epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Retro Review: Ghostwatch (1992)

Ghostwatch (1992)

This infamous and controversial BBC1 Halloween special scared viewers and exposed the gullibility of the Great British public. 'Ghostwatch' was a mockumentary written by Stephen Volk, who also wrote 'The Kiss'. To add to the realism real-life anodyne, middle brow tv presenters Sarah Greene, Mike Smith and Michael Parkinson took part. 'Red Dwarf' star Craig Charles also featured. 'Ghostwatch' was billed as a drama that investigates a hunted semi-detached house on Foxhill Drive where the Early family are being tormented by a spirit nicknamed Pipes. Exactly who or what Pipes is, isn't revealed but it is suggested that the house has accumulated evil until the dead can hurt the living.

'Ghostwatch' sustains the illusion of a live broadcast throughout its 90 minute run complete with phone in, studio discussion with paranormal investigator Dr Lin Pascoe and Craig Charles doing vox-pop interviews with the locals. The tension builds as supernatural forces make themselves known until the overblown and in retrospect faintly ludicrous ending as the unquiet spirit is set loose in the studio itself.

Sure it looks dated but 'Ghostwatch' shows what a capacity tv has for delusion. It is also truly frightening and unnerving in places although it falls apart at the very end along with the tv studio. Anyway it anticipated the movies 'The Last Broadcast', 'The Blair Witch Project' and 'My Little Eye' by years. This is memorable viewing.
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