Ghost Watch

A BBC News Magazine investigates an alleged haunting during a live network television broadcast.

Several journalists from the BBC program, Ghostwatch enter the home of Pamela Early and her two teen daughters to investigate claims of supernatural occurances. Reporter Sarah Greene and her crew provide live updates to host Michael Parkinson back in the studio. Sarah’s colleague and husband, Mike Smith hosts the live viewer call-in segments. Parkinson and a paranormal expert monitor and comment on the events throughout the night. As Sarah and the Early family encounter some strange happenings, the playful skepticism begins to fade and the mood inside the house and the studio shifts from jovial to anxious.

The BBC aired this movie one time on Halloween night in 1992. Producers used real, recognizable BBC journalists as the main characters. Parkinson, Smith and Greene are established journalists in the United Kingdom. The filmmakers also used the BBC’s standard call-in number for live broadcasts. The film’s realism reportedly scared enough people to clog the phone lines with calls from frightened viewers and ensured there would never be a rebroadcast on network television.

The story is similar to the plot of The Conjuring 2 (with no mention of Ed and Lorraine Warren) and appears to be based on the same events. There is not a lot of action in the first half of the film. It takes a while to get going.

The acting and dialogue is quite good. The reporters play themselves very well and adapt to the plot of the story. The other characters blend well with them.

There is very little gore, which is appropriate for a movie like this. There are a few intense scenes that give this one a good, creepy feel.

Ghostwatch gives new meaning to the term “slow burn” but the long buildup is worth the wait and the realistic, original concept is more than enough to earn a recommendation.

U.K/1992

Originality 10

Acting/Script 9

Plot 9

Appropriate gore 8

Production Value 9

Final Cut Score. 45 (90%)

Side notes:

I could not locate an official trailer and there are too many out there with spoilers. As you know, I hate spoilers so I used the intro clip instead.

I never noticed but there are plenty of internet reports of ghost sightings at various spots in the BBC studio and outside the house throughout the film. See if you can find it.

–Rick

3 comments

  1. I enjoyed The Conjuring 2, so this sounds right up my alley. There was also a live show about 20yrs ago that covered paranormal activity in a house I Kansas IIRC. I think the special covered the heartland ghost. Pretty creepy stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know Michael Parkinson since I am a fan of the old gang on Top Gear. This is right up my alley. It was funny you mentioned The Conjuring 2 because right away I thought, “The Enfield Horror.” However, they basically took what Orson Welles and John Houseman did in the 30s with War of the Worlds on the radio and did it live. Kudos to them. The same thing happened in NJ in the 30’s with people panicking, etc. I will look for this one, Rick! Good review.

    Liked by 1 person

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