Today I watched “Blackwood”, a 2014 haunted house thriller film, the debut feature film directed by Adam Wimpenny, whose previous credits include various TV shows including “The Revolution Will Be Televised” and “The Real Hustle”
Feeling recovered from a shattering emotional breakdown and marriage problems, college professor Ben Marshall (Ed Stoppard – “Branded, “The Pianist”) relocates to a (fictious) small rural village, Hazeing, with his wife (Sophia Myles – “Tristan & Isolde”, “Underworld”) and young son (Isaac Andrews), hoping for a fresh start.
With a new lecturing job (in Bristol, judging by a location shot of the Clifton suspension bridge) and a new home, the sprawling and in-need-of-work Blackwood House in Hazeing, things look to be going his way.
Soon after arriving at Blackwood House, however, Ben starts to see and hear things that seem to relate to his home’s last owner, Mrs Warner. The arrival of Ben’s old friend and fellow academic, Dominic (Greg Wise – “Walking On Sunshine”), brings further unwanted complications and tensions.
Stumbling onto the mysterious disappearance of a local woman and her missing son, Ben suspects ex-soldier turned gamekeeper (Russell Tovey – “Being Human”) and the local vicar (Paul Kaye – “Game Of Thrones”) are involved and starts to investigate.
Ben becomes increasingly obsessed with trying to unlock the secrets of Blackwood’s history – but at what cost?
This is a very good ghost story, but with a neat twist. The clues dotted throughout, primarily in the form of the things that Ben is seeing and hearing, suggest a number of different ways that events will pan out, but when everything becomes clear during the film’s closing minutes there is still a satisfying sense of surprise. A decent film, with some beautiful locations. Well worth a watch…