Rachel and Kevin move from the east coast to begin a new life
in the Hollywood hills. As they move in to their new home
the neighbours turn up to introduce themselves, and all go
out of their way to make the couple feel at home. Only one
man, whom the others refer to as a simpleton, appears not
to fit in to the local lifestyle. When the man goes missing,
curiously Rachel is the only person concerned about his disappearance.
She experiences a couple of ghost sightings, but tries to
shrug them off for Kevin's sake. When she takes a modelling
job, staying away for a few days, she returns to find that
Kevin has changed. He is harsher, more brutal and determined.
With almost religious fervour he turns his hand to writing
a western movie script, which is almost too conveniently snapped-up
by a movie producer neighbour at a party. Gradually, Rachel
realises to her horror that Edendale has quite a movie history
which dates back to the 1920s, and the hill is still haunted
by the Hollywood heroes of yesteryear...
use a football analogy, The Ghosts of Edendale is a
film of two halves. The first half is well-paced, the suspense
slowly building over a period of time. Unlike many films,
we get to know the central characters a little before too
much happens to them. But it never has the feeling of being
slow. We learn that Rachel has seen ghosts before, back home,
and we get to witness the early sightings with her, one of
which is a genuine scary surprise straight out of a Japanese
horror film. The
ghostly faces in the fence are reminiscent of Graham Masterton's
novel Revenge of the Manitou, wherein a face forms
in the wood of a wardrobe in the opening chapters.
I also like the, if you will, otherworldly aspect of Edendale.
It's a Stepford Wives or Village
of the Damned neighbourhood of well-to-do film
people. The surreal quality reminds me of a leisurely drive
through Kent I undertook with my sister and brother- in-law
some years back. We arrived seemingly by chance in Edenbridge
(see the connection now?) where a village fete was in full
swing. There was some mystery as to where the mayor and the
carnival queen had disappeared to, and loudhailers kept calling
for their return. When we tried to leave Edenbride all roads
led back to the village and it took us four of five attempts
to get away.
back to the plot, and at the point when Kevin turns bad so
does the film. Although the notion that Kevin is - or becomes
- the ghost of silent movie western star Tom Mix is a good
one, the characters and the story itself lose their way. Perhaps
feeling that an impressive impact should be made to conclude
the movie, we get an unwanted plethora of ghosts. Hasn't anyone
told these people that quite often less is more? Suspension
of disbelief is also lost when Rachel, instead of leaving
to hitchhike her way back to the east coast when Kevin turns
violent, invites her sister over to collect her and then proceeds
to leave the woman alone with Kevin, her unstable boyfriend.
I also felt cheated out of a logical ending.
features include a commentary with the director and producer,
Behind the Scenes (which consists of lots of cam footage
of very untidy rooms, and warnings to other low-budget filmmakers
not to shoot a film in their own house), the Remaking of
a Scene, a Special Effects short, Deleted Scenes
and a Trailer. In short, The Ghosts of Edendale
is not a total disaster, although it does get very messy at