Wherein I attempt to watch 31 horror films over the course of October. 31 horror films that I have never seen before, from obscure to acclaimed classics. We'll see how well I go in actually finding the time to watch and then write about them in some way.
It's like Paranormal Activity in Prime Time!
Ghostwatch was supposedly a special event piece of television, broadcast on BBC1 and heralded as live reality. Cameras and reporters were placed in the scene of a house on Halloween night that had, before then, become known as a hub of poltergeist disturbances. Hosted by famous chat show personality Michael Parkinson, featuring several well known British identities (including Red Drawf's Craig Charles), and including actors portraying psychic professionals as well as the very haunted family of mother and two daughters, Ghostwatch takes its time to really get going, but those who are paying close attention will get chills out of the entire enterprise.
By the time the film's final 20 minutes or so comes around, I was already well and truly intrigued and had experienced a couple of very decent frights (my suspicions were right when I thought I'd caught a glimpse of the mysterious "Pipes"). What I didn't expect was the level of almost paralysing fear that the climax would throw at me. Rigid with fear and audibly gasping on a high frequency, Ghostwatch worked spectacularly well and more than justifies its reputation as an oughtta be eminent Halloween classic. The final image especially of a dazed Michael Parkinson - remember, he's a huge star both in the UK and Australia - mumbling about the BBC set before creator Stephen Volk's last chilling utterance made getting to sleep a harder task than I'd expected.
Readers would be aware that I am very much a fan of the Paranormal Activity features as well as The Blair Witch Project and the aforementioned Lake Mungo. When this type of film works well there's almost nothing I find scarier. Ghostwatch is another stellar example of it, made even more provocative by the project's history and the way its makers went about it. I watched it nearly 20 years to the day since its British premiere (it's never played since) and it's very much as effective now as it was in 1992. It's also the best thing I've seen during my month-long horror trek. A