Incident in a Ghostland
incident in a ghostland | ghostland | pascal laugier | crystal reed | mylene farmer | anastasia phillips | psychological | h.p. lovecraft | drama | mystery | thriller | france | canada | emilia jones | taylor hickson | kevin power | rob archer | mariam bernstein
Film: Incident in a Ghostland
Director: Pascal Laugier
Writer: Pascal Laugier
Starring: Crystal Reed, Mylène Farmer and Anastasia Phillips
This film was one that I made sure to watch during my year-end round up of horror films released this year. I heard there was a really good twist and that quite a few people really liked it. The official synopsis is 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.
We kick off with a quote on H.P. Lovecraft from the younger daughter of mother Pauline (Mylène Farmer). The daughter is Beth (Emilia Jones) who is a huge fan and she is reading her latest story that is in the vein of Lovecraftian fiction. The older daughter Vera (Taylor Hickson) doesn’t think it is that good and tells her sister that she needs to live in the real world and not so much in her head. They then go to a local store where Beth reads a newspaper headline about someone attacking families where they kill the parents and torture the daughter. The trio is spooked by a large candy truck.
Things take a turn that night when they’re attacked by two individuals. The one is slender and is known as Candy Truck Woman (Kevin Power) while the other is Fat Man (Rob Archer). Pauline does what she can to save her daughters and Beth runs away.
We then shift into the future where Beth is now Crystal Reed. She is a successful writer and her latest book is her best yet. It is recounting the events of what happened to her that night and it is titled Incidents in a Ghostland. Things take a turn when Vera calls her sister and she is in a panic. Beth decides to go home. Her mother is caring for Vera, who is now Anastasia Phillips, who is still reliving the events that happened all those years ago.
Beth thinks it is all in her head, but something very strange happen and the truth is much more horrifying that she could ever imagine.
Now I’m going to be spoiler free as possible with this review, mostly because this is one I think that you definitely need to experience. Something I didn’t share earlier was that this film is written and directed by the same guy who did the original Martyrs, which is another film I’m a big fan of. This one isn’t as brutal as that film, but it definitely has some of those elements for sure. There were times where it really made me cringe.
What I really like though is there are so many call backs in this film. There are things that will be focused on and it has a place later in the film. This isn’t necessarily even big things either. Really good writing like this is something that sucks me into a film and this one definitely did that.
The pacing of the film I thought was really good as well. It never hit a lull where I was bored and the twist to the film blew me away. It does something where you don’t know if the characters are crazy, which after what we see what they are going through, I definitely wouldn’t blame them. It also has a nice section where it starts to let up and then it really just comes back down on you, which is something else that is really good for the pacing. It gives you time to breath, but you also don’t feel completely comfortable.
Acting for the film was really good as well. I thought Reed in her role was solid. I found her quite attractive as well, which never hurts. Farmer was solid as the mother and it is really heartbreaking trying to watch her take on this villains. Phillips I thought was solid in the role that she had as well. Jones was good as the younger version of Beth. She does have to exhibit quite a bit of strength, even though she is told by Vera she is weak. Hickson is solid in a different way that really works as well. Power and Archer I thought were solid as the two villains for sure. I really like the motives for Archer and it is quite sad actually. It is a solid move if you can feel bad for the villains, despite the atrocities they are committing.
I came in expecting that the effects would be good after seeing who was in charge of the film. They seemed to go practical for pretty much everything and it looked brutally real. The effects of some of the blows to people on their faces looked quite realistic and it made me feel worse for them. There is also some interesting things that are done by looking through glass that I liked. It definitely helps with the twist of the film for sure.
Now with that said, I know this review is a little bit shorter, but that is due to not wanting to spoil this film. I thought the story was absolutely amazing. It definitely has a great twist and the reasons the villains are doing this is quite interesting. I thought the acting for the most part was solid. The pacing of the film is good and it never gets boring. How the film ends I was all for as well. The effects were on point and looked pretty real. The score of the film really didn’t stand out to me, but it also didn’t hurt it. This film isn’t really one I would recommend to everyone, only because of the realistic violence. If you can handle that and want to see an interesting story, I’d definitely recommend this one. I found this to be a really good film.
My Rating: 9 out of 10