Unhallowed Ground – UK, 2015

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‘For 350 years it has waited’

Unhallowed Ground is a 2015 British supernatural horror feature film directed by Russell England from a screenplay written by Paul Raschid. The Aviary Films production stars Ameet Chana, Poppy Drayton, Marcus Griffiths and Thomas Law.

Plot:

Six private school students spend a night patrolling the eerie grounds of the historic Dhoultham School as part of a British Army initiative to provide rich kids with basic military training. As each hour passes they witness a series of increasingly disturbing occurrences, such as slamming doors, self-governing lights and ghostly apparitions.

The ante is upped by two thieves who have chosen the night to conduct a heist on the school archive: a vault of priceless historical documents. As the supernatural encounters begin to take an increasingly malevolent turn, the students realise they must escape Dhoultham before the night’s end…

Reviews:

” …it’s an amusing compilation of creepy ghosts, horny teens and bumbling crooks, plus the requisite alcohol-fuelled pranks, some scary anecdotes, flashbacks to the 17th century and a growing number of unnecessarily grisly deaths.” Rich Cline, Contact Music

“This is a well-written, well-directed, well-acted film and I found myself caring about these characters (even Shane) and wanting to see who would survive. Actions are believable, motivations are clear and credible, people get hurt and no-one is super-human. The pace is maintained throughout, leading to a final act twist that I certainly didn’t see coming. The only low point is some very poor flame CGI FX right at the end: another hap’orth of tar.” MJ Simpson, Cult films and the people who make them

Unhallowed Ground is a competent, but largely uninspired horror jaunt that, in whole, proves just about worthwhile on the strength of its cast and a smattering of good ideas (not to mention the seriously cool plague doctor design). But you certainly needn’t kick yourself too hard if you give it a miss.” Gareth Jones, Dread Central

“The budget clearly didn’t stretch far enough to pay up for convincing gore makeup, and the LED-light eyes of the ghouls wouldn’t frighten a skittish squirrel, but as a genre exercise it’s merely underachieving, not outright atrocious.” Leslie Felperin, The Guardian

” …Russell England seemed to be doing something interesting as it started. However, not long after the spooky element kicks in – which to its credit the film holds off delivering for a good third of the show – this is revealed to be an empty poker hand.” Richard Scheib, Moria

” …despite its well written characters, never really gets off the ground to leave you pinned back into your seat with fear. Props are due for the impressive undertaking of making six privileged teenagers vaguely likeable, but generally speaking this is a humdrum affair that never gets out of second gear.” Dave Wain, The Schlock Pit

“Posh kids getting haunted by dead posh kids is what you get in TV director Russell England’s ropey horror movie set in an old public school. The rickety special effects are dealt with fairly well, with plenty of eerie suggestion and the odd fleeting, ghostly  glimpse providing a few effective jumps. It’s a pity then, that the plot is so flimsy.” Time Out London

Cast and characters:

  • Ameet Chana … Jazz
  • Poppy Drayton … Verity Wickes
  • Marcus Griffiths … Aki Adebola
  • Thomas Law … Daniel Gordon
  • Andrew Lewis … Dr. Carmichael
  • Rachel Petladwala … Meena Shah
  • Morgane Polanski … Sophie Dunant
  • Paul Raschid … Rishi Patel
  • Will Thorp … Shane
  • Richard Derrington … Dr. Richard Graystone
  • Gil Cohen-Alloro … Plague Doctor
  • Jacob James Beswick … Hanged Spirit
  • Tom Glenister … Burned Spirit
  • Perry Moore … Buried Spirit
  • Drew Sheridan-Wheeler … Drowned Spirit

Filming location:

Mill Hill School, Edgware, England

Technical details:

97 minutes

Release:

Unhallowed Ground received a limited theatrical British release in June 2015, followed by a DVD release in the United Kingdom and Germany later that same year.

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