Ghost story time and in a Downton Abbey meets Paranormal Activity 3 stylie this rather dark and dusky movie [on opening night] made it into the cosy screen 9 which was a little disappointing but with Tin Tin, Immortals & The Rum Diary all hitting the screens as well as Johnny English, In Time, Para 3, Tower Heist and The Help still being banded about it was a wonder they gave this any screen time at all!
The setting for this movie is quite inspiring, a stately home turned boarding school in a time not long after WW1 sees an intrepid Ghost Hunter, or more specifically, a Hoax Exposer and Author of a best selling book being invited to seek the Ghost of a young boy who is believed responsible for the death of one of the students. Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton are the three main leads in this and pretty much the only recognisable ones with a host of young boys holding their own as the student body.
This Ghost story does not have the immediate captivation or suspense of Paranormal Activity 3 or indeed the American Twang of Insidious but it does manage to draw upon the good old English love of spooky houses, dodgy caretakers and atmospheric, albeit dreary backdrops to make what in essence is just another run of the mill Ghost story.
Nothing really made this a "one to watch" for me - there were a few jumpy bits and in a full cinema I'd have expected more people to let out a little yelp or scream other than a sole lady near the front but it was just not that jumpy to make people really sit up and pay attention.
I challenge anyone to work out the twist before its announced towards the end of the movie although in good movie tradition, once explained you get some little flashbacks stitching the whole plot line together but it just seemed to have all been done before.
If anything, this movie is mixture of The Sixth Sense meets The Haunting with the scenery of any Period Drama you would care to mention. Nothing really managed to stand out and the only redeeming feature was that I didn't work it out which is always a bonus and sometimes a nice surprise.
The performances matched the movie, everything and everyone just plodded along at a leisurely rate with a few bumps in the night but nothing to make those hairs stand up on end.
If you like any of the movies mentioned above then you may be able to take away something from this but recently I have had my eyes opened to a genre of spooks and frights that I never really adopted before and to put this in that category would be a great mis-justice.
Its kind of sweet and tender in places but if all out Ghostly screams are what you are after then this is not one for you.