|Filmmakers must hate it. Marketing must love it.
There’s a lot of feelings surrounding cinematic comparisons, especially when they are screaming all over the posters and marketing materials.
Dark twisted thrillers? “This year’s American Psycho!”
Feel good film? “The most fun you’ll have since Bridget Jones!”
Crime films with a weird element? “Its just like Memento!”
It’s exhausting having your own work lumped in with others but at the same time it gets folk through the door. Especially when you’ve tried hard to distance yourself, wishing that the film would be enough stumbling on its own feet. And, worse, if your audience has hefty expectations, then you are bound to disappoint.
So let’s be honest here: The Ghoul is definitely like Memento. But is it any good?
There’s a lot of good happening with The Ghoul such as lead Tom Meeton excelling as a man struggle with his own mind. In his catatonic and disjointed states Meeton develops this hauntingly real character who is figuring out his emotions whilst similarly trying to solve a murder mystery. From our perspective, he is a trustworthy police officer with a few issues but as the movie progresses, you find that he not a solid protagonist and the shift in states is greatly done through the character. Alice Lowe appears as a romantic interest and she does well enough within the narrative but isn’t used as often as she should’ve been.
Perhaps the lack of clarity and focus on ambiguity helps some film fellows interpret the film and I am certainly not knocking unravelling vagueness of movies such as these. But with The Ghoul, it seems to lack the meat to carry on the delicious unravelling mystery and that is really where it falters. It’s disappointing because with a clearer meaning, the movie could’ve exceeded.
The Ghoul features as part of BFI London Film Festival