A teenage girl with a vivid imagination and a talent for horror storytelling, along with her sister and mother, become the targets of a couple of backwoods serial killers after moving into their new house. Struggling to cope and move on from the horrors she faced, Beth uses her talent to write about the events that took place, only the more that is revealed about what actually happened, the more questions are raised about what is real and what is part of her imagination. Soon Beth finds herself revisiting past memories and reliving old horrors once again. Let me tell you, even if backwoods, disfigured serial killers don’t scare you, the dolls in this movie will surely give you a jump.
In the vain of movies like ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘Friday the 13th’, we too find the movie centering around disfigured serial killers in the middle of rural nowhere, and that’s not a bad thing. Personally, I have a great fear of old, rural areas and that’s without the lurking sense of inbred psychopaths waiting in the cornfields, but I digress. The film uses subtle hints as the setup for the killers in the beginning of the movie and honestly, that’s enough for me. We don’t need some convoluted origin story for the killers because we don’t care. Whatever messed them up in their childhood to create the monsters we see today is in the past. I think many horror movies could benefit from this method of character development for their killers, in that we don’t need any. The more mystery surrounding the killers, the better.
As if crazed killers weren’t enough, for some reason Beth and her family’s new house is filled with creepy, little dolls. One especially creepy doll keeps popping up throughout the movie, just to remind you it’s there. I get the feeling the filmmakers were proud of that thing, as they should be – it’s absolutely one of the creepiest dolls I’ve ever seen. Granted, the dolls become less and less creepy once we witness the killers in action, but don’t let that detract from the concern that obviously went into creating the setting for this movie. They could have just as easily filmed the movie in some random farmhouse but you can tell they put a lot of effort into creating the perfect environment. From the basement to the cages placed around the outside of the house, it’s little things like these that I notice in a horror movie that show how much care went into creating the atmosphere.
I don’t want to give away any twists or surprises – and there are plenty – but I will say I didn’t see them coming. There was some foreshadowing I noticed after watching the movie a second time that I hadn’t noticed the first time, which I thought was great. It’s amazing that we are now halfway through the year and the horror movies that are impressing me the most seem to be independent horror movies. There’s no excuse for these big budget horror movies to be so terrible when these independent horror movies can be twice as good with half of the budget. Either way, I thought ‘Incident in a Ghostland’ was great and I definitely recommend giving it a watch. It’s good for a Friday night horror movie with friends or just to enjoy alone in the dark in an empty house. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you about the doll.
This movie is…
It’s not one of my top ten but it’s definitely one of the better horror movies to come out this year.
Cheers and goodnight.