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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent continuation...in no way a let-down!!, 29 July 2001
This review is from: Probe: The Ghosts Of Winterborne [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The second instalment in a two-part story, "Ghosts of Winterbourne" further describes the events in the lives of Andrew Powell and co., particularly how the student falls victim to the horrific charms of Isaac Gretorex in human form. With all the intensity and unpredictability of Mark Gatiss' previous effort, "Devil of Winterbourne", "Ghosts" is by no means a let-down, and no characteristics are evident of "sequel syndrome", in which half of the film is taken up describing the events of the previous movie. With the only new characters taking up minor roles (the new school chums of Andrew Powell), the interaction between the principle actors loses none of the magic or power evident in "Devil". Noticeable is the absence of Georgie (Gatiss' own character), who had the important role in the first movie of unravelling the mystery of the stomach-turning murders of both humans and animals taking place within the grounds of the Winterbourne school. The eccentricity and perhaps somewhat clichéd (but nonetheless effective) role of unsung hero provided by Georgie has not been replaced in "Ghosts". Despite this, Gatiss has successfully introduced a more niched sub-plot in the form of the Latin chants and spells necessary to exorcise Isaac Gretorex from the host-body of the possessed Christian. The added dimension of mystery and fear of the unknown successfully mixes with more everyday use of "horror" to provide the viewer with the desired sense of simultaneous morbid fascination and repulsion of the events that so seamlessly unfold on the screen. In addition to the viewers' pleasure, the delightful mix of Gatiss' talented writing and Reece Shearsmith's excellent performance in the leading role (leading, that is, with the exception of Daniel Matthews' Christian) helps draw the audience into the world of Andrew Powell, and see things from his point of view, thus often evoking literal shouts and screams of disgust or encouragement at his proposed actions (certainly in my case, at least). This affinity the audience is encouraged to feel with the positive character of Andrew Powell leads to a more involved attitude, and (perhaps unnecessarily, as other devices achieve the same purpose), lift the character from two dimensions to three. The only possible criticism of "Ghosts" (apart from he weaker performances of some of the more minor actors) is its ending, which is very sudden, not mimicking the audience's expectations or adrenaline flow. However, the final scene is acutely amusing, providing a necessary anticlimax to the previous horrific events, and mirroring the characters' return to relative normality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)

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Location: London, England

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