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Brian Keene’s Ghoul

Ghoul start s off in June of 1984, it has that feeling of a coming of age buddy movie like Goonies, or Stand By Me.  The young actors in the main roles are quite good at playing the goofy young horror fans.

Official Chiller Press Release:

In the tradition of Stephen King’s Stand by Me, Chiller’s original film Ghoul – based on the celebrated novel by author Brian Keene — tells the story of three damaged children who set out to find who, or what, is behind a rash of local disapperances. Staring Modern Family‘s Nolan Gould, the film explores the darkness that hides behind small town life.

It is the summer of 1984 when a teenage couple goes missing among the gravestones of the local cemetery. Twelve-year-old Timmy and his best friends, Barry and Doug, have grown up hearing stories about a sinister Ghoul that haunts the cemetery. Eventually, they begin to wonder if the horrific legend might actually be real. Timmy and his friends are forced to put their friendship to the ultimate test when they dig up long-buried secrets, facing their personal demons and the one hiding underground.

The boys hear tale of a ghoul that is thought to live in the abandoned mine.  It’s said that the Ghoul caused the cave in several years back that cause the deaths of several of the local miners.

Young girls start to disappear and any boys that were with them turn up brutally murdered.

It all sounds like a pretty good setup for a nice little horror story right?  Well, that’s where it starts to fall apart.  Eighteen and a half minutes in we see that nothing paranormal is going on in this sleepy little town.  The Ghoul is just a guy in a gilly suit.  We’re not even nineteen minutes in and we find out it’s just a guy in a suit?  I can only hope that in Mr. Keens’s original novel that reveal was closer to the end.  So let me reiterate, not even nineteen minutes in and I already know it’s going to end Scooby Doo Style.

 (it was old man Withers in a gilly suit!  And I’d have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!)

To make matters worse, latter in the movie when the Ghoul is chasing the kids through the mines, they use this pointless strobing effect whenever they show the Ghoul.  As if they are trying to hide the fact that we’ve already seen it.  I get the feeling that the film editor had no idea what he was doing and hacked this thing to pieces.

There were several instances during Ghoul that felt like we were coming in, in the middle of a scene, or that the scenes were completely out of order.  Some scenes make no sense at all, like during a flashback this one woman just goes nuts for no reason and starts tearing all the laundry off the laundry lines and flinging it all over the yard.

On top of all of that, all the adults in town seemed to be either useless or psychotic, and all the kids were complete idiots, except for the 3 main characters, and the grandfather.  The Grandfather was a really cool character, and there are some very touching scenes at the beginning of the movie with Timmy.  Too bad they had to kill him off about 5 minutes into the movie.

Unfortunately this is not what the Ghoul looks like.

There is some truly disturbing imagery in Ghoul, but none of it has anything to do with the Ghoul, it’s all up to the actions of the adults and how they treat their kids.

Final Thoughts:

I can only hope that Ghoul suffers from extremely poor editing and book to script translation, as it is almost unwatchable.  I am willing to give Mr. Keene the benefit of the doubt as the original book has many high reviews on Amazon, but then again so does Twilight.

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