GHOSTWATCH (1992 U.K.) D: LESLEY MANNING W: STEPHEN VOLK
The BBC were at their most playful when they aired this almost spot-on fake documentary/reality tv/event special at primetime on Halloween. Michael Parkinson and Mike Smith interview a parapsychologist and take phone calls in the studio while Sarah Greene (and her camera crew) spends the night with a family in their haunted suburban home. Increasingly spooky things happen and callers claim to be able to see a figure in the background, provide background history to the house and report strange phenomenon, supposedly caused by the broadcast. It degenerates into silliness before the end and more astute viewers would have figured it out before giveaway credits roll at the end (Volk wrote GOTHIC and THE GUARDIAN), but the mock light-entertainment framework is impressively emulated even if you are in on the joke. Craig Charles is particularly convincing. Look for the subliminal shots too! I remember kids in school talking endlessly about how spooky stuff was supposed to have happened in their house while watching this on it`s original release. The tabloids tried to connect it with a suicide, among other things. It`s now on DVD.

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