JUDAS GHOST (2013)
Directed by Simon Pearce
A group of professional ghost hunters visit an old village hall to rid it of the spirits that have been plaguing the building and scaring the local residents and kids playgroups away. Having dealt with ghosts, poltergeists and possessions in the past, the team are experienced in how to deal with such hauntings and to cleanse the building. However, they’ve yet to face a supernatural adversary as powerful as the one in the village hall. With the entity ability to manipulate their surroundings, will the group be able to banish the spirit, cleanse the hall and survive the darkness?
Supernatural horror thriller JUDAS GHOST is an interesting take on the ghost-cum-haunted house (or hall, in this case) genre. Led by a British cast, the film focuses on the ghost hunters and what they think is a routine job. It doesn’t take long for them to work out all is not “normal”, by their standards, as doors begin to move location in the hall, and the presence behind these doors is not one they’d like to get acquainted with.
The team is led by Jerry (Martin Delaney), a confident optimist who first comes across as a bit cocky but seems more than able to do the job that he brags about. Anna (Lucy Cudden) is the pyschic who uses her abilities to assess the haunted locations for any trace of what might have happened or what exists in the room. Alexander Perkins stars as Ian, the resident nerd who analyses the room temperature, waves and other stats using his high tech computer equipment. Ian prefers to be behind the monitors rather than get up, close and personal with spirits, particularly those who are possessed. The three ghost hunters usually work as a trio but on this occasion they are joined by veteran ghost hunter Mark (Simon Merrells) who’s recording their experience as part of a training video for the institute they all work for. Initially cagey, could Mark know more about the situation than he’s letting on?
There’s plenty of stand-out ideas in JUDAS GHOST from the surreal take of the ever-changing room to the wall of blood behind the door. Following the ghost hunter team’s exploits without the use of shaky cam or found footage is an absolute godsend and because of the recent over-use of the shaky style, JUDAS GHOST‘s standard cam style feels like something fresh.
What about this Judas Ghost, I hear you cry? The titular spirit of the film appears midway through the movie and the make-up is quite disturbingly creepy. His presence is enough to make you squirm but unfortunately he doesn’t really do much else than stand and spew lines of dialogue. I was hoping for a little more from the villain of the piece, considering we don’t see much else of the other elements of the hall’s evil.
Although there’s some questionable character reactions, vague explanations and ropey dialogue here and there, JUDAS GHOST is quite a fun and enjoyable watch. There’s humour and mystery combined with a terrifying sense of evil that manages to keep the viewer unnerved til the the final scenes.