The Ghosts of Borley Rectory
If you've been following Soulless Cult for a while now, chances are you're familiar with two things about me: I love a ghost story, and I love demonic nuns. So checking out THE GHOSTS OF BORLEY RECTORY was a no-brainer, since its story is based around an evil nun that is haunting a rectory in 1937 England and the people who decide to go in an investigate it - and if that doesn't sound awesome to you, I don't know what would. So I tossed in my couple bucks and an hour and twenty minutes of my night to check it out, and I gotta admit, the film's not half bad. It's an eerie little ghost story, perfect for a day where you may be snowed in to your house or up late at night. If you're love for horror comes from tense jump scare scenes in the style of The Conjuring series, then I'm not entirely sure you'll appreciate this flick for what it is, considering it's use of unexpected jump scares are quite minimal; that being said, however, there's no shortage of unsettling and uncomfortable scenes where our heroes are met face-to-face with the evil nun herself. But overall, The Ghosts of Borley Rectory shares a spooky specter story - and it's a story that has a shocking amount of truths to it, based off the real life occurrences at the actual Borley Rectory in Essex, England. Films like these that have not one, but multiple references to reality are always just a little extra fun, simply because the writers took the time to include certain events or details, and this film is no exception. Director Steven M. Smith - who teamed up with Christopher Jolley to write The Ghosts of Borley Rectory - definitely showed that they did their homework and didn't mind throwing in some extra creativity into the pot. Mix that together with some of the pretty sick visual effects in the film, and you've got a nice little ghost story to scratch that paranormal itch you may have. If this sounds at all cool to you, give this movie a chance this weekend and I think you'll dig the sinister direction the movie goes in - and even with its less than ideal ending, the film delivers an entertaining hour and a half at least!
The Ghosts of Borley Manor follows the story of paranormal investigator Harry Price (excellently played by Toby Wynn-Davies) as he returns to the rectory in 1937 along with his in-training sidekick Mark (played by Reece Putinas) for a six month residency at the property to dedicate every moment of the day and night to researching and documenting evidence of life after death. Price has colleagues and friends who share their stories of hauntings in the rectory, but one thing is constant: the terrifying visitation from a dreadful nun who's presence would send shivers down the most hardened of spines. So Price and his sidekick arrive at the property, along with other various help, to try and capture evidence of the nun whose presence still haunts the rectory's rooms, and to maybe help her fully cross over so she can finally rest in peace... that's if they can make contact with her first. Before long, the rectory comes to life with paranormal activity and the faceless nun makes her appearance to the group - chilling them to their very core both through nightmares and physical presence. What follows is a haunting experience for everyone who's there to witness it - and also a chance to communicate with her and find out why she's causing so much fear. Will Harry Price and his team get the hard evidence they desire to prove to the world that life after death exists? Or will the nun's evil experiences prove too much for the investigators and mediums to handle? Find out in... THE GHOSTS OF BORLEY RECTORY!
Judging by the short synopsis, doesn't this movie sound sick?! It honestly really tells such a neatly presented little story that is a lot of fun to watch unfold, especially once you really get to see Harry Price light up as the paranormal activity begins to escalate in the rectory. His presence alone is a joy to watch - and honestly it would be fucking cool to see this character doing ghost hunts in modern day television instead of some of the other goofballs we have today. The character they developed for the movie is just totally lovable and a great time to watch on screen. Going back to what I had mentioned earlier about the film crossing paths with reality, Harry Price was an actual British researcher who lived at the actual Borley Rectory from May 1937 to May 1938. Going even further, in March of '38, a séance was held using a planchette by a medium who made contact with a woman claiming that she was a nun who was murdered at the property and either buried in a wall or cellar. It's these small little things - that I found out after watching the film - that make it just a little extra cool. The film its self has two séance scenes and both are fucking spectacular and look amazing visually; a definite highlight of the movie for me. There's a whole lot of good in this movie, but the one downfall for the film for me was its ending, and it's hard to even pinpoint why. It just felt very rushed and unsatisfying - like all of this was building and building, and it looked great and had a great story (and even Price's backstory and reasoning for wanting to pursue Borley so much was fantastic), and it just felt like the ending missed the mark. It didn't feel like it had the sinister yet satisfying ending that the movie deserved after telling such a killer ghost story. However, obviously the ending isn't that dreadful because honestly, even with the lackluster ending, I still totally enjoyed myself and thought the movie was worth both the time and money invested into it. Like I said earlier, The Ghosts of Borley Rectory isn't a Conjuring copycat - it's a fresh, lighthearted yet sinister story and it tells its story fantastically well. And I think having Wynn-Davies portray Price definitely plays a huge part in how enjoyable it is to watch the story unfold.
As far as the evil nun goes, she's pretty fuckin' evil looking. Will you see her in your nightmares after watching the film? Probably not, since her look is a bit forgettable and nothing really too unexpected, but she's got some pretty rad scenes. But her feet?! Yeah, those bad boys will haunt you for days and even weeks to come; they're absolutely dreadful to look at, and you see them more than once! But it is worth noting once more that there really is some pretty cool visual effects that go down in the movie, and there's editing done that are just sick. Again, not really anything that will blow your mind or win any awards, but it makes for some pretty cool scenes and an entertaining watch. The Ghosts of Borley Rectory has a lot going for it and does a lot to make up for its flaws, even if the major flaw of the film is its ending. But I gotta suggest checking this one out just for the love of the story and the killer performance of Wynn-Davies as Harry Price. If you know what you're going into and know not to expect a Conjuring copycat, then this movie will at least entertain you. Check it out!