Unhallowed Ground

"Good"

Unhallowed Ground Review


To make up for their low budget, this team of young British filmmakers throw everything they can think of at the screen, including an enjoyably fresh-faced young cast. So even if the movie is ultimately paper-thin, it's at least bringing chaos on three levels, each of which manages to offer a few decent laughs and freak-out moments along the way.

It's set in the English countryside, where a posh boys' school is breaking up for the holidays. Three military trainee students have to stay for one more night to get some experience patrolling the grounds. Aki, Rish and Danny (Marcus Griffiths, Thomas Law and writer Paul Raschid) are joined for the night by cadets from the nearby girls' school: Verity, Sophie and Meenah (Poppy Drayton, Morgane Polanski and Rachel Petladwala). And as they get down to partying and a bit of work, they are unaware that cat-burglars Shane and Jazz (Will Thorp and Ameet Chana) are breaking into the archive downstairs. But no one realises that tonight is the anniversary of a tragedy during the 1665 Black Plague, which means that there are ghosts on the hunt as well.

The script gleefully merges all three of these plot elements with teen antics and red herrings, plus characters with just enough personality that we can almost tell them apart. There are various relationships between them, including unspoken attraction, rivalries and secret betrayals that add twists and turns to the plot. But no one emerges as a focal character, so there isn't anyone to root for. In fact, the most enjoyable people are the nasty ones, notably the aggressive Aki and the thuggish Shane. Still, each of the actors does what he or she can to bring these energetic young people to life, adding texture and shifting the inter-connections as things get messier and messier.

So even if the plot never feels terribly original, it's an amusing compilation of creepy ghosts, horny teens and bumbling crooks, plus the requisite alcohol-fuelled pranks, some scary anecdotes, flashbacks to the 17th century and a growing number of unnecessarily grisly deaths. Almost everything is accompanied by a hyperactive sound mix that makes us jump more than any actual suspense does. Some awkward editing reminds us that these filmmakers have little experience, but there are some great jolts along the way. And the cast and crew manage to create a terrifically atmospheric little horror movie that's definitely worth a look for genre fans.



Unhallowed Ground

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 97 mins

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Russell England

Producer: Paul Raschid

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


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