Tuesday, 20 October 2015



I really don't want to spend too much time on Unhallowed Ground as it frankly isn't worth the effort: a dull and tiresome low-budget British horror in which too much happens due to plot contrivances and none of it is particularly well executed. Six army cadets (three boys, three girls) in their final year at elite boarding schools are roped into their final practical assessment: a night patrol of the boys' school. What they don't know is that the building was a sanctuary during the Great Plague, there was a deal made with the Devil involving ritual suicide, and this very night is the anniversary of the killings.

What they also don't realise is that tonight has been chosen, purely by chance, for a disgruntled Army veteran to break into the school and steal priceless rare books and first folios from the archive; but the cadets assume that any disturbances have been deliberately set up to test their military mettle under pressure. They do a bit of patrolling before giving up, chilling out with some booze and going off for some discreet fooling about. But who set up the Satanic circle in one of the upstairs rooms? What are the glowy-eyed figures occasionally glimpsed in mirrors? And what of the Plague Doctor, a masked spectre with a huge beak-like nose?

What the Plague Doctor doesn't get is his own cheapo horror franchise in which he stalks top educational establishments bumping off odious rich kids. What we don't get is a film that's any good at all: the characters are stupid and uninteresting (and don't have the discipline that's essential if they're even halfway serious about an Army career) and the extra plot twists in the last reel don't add up because they haven't left themselves enough victims. Impossible to care, and no fun to watch.


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