I think we can all agree that we’re living in complicated times as far as being able to distinguish fact from fiction. Regardless of whether or not you believe we’re victims of “fake” news from time to time, a recent documentary now available on Amazon calls all manner of what’s real and what’s not into question on multiple levels. I have to admit, that’s part of the fun.
As a short documentary, “The Blackwell Ghost” investigates the “facts” surrounding the haunting of a 1930s suburban house. Add to that the possibility that this is no documentary at all, but the result of a well-orchestrated farce perpetrated to look like a documentary. It takes less than an hour to watch the whole affair, so you can determine whether the filmmaker really experienced the haunting at all or not. If you decide in the affirmative, then you can proceed to the next level and reckon with the ghost and the haunting.
To add to the mystic and mystery, the only credits offered point to “John and Jimmynut,” but the affable guy who shoots all the footage and narrates the film is never named. In the opening shots, with a hand-held camera, he explains his situation. He’s been in California earning a living directing zombie movies, but his love for his old Kentucky home has brought him back.
For the time being, he and his wife seem to be living with his parents. He admits that he’s hesitate to tell his mother that he’s leaving the zombies behind to make a film about ghosts. He hopes, once and for all, to prove their existence.
The opening shots show him in a well-appointed, very big home, so if our guy hasn’t made it big with the zombie films, at least he can count on his well-to-do parents. His supportive wife gives him no grief about the ghost-hunting adventure, offering to accompany him when the ghost filming starts.
Our guy makes a connection with a man in Pennsylvania who reaches out to him after he solicits individuals on Facebook to send him details about their ghost encounters. He finds the story of this particular haunting intriguing enough to hop in his private plane and head north, and it’s not long before our guy and his wife spend the night in the house with the ghost.
Of course, they’re in the house on a dark and stormy night. Of course, people have died in the house. Of course, in the 40s, an insane woman named Mrs. Blackwell chopped up neighborhood children and deposited their bodies in the basement well.
What follows is a well-documented, or well “fake” documented, hour of our guy, his wife, and their encounter with things that go bump in the night. If it looks real, and it feels real, can you trust your senses to know it’s real. Never.
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Marilyn Robitaille writes film reviews for the Stephenville Empire-Tribune and the Glen Rose Reporter.