Urban Ghost Story | Chicago Reader

Urban Ghost Story

Twelve-year-old Lizzie seems possessed after a near-death experience in a car crash that's killed her friend, and a poltergeist seems to haunt her family?s flat in working-class Glasgow, causing unexplained movements and noises. Soon a tabloid journalist is publishing cover stories on the phenomenon, while parapsychologists measure Lizzie's brain waves as she sleeps. Working with a limited budget, director Genevieve Jolliffe neatly blends the supernatural/psychological story and the media?s exploitation of it with class drama, as the child?s fatherless family is threatened by loan sharks. It?s never clear whether Lizzie is truly haunted or merely traumatized by the wreck, a question this 1998 film uneasily combines with acute observations of the family's plight; the mix is provocative if not completely successful. On the same program, Peter Mullen's nasty, almost brutal short The Fridge, in which two alcoholics incompetently try to free a child who's been locked in an abandoned fridge by two punks.

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