Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ghoul (2013)

Timmy, Barry and Doug are best friends who spend their days exploring the woods, playing in the cemetery, and making an underground fort in a huge hole.  Timmy has a pretty good life, but both Barry and Doug are being abused by a parent.

When Doug falls through the ground at the cemetery, the boys discover a deep hole with a horrible odor.  They also discover a hole in the floor of the cemetery tool shed which leads to a tunnel. So they decide to come back the next night to investigate.

Years ago there was an accident in the local mine. One of the survivors swore that he saw something down there, and the legend of the ghoul was born.  After that whenever a person or pet disappeared, it was blamed on the ghoul.

When three teenagers disappear and another teen is found dead, Timmy wonders if it is the ghoul at work.  Things get unbearable for both Doug and Barry, and all three boys end up at the cemetery one night and something is after them.

When the protagonists are kids, there's always the question whether the film is intended for kids or adults.  Super 8 and Stand By Me revolve around kids and their exploits, but the movies are well done and adults can enjoy them too.   This movie seems to be aimed at teens, but it includes issues of child abuse, suicide, and infanticide.

The trailer I saw was pretty good so I was unaware that this was a TV movie, which explains why it's pretty tame.  Surprisingly the subject of child abuse is shown throughout the movie.  Doug's mother is molesting him, which he reveals to Timmy who he swears to secrecy. While Barry's father is drunk,  angry and physically abusive.  There's never any resolution to these situations so we're left wondering if the kids final experiences have empowered them so they can get out of the cycle of abuse, or the poor kids are going to keep being victims.

The movie is supposed to take place in 1984, but there is no way to know that without the movie telling us.  There's nothing in the feel of the movie or the clothing to portray this.

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