Ghosts exist. Whether you choose to believe in them or not. Luckily, so does the Carnacki Institute, a top secret organisation set up to combat the dead. When reports of the supernatural from an old village hall point to an apparently standard haunting, an elite team of ghost finders is dispatched to investigate. But things go from bad to worse when it becomes clear the team are facing something far more sinister than they first anticipated. The hall harbours a dark secret and the team must use every trick they know to try and get out of there alive. Who will survive and what mil be left of their souls?
“We take no shit off the hereafter.” With dialogue like that, it’s easy to detect a certain casual arrogance from the team of ghost hunters on display here. And it is in plentiful supply; Martin Delaney plays designer-stubbled, unblinking host Jerry Mackay (a clever Jeremy Kyle namecheck?), and Lucy Cudden is Anna Gilmour, the pouting, tight-mini-skirt wearing telekinetic, none of whom are short of posturing self-assurance.
There is the technology geek (Alexander Perkins), who operates the equipment for the subsequent broadcast, and the strong and silent engineer (Simon Merrells) who isn’t asked to contribute much until the finale. Grahame Fox plays the manifestation of the Judas Ghost in probably the film’s best performance.
Mackay’s insistence on meeting with the ghost (“I want to talk to it,”) comes across not as a brave stance, or even reckless determination, more testosterone-fuelled petulance. That’s the problem really. The characters start off as cyphers and don’t progress. Their CGI-influenced jeopardy doesn’t help them become sympathetic and despite competent performances and apocalyptic dialogue, no threat is particularly tangible and chills are notably absent.
One development is that Mackay is seen to blink several times after the climactic moments, which suggest he has been moved beyond ‘smouldering’ by the fairly lame supernatural experience.