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Review Ghostland a.k.a. Inicident in a Ghostland (2018): Disappointing!

genre: drama, horror, mystery

Amidst the real terror, the outbreak of the Coronavirus that has become pandemic I thought this horror film would be a nice distraction. Instead it was one of disappointment and aggravation.

Maybe the real horrors of life are infinitely more scary and films would never be able to compete with that. Then again I have been able to enjoy some Jackie Chan films earlier today without having real life interfere with my viewing experience. Besides I was really psyched about this film due to all the raving reviews. That should have been my first warning sign. How come a film this good is relatively unknown? I mean there are quite a few people who haven't seen Hereditary yet but they have heard of it. So what makes this film different? 

As flawed as Hereditary was it did have a consistent sense of tension and dread. Ghostland has tense moments for sure. But a consistent sense of dread is nowhere to be found. Apart from my own sense of fear for being disappointed. Because at one point a character stated something that basically gave away the twist early on. Now if Ghostland had offered more than that one twist like playing around with it as one big misdirection for some other reveal then I would have been on board all the way. I like to be surprised. If a film manages to misdirect you in an obvious way just to trick you and then reveal a killer twist you never see coming then to me the film has succeeded. Unfortunately Ghostland doesn't offer anything more. To make matters worse they even repeat the twist because apparently they think it's so clever. Trust me it's not. 

For some reason the writer H. P. Lovecraft is an essential part of the film. This filled me with promise it never could deliver. Actually I find it quite insulting for writer / director Pascal Laugier to compare himself to H. P. Lovecraft. At least Lovecraft understood how to be foreboding and instill dread the right way. Laugier basically just resorts to torture porn and unrealistic villains. I mean really. When are people like Laugier going to understand that really dangerous people look like you and me. You can't see them coming. As for the witch and ogre. Please! How can you not notice them?

Ghostland can offer a distraction if you are not to odemanding. But for an avid horror fan like me it falls short and never delivers on it's own premise. 

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