[Review] Ghost in the Graveyard (2019)
Set in the small and eerie town of Mt. Moriah, Ghost in the Graveyard follows the ghost of a local girl, Martha, who tragically died during the childhood game, Ghost in the Graveyard. Vengeful and unforgiving, Martha returns to haunt the now teenagers who witnessed her murder. The teen longtime blamed for the incident, Sally Sullivan takes it upon herself to solve the ghost story and put Martha to rest in peace for good. As the mystery of Martha’s return unravels, deep secrets are revealed that will have consequences for everyone involved.
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Years back a young girl named Martha (Shiloh Verrico) was accidentally killed while playing the children’s game of Ghost in the Graveyard. The film begins by showing a group of small children playing the game when they suddenly become frightened by something and begin to run away, but not before one of them trips and falls into an open grave and cannot get out. Sally (Faye Giordana), reaches down to help save her friend but their hands don’t seem to touch. Unfortunately for Sally, she witnesses her friend, Martha, die right before her eyes.
Fast forward ten years later and we discover that now teenage Sally (Kelli Berglund) has returned back to her hometown where she’s been mysteriously absent from, for a long time. Sally is shy and a little withdrawn, she only wants to fit in with the other girls at her Catholic School.
She finds this difficult as her old nemesis, Zoe (Olivia Larsen), along with her pack of smart-ass friends keep pushing for her to admit that the reason she’s been gone all this time is that she has been in a mental institution for going crazy. Zoe then tells Sally that she and some friends are going to meet up in the woods after school and invites her along. Sally ends up not going but we do get to meet Reed, some hottie that both Zoe and Sally have a thing for.
Next, we see Sally visiting the cemetery so she can put flowers on little Martha’s grave. While tending to the grave two local sheriffs spot see her and decide among themselves that they should keep an eye on her. After all, everything was just fine until Sally showed back up, and now that they have another murder on their hands, a small boy that went missing while riding his bike home after school, they think they should do just that. I have no clue as to why would they single out Sally when half the town seems to be a bunch of mad hatters. Most of these people are creepy as hell.
However, Sally’s father Charlie (Jake Busey) and brother Billy (Zebedee Row) are very supportive and loving towards her, but there seems to be some dark underlying secret that they’re not quite telling. Even the Sheriff has clearly become a little off. This is where all hell breaks loose and we spend the remaining part of the film following the characters around as they desperately try to piece this puzzle together before time runs out.
I really enjoyed this movie, for the most part, it kept my attention fully as the twists and turns unraveled. All of the actors played their parts very well, they were all believable and I actually cared and hoped that most would make it out alive. The music score was fantastic and was partly to blame for me being so jumpy. The cinematography and overall settings were beautiful and very hauntingly, especially the nighttime cemetery scenes with the creepy fog rolling in, that was truly done well as it created a most spooky atmosphere.
I have to give Maria Olsen proper credit with her creepy appearance as Zoe’s mother, she’s such a blast to watch! The film was also Charlie Comparetto’s directorial debut, so props to him for a job well done. I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with. I definitely recommend seeing this one, I only wished it came out before Halloween instead of after, oh well, BOO hoo (pun intended).
Here’s a bit of trivia about the game ‘Ghost in the Graveyard’ – It’s actually a real game that’s played with a group of kids either outside at night or in a large, darkened room. The goal of the game is to find the “ghost” and avoid getting tagged. Think ‘Tag-Your-It’ or ‘Hide & Seek’. Before the game begins, a “base” or safe zone is agreed upon. One person is chosen to be the “ghost” and hides while the others cover their eyes and count out loud to a specific number, usually up to 50 or 100. After everyone is finished counting, they go and try to find the ghost.
If someone sees the ghost, they yell “ghost in the graveyard”, and then everyone tries to run back to the base without getting tagged by the ghost. If nobody sees the ghost, then the ghost has two options. He/she can continue hiding, and then if someone gets close they can jump out to tag and scare that person. Or, the ghost can move around stealthily to try and confuse everyone. If someone is tagged, then they become the ghost for the next round. If nobody gets tagged, then the ghost hides again.
Title: Ghost in the Graveyard
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Drama
Studio: TriCoast Entertainment/DarkCoast
Starring: Kelli Berglund, Jake Busey, Olivia Larsen
MPAA Rated: NR
Director(s): Charlie Comparetto
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
Our Rating: 3.2 /5
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