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


Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.