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Categories: Movie Reviews

Marija Makeska reviews “Judas Ghost”, a new independent horror film from director Simon Pearce based on the novel “Ghost Finder” by Simon R. Green. Green also wrote the screenplay, which sees a group of ghost hunters trapped in a town hall by an evil spirit.

There have been many feature films lately where the settings are only limited to one location. Such is the horror/fantasy film Judas Ghost, set in a town hall with children’s drawings of the Judas Ghost hanging up on the walls.

A group of ghost hunters have been hired to investigate strange goings-on in the hall, and at the offset are confident they can deal with whatever it is that has been harassing the locals. Jerry Mackay (Martin Delaney) is the leader of the group, a man who has had various experiences with dealing with bad ghosts. He’s joined by Anna Gilmour (Lucy Cudden), his attractive assistant for whom he has feelings he can’t express fully, cameraman Mark Vega (Simon Merrells), and tech guy Ian Calder (Alexander Perkins).

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Once the team have assembled at the town hall, they begin to realize that the entity they’re dealing with is stronger than they originally expected, and are met with a series of strange phenomena that reveals the secret of the Judas Ghost and brings back past secrets for some of the characters, as well.

The small location fits the movie perfectly; the room is large enough for the action to take place, for all the ghost-hunting equipment the cast have on-screen and for the crew’s equipment off-screen. The audience, however, will always have the feeling that they are in more than one location, because as the movie progresses, things in the room change. At one point the characters find the door missing on one side, another time a phone appears and rings, and things only get stranger from there.

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But what is most important is the movie’s philosophy. It starts with a statement saying that ghosts exist and they are here to hurt us. Since this film is in the horror/fantasy genre, it imposes this fear onto the audience, reinforcing such beliefs. Since my personal life experience has drawn me into the spiritual world, I have a question for the director and the writer of this film: do you think that this is true, or are you treating it as “just a movie”? Treating it as “just a movie” may impose harmful experiences and half-truths on some viewers. I personally felt this was propaganda for the spiritual world. It has some truth, but treating the statement “ghosts exist and they are here to hurt us” as fact shows a lack of knowledge of the spiritual world, and thus shows the film needed a little more research.

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The actors, on the other hand, gave excellent performances. The best part of the film involves Simon Merrells’ character Mark, whose dark past is revealed once the titular ghost shows up (played by Grahame Fox). There’s a shocking revelation shared between Mark and Jerry that takes us in a direction we wouldn’t expect. A second plot twist involving the tech guy is a little predictable, but otherwise the film is full of surprising moments, especially once the Judas Ghost comes into play.

Last but not least, the dialogue is timed excellently. Usually, for a movie with one location, that is the hardest part for the director and the editor, but it was pitch-perfect here. Judas Ghost is a solid horror film that makes the absolute most from the limits of its singular location.

Judas Ghost is out now on DVD and On-Demand. You can order it on Amazon or iTunes

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Marija Makeska is a writer, poet, filmmaker and a visual artist living in Detroit, USA. She enjoys spending her time with people from different cultures while working on various projects with pagan, or gothic themes.

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Posted on Apr 24, 2015

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