Ghostwatch 1992 Ages 15+

1.00PM Sat 30 Oct 2021 (1hr 31mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

Arguably the most controversial television-film ever made, the BBC-produced Ghostwatch caused a national scandal upon its broadcast in 1992. A faux-documentary hosted by acclaimed journalist Michael Parkinson, it is ostensibly a real investigation of a supposedly haunted house in West London. Reporting from the studio, Parkinson interviews a paranormal expert while fielding phone calls from the public and corresponding with on-the-ground reporters Craig Charles and Sarah Greene, playing themselves. What begins as a light-hearted look at a local legend soon becomes something far more sinister as the frightening reality of the house begins to present itself.

Director Lesley Manning's artful direction captured the language of live television so astutely that many viewers in Britain believed the broadcast to be real, resulting in an estimated 1,000,000 enquiries and complaints to the BBC switchboard. The controversy proved so great that Ghostwatch has never been screened again on British television and has only had sporadic theatrical screenings internationally in the intervening decades. While the reception to the film is a fascinating legacy reminiscent of Orson Welles's ground-breaking War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938, it belies an entertaining and expertly executed ghost story that would pave the way for the 'found footage' films that would soon become prominent in the horror genre.

CREDITS

VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 91 MINUTES, UNITED KINGDOM, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: LESLEY MANNING / SCRIPT: STEPHEN VOLK / EDITOR: CHRIS SWANTON / PROD CO: BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP