The Ghoul
The Ghoul (1975)dvd.jpg
UK VHS cover
Directed byFreddie Francis
Written byAnthony Hinds
Produced byKevin Francis
StarringPeter Cushing
John Hurt
Veronica Carlson
CinematographyJohn Wilcox
Edited byHenry Richardson
Music byHarry Robertson
Production
company
Tyburn Film Productions
Distributed byRank Film Distributors
Release date
May 1975 (UK)
Running time
93 minutes (Uncut theatrical release). 88 min/80 min (2002 DVD unauthorized release)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

The Ghoul is a 1975 British Tyburn Film Productions horror film directed by Freddie Francis and starring Peter Cushing, John Hurt, Alexandra Bastedo, Veronica Carlson, Gwen Watford, Don Henderson and Ian McCulloch. In the United States, the film was released as Night Of The Ghoul and The Thing In The Attic.

Plot

A party of friends are separated on a trip to Land's End. Two girls (Alexandra Bastedo and Veronica Carlson) are abducted and taken to the home of a former clergyman (Peter Cushing) who has lost his faith. A young man (John Hurt) who works for him is forced to reveal the horrible truth about the lonely mansion.

Cast

Production

This was the second film produced by Tyburn Film Productions.[1] It was shot on location at Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England from 4 March 1974.[1] While the film was in production, actor Peter Cushing went through emotional turmoil: before he signed on to do this film, he lost his beloved wife Helen to natural causes, leading him to wish he would die himself and soon. According to co-star Veronica Carlson, director Freddie Francis made Cushing do multiple takes during the scene where he talks about his love for his late wife. This caused Cushing great distress and reduced the widowed actor and some of the crew to tears. Cushing played other men who lost family members in other horror films in the 1970s, including the 1972 film Asylum and the 1973 film The Creeping Flesh.

Reception

Variety praised the "assured acting" and "impressive set decoration" but called the film "far too tame for its own good," with a script that "moves from A to Z without generating much excitement and surprise in between."[2] Geoff Brown of The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote that the revelation of the titular character near the end was "hardly worth the wait," and that "only John Hurt injects more than a fraction of life into his character and dialogue."[3]

TV Guide gave the film two stars out of four, writing that "Cushing and other familiar Hammer faces give this the old college try, but Francis' dull direction--endless shots of Henderson's legs creeping down the stairs--makes the cause hopeless."[4]

References

  1. ^ Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema, Reynolds & Hearn 200
  2. ^ "The Ghoul". Variety: 19. 11 June 1975.
  3. ^ Brown, Geoff (July 1975). "The Ghoul". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 42 (498): 155.
  4. ^ "The Ghoul". TV Guide. Retrieved 10 October 2018.