The Passage
"Pretentious? Maybe. Confusion? Certainly."

Ghost stories are the devil to pull off on film. There are no boundaries, no ground rules.

David Campbell's Aussie teen shocker allows the mystery to remain misty. Where's the clarity when a dark and stormy night never makes it until dawn?

Copy picture

It begins with a bunch of kids being told the story of a dead biker somewhere in New South Wales who appears as a bright white light when a car containing teenage revelers drives fast down Lemon Tree Passage Road.

Are we in slasher country? Or something spookier? Or worse?

The worse in this case is where it all goes wrong. People die and disappear and come back and go away again. A ghost is among them, but who? Where? Flashbacks of what looks like mayhem, a crash even, rattle the cages of comprehension.

Pretentious? Maybe. Confusion? Certainly.

Ghosts have issues. They can't let go. Although passed on they remain restless and active. Poltergeists? That's the benign version. Here it's a full on body double that builds man traps and fights dirty and feels like a working model.

Why? What's the motive? Even spirits have purpose.

Not this time. The plot implodes and makes less sense than a kitten in a microwave.

Occasionally a writer gets too close to his/her prose and edits it to death, forgetting that readers arrive without a map.

If Campbell sat you down and dissected the content of his script in simple language you might respond to the film in a more positive way. However, this doesn't happen and you struggle to make head nor tail of what's going on.

The final twist in a movie that has already tied itself in knots makes you think, either I am too stupid to understand or the director has taken liberties beyond the capability of a reasonable mind.

The former might well be true.

Reviewed on: 06 Oct 2015
Share this with others on...
The Passage packshot
Young Australians setting out to disprove an urban legend find themselves caught up in a different supernatural horror.

Director: David Campbell

Writer: David Campbell

Starring: Jessica Tovey, Nicholas Gunn, Pippa Black

Year: 2014

Runtime: 84 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia


Frightfest 2014

Search database:

If you like this, try: