Aug 30, 2012

Review: The Ghouls - 2003

The Ghouls
Director: Chad Ferrin

Eric Hayes makes his living with his film camera. He sells the revolting footage that he captures to the highest bidder but doesn’t make a fortune out of it. In fact he’s always looking for the one great story that will make him rich. He follows the police around hoping to get some sellable footage and more or less live of other people’s misery. One day he does discover something different though! He tries to film it but when he’s about to sell it there’s no film in the camera. He doesn’t give up and soon he finds what he’s looking for again, some footage that are so gruesome that it’ll be worth a fortune on the open market. It’ll be something to die for! He has discovered the cannibalistic ghouls…

Something that’s great about Cine Du Mondes releases is the short introduction sequence they sometimes have where the director gets a chance to tell us about his movie. This is the first ever edition with extras of this film in the UK. That’s what Chad Ferrin tells, I don’t really know and I don’t really care as I’m not a big fan of extras. As far as collecting is concerned this should be a great release though! Cine Du Monde has released two other titles by Chad in the past (Unspeakable and Easter Bunny Kill! Kill!) and I see no reason not to get this in your collection as well.

It is, of course, a low budget film! It doesn’t show too much though. It’s pretty nicely acted and the story is well thought through. There might be better gore effects out there but I think these are quite adequate. For me it isn’t the gore anyway, there is a deeper sense to the movie which I’ll try to analyse here. Bear with me…

The movie is about the discovery of cannibals. They look like ghouls but that isn’t the point. Who are the real cannibals on the world really? I say it’s the ones who cannibalize other people’s misery by making a living out of capturing the violence on film. There, that didn’t take too much linguistic skills did it? In other words I think the title may very well be referring to the profession that actually discovers the ghouls. Does Eric Hayes find himself eventually? Does he feel regret? Remorse? Does he realize that he’s just a pawn in the big boys market? This is what I think about when I see it. I have a tendency to analyse too much but you can’t say that I couldn’t be right, could you?

In this sense it’s a great film. I like being made to think a bit and I think this movie does that to you even if it might not be deliberate. And there’s the other side to it as well. If you don’t allow your thoughts to float away you can still have an enjoyable time. The story, even without any of the layers I just described, is entertaining anyway. You can watch it as a straight forward horror flick or as a clever existential film, the choice is yours!


Images: © 2003 Crappy World Films © 2011 Cine du Monde (UK Licence)

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