d./w./p. Andrew Spencer; cast: Ian Brooker, Peter Wight, Louise Paris, Bella Hamblin, Erin Connolly, Natalie Wilson, Rob Stanley, Alison Belbin, Sean Connolly, Tom Roberts, Glen Hill, Sarah Horner
Comparable to Ghostwatch in both theme and quality, Spencer’s second feature is one of the great British screen hauntings, anchored on a superlative performance by Brooker. Eddie Brewer is an old-school paranormal researcher, keen to find evidence but careful and cynical. A TV documentary crew follow him but this isn’t found footage, simply incorporating some TV footage into the main narrative. He’s investigating a little girl with an invisible friend and spooky activities in an old Council-owned building: two cases which eventually overlap. Eddie’s antagonistic relationships with the film crew, a sceptical academic and other ghost-hunters meld perfectly with the growing supernatural ambience which builds to a genuinely frightening conclusion. Starting life as a ten-minute short in 2001, Casebook was conceived as TV series then became a feature, eventually re-envisioned for TV in 2019. Filmed in Birmingham from November 2010 to January 2011, it premiered at a local festival in March 2012. Essential viewing.