03rd Feb2023

‘Ghost Track’ Review

by James Rodrigues

Stars: Adam Probets, Tamara Glynn, Darren Randall, Katie Richmond-Ward, Lisa Poisman, Natalie Biggs, James Barnes, Daniel Crowe | Written and Directed by Jason M.J. Brown

Writer/director Jason M.J. Brown opens his latest film on the image of a terrified woman, running from something unseen. Courtney (Natalie Biggs) hopes to evade whatever’s chasing her by hiding in a scrapyard, although the plan falls apart when spooky occurrences happen around her. As windscreens shatter, car alarms blare, and a falling car almost crushes her, Courtney is driven to a bridge where she falls to her death. It’s an attention-grabbing opening which successfully presents the terror on-screen, without showing its source.

A group of children experience tragedy while playing near train tracks, as a train hits one of their own, Morris (Daniel Crowe). Frightened and helpless, the others run off without a clue how they could help. Years later, the friends are now adults; Courtney, Nathan (Darren Randall), Sarah (Kate Richmond-Ward), her boyfriend Marcus (Adam Probets), and Chris (James Barnes).

As they receive death threats, old wounds are reopened for the friends. Passable performances convey how they’re haunted by their past, with contradictory claims about finding help for Morris making it clear they’re lying to themselves. The tragedy has birthed a myth about Morris’ vengeful spirit lurking around the train tracks, which may be connected to a missing bus of children, including Nathan’s son. As the adults are drawn back to face past ghosts while children lay in peril, the story feels inspired by the adult segments from Stephen King’s It.

From uninspiring locations to unconvincing effects, the small budget does cause notable limitations while also allowing the filmmakers to do more with minimal resources. While Morris is mostly kept off-screen, other resources are used to effectively convey a haunting including shadows, reflections, and first-person perspective. While jump-scares are not avoided, the focus is on something more underlying. This may be a budgetary reason, yet it works regardless.

What’s less effective is a late revelation, causing the story to take an uninteresting path. This element feels like a forced inclusion added to give an unnecessary reason for what’s happening and unfortunately hampers the story. It’s a shame because what unfolded before that was an effective tale which never outstayed its welcome.

*** 3/5

Ghost Track is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime now.


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