Friday 4 December 2020

Broken Spirits

d. Steven Hines; w./p. Geoff Harrison; cast: Amy Littler, Ryan Leadbetter, Alec Walters, Graham Bridges, Steven Hines, Alex Labelle, Ashley Riley, Paul Wilkes, Paul Malone

Produced by staff and students at Cowley International College, St Helens (30 years after it served as a location for Chariots of Fire) this amateur feature does a surprisingly good job of maintaining its central mystery. A trouble-making student clashes with a strong-willed teacher but when things get out of hand, he swears he has actually backed off and blames the ghost of a former pupil. Unknown to all but a few colleagues, this teacher was involved in that boy’s accidental death. As her mental state deteriorates, she struggles to cope with the pressure. Camera-work and sound are nothing to write home about but the film does a good job of walking an ambiguous line between ghost story and psychological thriller until the final revelation. A subplot about a ghost-hunting TV show filming an episode on the premises is a red herring. Rugby international James Roby has a cameo. There was a single local screening in December 2011 and a DVD the following year.

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