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Urban Ghost Story (1998)

She died… She came back… Something followed…

Directed by:

Genevieve Jolliffe

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 140 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Heather Ann Foster plays Lizzie Fisher, a 12-year-old living in a Scottish inner city high-rise. Her single mother Kate (Stephanie Buttle) is struggling to keep their little household going, and is facing ever-increasing threats from a loan shark (Billy Boyd). When Lizzie is involved in an ecstasy-induced car accident, she 'dies' but is brought back by doctors, while her companion in the car is not so lucky. As she returns to her normal routine, she starts to notice peculiar things happening and soon comes to believe that something unpleasant came back with her from the dead.

In time, the growing number of strange occurrences convinces Kate that something is seriously wrong. She is out of her depth in trying to understand this possibly supernatural problem and tries to seek help, but everywhere she looks for it she is given little assistance. Eventually she gets a response from a newspaper reporter called John Fox (Jason Connery), who brings in a variety of paranormal 'experts' to help her. However, while Lizzie continues to be tormented by nightmares and visions, John is more interested in getting the story.

This supernatural thriller made in Scotland starts well but fails to live up to its promise. The first quarter of the film is genuinely creepy, but from there it starts to lose its focus. By the end, it is not really clear what conclusion it is trying to draw and the tension simply fizzles out. There are effective performances given by several of the cast members, including the outstanding Heather Ann Foster as the little girl Lizzie, and Billy Boyd as the loan shark. This was an early appearance for Boyd who has gone on to play the hobbit Pippin in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

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It's Got: An early appearance by Billy Boyd.

It Needs: A stronger conclusion.

DVD Extras A decent collection of extras are included on this single-disc release. Extras: Director’s commentary, Commentary by producer Chris Jones, Making of, Documentary, Deleted scenes, Music score with gallery. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Ringu, The Others, What Lies Beneath.

Summary

This is a decent but not outstanding low-budget British supernatural thriller that makes a good start but fails to really capitalise on it.

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