Margam Castle is a real place. It’s actually a large Victorian-era country house in Margam, Port Talbot, Wales. It’s also one of the most haunted places in the UK. So it was inevitable that a film like The Haunting of Margam Castle would be made. And given the way he churns out product, it might have been equally inevitable that writer/director Andrew Jones (The Jonestown Haunting, Werewolves of the Third Reich) would make it. Which makes the results equally inevitable.
The Haunting of Margam Castle actually begins in the USA, with Professors Holzer (Amy Quick) and Barron (Ashton Spear) being told they need to investigate the title property. It seems the school needs some publicity to interest donors so they need to go film some ghosts. Or convincingly fake it.
After some stock footage of planes and cars, they’re in a Welsh pub where the barmaid (Caroline Munro, Maniac, Cute Little Buggers) is explaining that it’s Welsh Rarebit, not Welsh Rabbit. Once they get to Margam Castle they, and we, get a lesson in its history from Mr. Morgan (Derren Nesbitt, Where Eagles Dare, The Playbirds) and psychic Edith Withers (Jane Merrow. Hands of the Ripper, The Six Million Dollar Man). And then, under a bright full moon, the ghosts come out to play.
The Haunting of Margam Castle is filled with actors and actresses from the 60s and 70s. Apart from those mentioned Garrick Hagon (Red Leader 3/Biggs from Star Wars), Judy Matheson (Twins of Evil, The Flesh and Blood Show), and Simon Bamford. (Hellraiser, Dark Ditties Presents ‘Mrs Wiltshire’) all make appearances.
Sadly, that’s about the only way The Haunting of Margam Castle improves on Jones’ previous films. The script is slow-moving and predictable. There are flashbacks to Margam’s past, including one featuring witchfinder Mathew Hopkins who predates the building of Margam by about 300 years. Cameras go wonky when something happens. And, of course, the house seals itself up trapping everyone inside.
There are no effects. The ghosts look just like normal humans. There’s no gore. Even when somebody gets a rifle shot to the head at point-blank there isn’t even CGI blood spray. There are no scares either, not even a cheap cat jumping out of the shadows one. The Haunting of Margam Castle at least tries to be a horror film so that puts it ahead of the last film of his I saw, The Jonestown Haunting, but that’s also not saying much.
The Haunting of Margam Castle is available on streaming and DVD in the US via 4Digital. They’ll be releasing it in the UK in October. You can check 4Digital’s Facebook page for more details.