The Weekly Review: February 11 – 17


Movie Thoughts


I sat down to view Ghostwatch, Britain’s 1992 answer to The War of the Worlds, Orson Welles’s infamous 1938 radio prank on the American public.

The premise of Ghostwatch is clever. Using real talent from BBC’s presenter pool, the 90-minute production purports to be a live Halloween special documenting a poltergeist event in a West London household.

The coverage ping-pongs from man-on-the-street “interviews,” to sit-downs with supposed experts on the paranormal, to creepy incidents in the allegedly haunted house.

What the BBC did not anticipate:  Thousands of alarmed viewers inundated the station with phone calls, most of the callers taken in by the elaborate hoax. It was a repeat of the hysteria Welles created in 1938.


After I watched this controversial movie, I checked out Chris Stuckmann’s review of it, then read his comments section.

What’s interesting is the defensiveness expressed by many commenters. They begin with the caveat, “What you have to understand is –” or “The reason this show was so –.”



I think the commenters, many of whom were children when first exposed to the prank show, are defensive because at some level they realize that as a TV movie, Ghostwatch simply doesn’t hold up.

My 2024 perspective: Although the production is interesting as a sort of time-capsule, it hasn’t aged well as a drama. Too many incidents stretch credibility. The “news coverage” comes off as fake. “Pipes,” the ghost at the center of the story, isn’t particularly scary.


After its initial showing, BBC declined to air Ghostwatch again. Ever. Too controversial, I guess. For years it was difficult to find the movie.

No more. If you want to form your own opinion, you can now rent it or purchase it on Amazon.





I suppose that if I were inclined to do the research, I could find out how Rotten Tomatoes defines its “rotten” and “fresh” ratings. I am not inclined to do that.

But doesn’t it seem odd that a grade of D-minus warrants a “fresh” rating?





Wonder woman Taylor Swift keeps hooking up with losers like man-child Travis Kelce (above).

Isn’t it high time that Swift wrote fewer songs about these guys, and more songs about her personal failings? She is clearly doing something wrong.


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