (Brugel) and her son Ty (Rockcliffe).

When prisoner Dominik (James) plans his prison break, he is joined by Apex (Maillet), Cole (McDonald) and Hammond (McDougall), as they end u finding the remote home that Becky is spending the weekend, holding the family hostage, while Becky alludes capture.

Thoughts on Becky

Characters & Performances – Becky is the 13-year-old girl that has seen her mother die from cancer, leading to her becoming distant from her father. She doesn’t want to let anyone into her life, especially a new step mum. When prisoner invade her home, she looks to fight back after they target her father and beloved dog, showing skills with the environment around her. Lulu Wilson does come into her own in this role, moving away from the previous victims in horror to the strong fighter. Dominik is the prisoner that has planned his escape, letting the people around him will do anything he asks, he is a calm presence unless he doesn’t get what he wants, when he will kill someone with his own decision. This character does start pure cold, which makes him feel more dangerous, because once he starts speeding the process up, he ends u looking like he has lost control of the situation. Kevin James is in career changing levels of performance, being terrifying in every seen, a huge improvement from his comedy missteps. Jeff is the father trying to rebuild his life with his daughter, taking her away to their family getaway. The rest of the prisoners all work to help Dominick get what he wants, apart from Apex the friendly giant figure, the others are the typical disposable figures.

StoryThe story here follows a grieving 13-year-old girl that is put in the difficult situation of a potential new stepmother, only to see this weekend turned into chaos when a group of prisoners take the family hostage and she looks to fight back. This is a story that we have seen the fightback against criminals before, with the only change coming from the motivation behind why Becky needs to unleash her pain. The story makes it an easy watch and you can easily tell the order the deaths would happen, but it doesn’t try to complicate anything.

ThemesBecky is an action thriller that puts a teenage girl up against a group of criminals who are holding part of her family hostage, giving her a chance to unleash her pain in her different traps, like a more violent Home Alone in the open forest. The location is used to put the family further away from safety, which works for the criminals too.

 

Becky is an enjoyable action thriller which shows to actors Lulu Wilson and Kevin James in a different light.