Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Prison works.

A dark lord of Tory politics announced this to blue rinsed applause in the not too long ago. Inside every prisoner is another prison and in that prison is a secret and in that secret is the key to the dungeon and in the dungeon is a creature. And that's what this is about. Hunting the creature.

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On the surface, Ghosted carries the warts of every jail movie cliche - the silent, honourable killer who watches over the vulnerable; the cynical, brutal homosexual predator who rules the cell block through fear and loathing; the pretty boy who says he's in for arson and will come out buggered and broken.

One essential of low budget filmmaking, like alternative theatre, is stay tight, keep it small, avoid elaboration. Debut director Craig Viveiros cannot be faulted in this regard. His use of close ups, his tense set, his emphasis on naturalistic acting encourages gritty adjectives. If the truth of Her Majesty's Pleasure is a kick in the balls, or a blade in the back, you may be excused for thinking that you have been here before.

The distance between deja and vu is deceptive. If the creature in the dungeon has a twisted torso you can call it beyond the boundaries of probability, or, in real terms, a coincidence too far. The plot moves from the lubricated insinuations of the dropped soap scenario, a staple of the genre, to a surprise ending that gives the film a semblance of originality. And yet it feels false. Like the tag line to a more comprehensive analysis.

Reviewed on: 21 Jun 2011
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Think Alan Clarke's Scum, updated for 2011.
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Director: Craig Viveiros

Writer: Craig Viveiros

Starring: John Lynch. David Schofield, Martin Compston, Craig Parkinson, Art Malik

Year: 2011

Runtime: 98 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2011

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