While there are quite a few Portuguese language horror movies, most of these are actually Brazilian in origin. Portugal itself has almost no tradition of horror films, indeed the only one that comes to mind is the recent The Forest Of The Lost Souls. Now we have another one, Inner Ghosts, which was ironically enough, shot in English.
Helen (Celia Williams) was a talented medium. She’s let her talents fall into disuse after the death of her daughter and her failure to communicate with her spirit. Now she’s a scientist, studying the mind and its mysteries. In particular how memories and information are stored.
Helen’s mentor Moira dies, and she leaves her an apartment. One full of spirits. She moves in and begins expanding her research. What memories can be carried to the other side, and how is that achieved? She’s joined by Moira’s daughter Rachel (Iris Cayatte) a psychic in training. And later by Elsa (Elizabeth Bochmann) an artist whose psychic abilities have made her a target of entities. Things become further complicated when Helen is offered a gift from beyond. But, like all such things, it comes with a price.
Writer/director Paulo Leite cites British horror film in general and the work of Nigel Kneale in particular as his inspiration. And Kneale’s influence is very obvious as Inner Ghost spends its first half setting up a scientific background for its supernatural goings-on. If you’ve seen Quatermass And The Pit/Five Million Years To Earth or The Stone Tape you know just what I mean. If you haven’t, do so, they’re essential viewing for those with an interest in the history of the genre.
Once Inner Ghosts switches into full-on horror mode though it doesn’t hold back. The entity is a hunter, a creature that does the biding of the demons in return for eventually becoming one of them. And it’s capable of some very nasty shit. Some of which is connected to the death of Helen’s daughter. Once money man Steinman (Norman MacCallum) starts interfering in the name of getting a return on his investment things quickly spiral out of control.
Inner Ghosts was just what I needed after a long run of overly familiar and downright bad films. It will be released by High Octane Pictures on January 7th. You can check its Facebook page for more details.
Epileptics and those sensitive to strobing lights should be warned the final scenes of Inner Ghosts makes extensive use of them. And a 3D printer. But at least 3D printers don’t cause seizures.