Director Steven Monroe’s (I Spit on You Grave – 2010) “Grave Halloween” is coming to UK DVD this October from Kaleidoscope entertainment and I managed to get a look at an advance copy.
It’s Halloween, and a group of student film makers from the US, who are studying in Japan, decide to make a documentary about the infamous “Aokigahara” forest near Mount Fiji.
Dubbed the “suicide forest”, as more people kill themselves there than in any other place in the world, the forest is also said to be haunted by ghosts and various demons from Japanese folklore.
They are joined by a young Japanese girl named Maiko (played by the somewhat un-Japanese looking Kaitlyn Leeb of “Total Recall " fame), whose mother killed herself in that particular forest and the documentary is partly about her going to pay her respects.
However, a couple of their college friends who’ve found out about their documentary decide to play a prank on them. After which things start to go awry for the group, as they quickly become separated and lost under very mysterious circumstances.
Bumping into a local man named Jin (Hiro Kanagawa – Godzilla ), it seems help may be at hand as he agrees to help Miko and Kyle the camerman (Graham Wardle) find their way back out and get help. But it seems that supernatural elements are at work and they don’t take kindly to being mocked…
Originally made for the Sci-Fi channel, the film could best be described as a cross between “Blair Witch” and “The Ring”. The plot is a little hit and miss in places, but overall proves to be an effective ghostly thriller and also benefits from a solid cast. So if supernatural chills are your thing, it doesn’t disappoint.
The review disc I was sent was bare bones, so I’m assuming the final release will similarly be devoid of extras. The film is released to UK DVD on October 27th, just in time for Halloween!
Pre-order the UK DVD from Amazon.co.uk