Connect with us

Film Festivals

’The Ghost Writer’ review: Dir. Paul Wilkins [FrightFest]

Writing is a hard profession. It’s an even harder one when you find yourself in the shadow of an accomplished parent. This is exactly the situation that Gilliger “Gill” Graham finds himself in, in The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer

Directed by Paul Wilkins, The Ghost Writer joins Gill as he attempts to write his next piece of fiction. Already an established author, Gill remains in the shadow of his father’s work. Determined to finally be seen on his own merits, Gill returns to the family retreat – a house in the wilderness – to focus on his new story. Inspiration is lacking at first, but then he gets a house call from a strange woman in the middle of night. The creativity starts to flow, but the woman refuses to leave. As she continues to out stay her welcome, Gill finds himself in a living nightmare. 

Much of The Ghost Writer takes place indoors and Wilkins is keen to keep the appearance inside as ‘normal’ as possible. There are no filtered flourishes, nor are there any camera angles. This naturalistic approach allows the story to shine on its own merits. The appearance of ‘Jane’ (Andrea Deck) generates the interest; her old-school femme-fatale dressings contrast effectively with the subdued surroundings, causing her to pop off of the screen. Outside of the house, the idyllic countryside is a visual delight of misty moors. The hazy exterior cinematography infuses a spooky atmosphere whilst at the same time cutting Gill off from society. 

A chamber-piece in which a man is plagued by his creations, The Ghost Writer unfortunately never quite gets out of first gear. With so much emphasis on keeping everything naturalistic, the interior setting never feels particularly unsettling. Granted, Jane is a mischievous and dangerous character, but although she attempts to torment Gill, it doesn’t land as well as it could. The truth behind the happenings is easy to work out and once the dots have been connected, any tension dissolves. The end result is a film that, despite presenting an interesting idea, comes across as a little flat. 

The Ghost Writer

Kat Hughes

The Ghost Writer


A peek inside a creative mind, without any real spark, The Ghost Writer struggles to hold your attention.


The Ghost Writer was reviewed at Arrow Video FrightFest 2022. 

Kat Hughes is a UK born film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films. An editor for THN, Kat is also a Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic. She has bylines with Ghouls Magazine, Arrow Video, Film Stories, Certified Forgotten and FILMHOUNDS and has had essays published in home entertainment releases by Vinegar Syndrome and Second Sight. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.


Latest Posts


More in Film Festivals