I haven’t been excited about a horror movie in a long time. As a younger man, when the Saw franchise kicked off, I couldn’t think of anything cooler; however, the horror genre has passed me by lately. There’s one fantasy horror movie that recently grabbed my attention and dragged me into a dark room, Judas Ghost. Since seeing it, my faith has been restored.
Judas Ghost tells the story of a merry bunch of Ghost Finders who are sent out to an old village hall for the usual run-of-the-mill “blimey, it’s cold in here” session, only to be encountered by something more sinister and terrifying than anything the most experienced Ghost Hunter could cope with. The team are gradually dragged faster and faster out of their comfort zones, resulting in a viewing experience so wonderfully unsettling, it reminds you of exactly what a good horror movie should do. In a nutshell, it’s horrible. Mission accomplished.
Accomplished so well, in fact, the film won Best Horror at the London Independent Film Festival recently. Truly deserved and a testament to the vision of the Producer, Director, original author Simon R Green and not forgetting the brilliant cast of Simon Merrells (Spartacus, The Tomorrow People) Martin Delaney (Beowulf), Grahame Fox (Game of Thrones), Alexander Perkins and Lucy Cudden.
Keep an eye out for my interview with Simon Pearce very soon; for now, here is my chat with Judas Ghost Producer Wolfram Parge.
Taking on the work of a hugely successful author with an already strong fanbase is a huge challenge for film makers; it was evident in the making of Judas Ghost:
It’s quite a challenge. Judas Ghost is an original screenplay, written by Simon R. Green, and it is based on Green’s own “Ghost Finders” novels. We tried hard to incorporate Green’s unique blend of horror, humour and the supernatural. Judas Ghost is very much a British ghost story and hopefully fans of the author and genre will agree we remain faithful to the spirit of Green’s novels.
Simon and Wolfram have gathered an impressive cast with a wealth of experience between them, for good reason too:
Judas Ghost is a ghost story set in England and director Simon Pearce was looking for actors to capture what you might call a “homegrown” feel. At the same time it is an ensemble piece and each character is given similar screen time. Finding a team of actors who could embody their individual characters without competing against one another was definitely hard. In the end, our casting directors Shakyra Dowling and Kristina Erdely found our Ghost Finders: Martin Delaney as Jerry, Lucy Cudden as Anna, Simon Merrells as Mark, Alexander Perkins as Ian and Grahame Fox as the Judas Ghost were all perfectly cast. The chemistry was always at the right level and every character contributes to the story and our cast worked extremely well together.
The team of Ghost Finders are veterans in their field, but face their biggest challenge yet when faced with the Judas Ghost. Unlike other ghost stories you may have read or seen, this band of Ghost Hunters are completely surrounded and seemingly without hope:
Judas Ghost works in a very self-contained way and is about an experienced team of Ghost Finders who are suddenly no longer able to control the situation and monitor what’s going on. The idea of Ghost Finders is not new but, in our film, Simon R. Green has virtually suspended time. Our Ghost Finders are trapped in a village hall and confronted by an unspeakable evil. Will they survive their sinister encounter with the Judas Ghost?
The impact of a good horror or thriller movie is largely psychological; making this effective in the film making process is evidently down to a strong team:
It really depends on the story and atmosphere. Luckily, Judas Ghost has both. Simon Pearce worked hard to build up the tension steadily throughout. In large part our fabulous cast is also responsible for making the psychology of the film work. There is plenty bubbling away beneath the surface thanks to the controlled performances of our cast. Simon R. Green wrote a ghost story which was psychological to begin with and our director and cast did everything they could to capitalise on that.
This award-winning movie will be made available to the viewing public soon, after picking up quite a collection of accolades:
Sales are being handled by Stealth Media Group and we hope the movie will be available for exhibition later this year on the screen, on DVD or through subscription based services. Judas Ghost has been playing at festivals worldwide and last year won Best International Horror at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in New York.
After a successful collaboration, I was very pleased to learn that there are more projects in the pipeline and they are keen on exploring horror once again:
Simon Pearce and I both enjoyed the collaborative experience of making Judas Ghost. It was a challenge we both embraced and we are keen to do it again. We have two films in the action thriller genre right now, although we would love another opportunity of working in the horror genre. Simon R. Green was very pleased with the outcome of Judas Ghost and had also written a longer piece called The Crooked Man, set in a high-tech lab deep in the forest. Could this be our next project? Watch this space!
Soon you will have the opportunity to see Judas Ghost for yourself and I can’t recommend it enough. Soon we’ll be getting the thoughts of Director Simon Pearce; for now, don’t have nightmares.