Title – Ghosthunter (2018)
Director – Ben Lawrence (feature debut)
Cast – Jason King, Ben Lawrence
Plot – Australian documentary following Sydney ghosthunter Jason King as he delves into not only the ghosts of today but the ghosts of his childhood.
“The first ghost I ever saw was my brothers”
Review by Eddie on 10/12/2018
A labour of love for Australian filmmaker Ben Lawrence, who spent the best part of 7 year’s filming this haunting local documentary, Ghosthunter is the years must see Australian film and one of the best documentaries ever produced on local shores.
Inspired to start a documentary after reading a local newspaper report about security guard and ghosthunter Jason King, Lawrence’s documentary may at first seem like a rather by the numbers affair, that quickly turns into something else entirely as the film turns from exploring King’s fascination with the ghost world, into an investigation of the ghosts of his childhood that have shaped him into the man he is today.
Saying to much more would be a disservice to Lawrence’s film, one that’s power and mysteries are so much better explored with little pre-knowledge but suffice to say Ghosthunter is a haunting, touching and engaging experience that also acts as a stunningly shot noir-like mystery that captures beautifully the Sydney surrounds as we follow King on a journey that spans a number of years.
Collating this amount of footage and structuring so many intricate by-lines into one cohesive whole must have been quite the task for Lawrence but his nuance behind the camera, that no doubt comes from his filmmaking pedigree with Lawrence’s father Ray responsible for classic Australian film’s Lantana and Jindabyne, is second to none as he teams up with D.O.P Hugh Miller and his composer Rafael May to bring the ghostly nature of this documentary to life.
As good as Lawrence is behind the camera and also in front of it as his dealings with King and his story take a more personal turn, King makes for a fascinating subject matter as we begin to understand more about this man’s troubled life that has made him into the person he is at the time we meet him.
A wounded and good-natured soul that also at times harbors a deep and dangerous inner rage and torment, King’s openness, frankness and willingness to confront his demons on camera makes for fascinating viewing and by the time you conclude your time as a passenger in his life-altering journey, you will find it impossible not to be moved by what has transpired in the previous 90 minutes.
Final Say –
Ghosthunter is the year’s must-see Australian film and one of the best documentaries ever produced in our country. It may be hard to track down but Ghosthunter should be seen by as many people as possible from not only Australia but the world.
4 sleeve tattoos out of 5