Ghostland (2018) Horror Movie Review


“Ghostland,” directed by Pascal Laugier, is a film that delves deep into the horror genre, offering a narrative that is as much about psychological trauma as it is about the visceral shocks that fans have come to expect. The movie follows the story of two sisters, Beth and Vera, who, along with their mother, encounter a nightmarish ordeal in their new home filled with antique dolls and unsettling decor.

The film opens with a sense of impending doom, as the family moves into a house that seems to be ripped right out of a horror aficionado’s darkest fantasies. It doesn’t take long for the film to ramp up the tension, as the family is subjected to a brutal home invasion that sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

Laugier, known for his work on “Martyrs,” does not shy away from the brutal and the grotesque. However, “Ghostland” is not just a showcase of horror for the sake of horror. The director weaves a complex narrative that plays with time and reality, challenging the viewer to discern what is real and what is a product of the characters’ traumatized minds.

The performances are strong, particularly from the lead actresses, Crystal Reed and Anastasia Phillips, who play the adult versions of Beth and Vera, respectively. They capture the lasting impact of the traumatic events from their childhood with a haunting believability. Mylène Farmer, a French pop star, delivers a compelling performance as the mother, adding to the film’s eerie atmosphere.

One of the film’s strengths is its ability to keep the audience guessing. Just when you think you have a grasp on the narrative, Laugier throws in a twist that upends everything. This non-linear storytelling keeps the film engaging and fresh, even for seasoned horror fans.

However, “Ghostland” is not without its flaws. Some critics have pointed out that the narrative can be convoluted at times, and the reliance on shock value may not appeal to everyone. The film’s depiction of violence, especially against women, has also been a point of contention, raising questions about the line between horror and exploitation.

Despite these criticisms, “Ghostland” has found its audience, particularly among those who appreciate a horror movie that dares to be different. It’s a film that doesn’t hold back, offering a full-throttle experience that is both disturbing and thought-provoking.

In the Nutshell

“Ghostland” is a film that will likely polarize viewers. It’s a bold, unapologetic piece of cinema that pushes boundaries and explores the darker corners of the human psyche. For those willing to embark on this harrowing journey, “Ghostland” offers a unique and unforgettable horror experience. Whether it’s a nightmare you’d want to revisit is a personal choice, but one thing is certain: “Ghostland” leaves a lasting impression. [5 out of 5].

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Genre: Slasher | Home invasion

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