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New Release Review - Judas Ghost

A routine "ghost hunt" becomes something far more sinister.

Directed by: Simon Pearce
Starring: Martin Delaney, Lucy Cudden, Simon Merrells




My entire life I have been a fan of horror, though, to be honest, ghost and demon stories are among the sub-genres I have gradually begun to stay away from, mostly due to all of the Paranormal Activities, Insidious and countless other straight to video crap that has been made in recent years. I understand that they make good money on low budgets, so I don’t think all fault is on Hollywood for all the repetitious and recycled garbage, because I realize they need to make money in order to make all their films. And I realize where the audience spends their money tells the studios what we want to see more of, but they could work harder to develop better products. 
Enter Judas Ghost, a ghost story that, for its low budget, actually has surprisingly good effects. The film begins with, and takes place entirely in, a room that a group of ghost hunters expect to host a routine ghost hunt so they can make a “how to” film for up-and-comers in their field. As we get to know each character and their contribution to the group, we learn about how they all work together as a team, and we learn a little bit about the demonic world they have become used to. Sadly, they don’t spend the required time to dig in deep with any characters to warrant any real feelings when their lives are on the line.
Instead of diving into each character's personal ticks or motives for what they do, the film doesn’t waste any time jumping into the action or, in this case, horror. And, for this film, that is exactly where they want to be, because every scenario that the team is faced with is executed well, and there are some downright creepy images shown in this film. But, because of the lack of character depth and the uneven tone and atmosphere, I don’t believe there is enough here to leave a memorable impression on the general audience. The target audience, on the other hand, will likely enjoy what the filmmakers were able to do with so little because the effects throughout are what makes this film stand apart from most of the crap that has been unleashed in recent years. 
While no single actor really stands out in the small cast, they all are on par with each other to make a believable team in a very disturbing and terrifying line of work. The script’s quick pace and assumption that the audience will recognize the familiar characters are secondary in importance only to the hybrid combination of cgi and practical effects. I know that cgi has progressed to a point that most didn’t think would be possible, but, especially for lower budget productions, it is rare to find believable cgi. Sadly, despite a few disturbing sequences, this film's atmosphere is never able to find the sweet spot to put it on that other level.
6/10


Andy Comer

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