Sunset Aberavon beach

The Ghoul (2017)

Okay, this is a new thing for me. I’m going to write my thoughts as if I’m saying them, like it’s a podcast, so I don’t get hung up on editing each sentence. Otherwise this becomes just another piece of work instead of a release.

So, the film The Ghoul has layers, which automatically makes it rare these days amongst the films I manage to watch. And it has psychotherapists in it, which is almost unheard of. And it’s a thriller of sorts, although being complicated I’m inclined not to try to put it in a box. As Patrick Swayze says, nobody puts Baby in a corner.

The protaganist, Chris, is babyish, in a way. At the start he’s a tough cop arriving in London to solve a tricky case, but this persona soon dissolves into the puddle of who he really is — a depressed, lost addict who stalks people, making them part of his inner fantasy life. He loves Kathleen, a university friend who he never told about his true feelings, who is now married to another friend of his. The ambiguity of this dynamic, as well as the mania and sociopathy of fellow therapy patient, Coulsen, gives the mystery a hard edge.

Chris is a sort of ghoul, as is Coulsen, and in a way, so are these therapists (all therapists?), at least in Chris’s imagination. His depression begins to consume him and his dissolution blurs boundaries of time and space.

This doesn’t do it justice. It’s worth seeing to see the mystery for yourself. I’m still thinking about it, which means it is a serious piece of art as far as I’m concerned.