This Halloween 101 Films are releasing Ghostwatch (1992) on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK and USA – A BBC production that terrified Britain on 31st October 1992.
Despite being part of BBC Drama’s Screen One series, the presence of trusted presenters, along with the quality of the production, convinced thousands of people that the events depicted on screen were genuine, and taking place live.
Title 028 on the 101 Films Black Label, this 30th anniversary edition includes a new documentary on the making of Ghostwatch, a new commentary, limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork, a booklet with new writing on the film and more.
Sarah Greene and Craig Charles report from a reputedly haunted London home for the outside broadcast, while Michael Parkinson and Mike Smith stay in the warmth and “safety” of a BBC studio. The Early family are allegedly being harassed by the ghost ‘Pipes’, so named as his banging and crashing were initially attributed to bad plumbing. After a deliberately slow start the tension gradually builds, culminating in a terrifying crescendo. Although entirely fictional, the masterly combination of great scripting, intuitive direction and perfect casting made the supernatural pastiche appear frighteningly real.
An inspiration to a generation of filmmakers, and years ahead of the profusion of found footage movies that would follow, Ghostwatch is regarded as a classic of the genre and remains as relevant, as terrifying, and as inspirational today.
This release includes brand new extras:-
- ‘Do You Believe in Ghosts?’, a brand new 30th anniversary documentary on the Ghostwatch phenomenon.
- Commentary with film historians Shellie McMurdo and Stella Gaynor.
- Commentary with writer Stephen Volk, producer Ruth Baumgarten and director Lesley Manning.
- Shooting Reality by Lesley Manning
- Limited Edition Booklet: Includes ‘Extra Sensory Perception Management’ by Sarah Appleton, ‘Ghostwatch – As it Happened’ by Tim Murray and short story ‘31/10’ by Ghostwatch writer Stephen Volk.
- Reproduced script, annotated by director Lesley Manning.
- Set of six art cards.
Although Ghostwatch was aired under the Screen One drama banner, its documentary style led many viewers to believe the events were real, causing much controversy after the show’s airing. The BBC was besieged with 30,000 phone calls from irate and frightened viewers, including Parkinson’s elderly mother, and British tabloids and other newspapers criticised the BBC the next day for the disturbing nature of some scenes, such as Greene’s final scene where she is locked in an under-stairs cupboard with the howling ghost, and Parkinson’s eerie possession scene.
The programme has yet to be repeated in full on any UK-based television channel, following its initial broadcast.
UK release date is 31st October and US release date is 25th October.