Incident in a Ghostland review: Pascal Laugier has a new horror film that he hopes will keep you up all night.
Incident in a Ghostland review by Kat Hughes.
Pauline (Mylène Farmer) and her two daughters, Vera (Taylor Hickson) and Beth (Emilia Jones), are moving into a newly inherited property. What should be a happy time is marred by a traumatic event when a group of psychopaths break in, intent on murder. Flash forwards several years and Beth (Crystal Reed – Teen Wolf) is a famous novelist. Her latest book a reconstruction of her horrific attack, and for her everything is golden. This changes however, after a call from a rather frantic Vera (Anastasia Phillips), and Beth finds herself back at the site of the event from her childhood. Once back, her reality begins to unravel.
Incident in a Ghostland is the latest horror offering from director Pascal Laugier, the man responsible for Martyrs. Those still recovering from his last film be assured that Incident in a Ghostland is a much easier watch. That is not to say that the film is light-hearted, it is Laugier afterall, but there’s just something that keeps the film from properly invading you in the same manner as Martyrs. Once again, Laugier uses his film work to explore deeply intense emotions. With Incident in a Ghostland he seeks to explore the complexity of the brain and it’s coping mechanisms for trauma; both women deal with the opening event in a different way.
The film also features an abundance of doll imagery. Porcelain dolls (the creepiest of all dolls) especially, litter frame after frame, emphasising the delicate nature of Beth and Vera’s sanity and innocence. One of our antagonists also has somewhat of a doll fetish which leads to some seat-squirming uncomfortable moments on screen. In addition to these moments, Laugier also gifts some very well executed sequences of violence and harm.
Our plot moves along at a good space, especially in the opening moments where we go from tranquil to terrified in mere seconds. This is a film that you have to pay attention to though as there is a lot going on. To say too much would spoil the experience, but Incident in a Ghostland goes to some very interesting and unexpected places. Whilst Incident in a Ghostland may lose some of that intense ferociousness of the likes of Martyrs, it still offers the audience something to chew on.
Incident in a Ghostland by Kat Hughes, August 2018.
Incident in a Ghostland screened as part of Arrow Video Frightfest 2018. It is available to own digitally and on DVD and Blu-Ray from Monday 3rd September 2018.