September 1, 2021
Ghostland (also known as Incident in a Ghostland) is a 2018 horror film written and directed by Pascal Laugier. Ghostland was shown in competition at the Festival International du Film fantastique de Gérardmer, where it won three awards, including the Grand Prize.
A woman named Pauline travels with her teenage daughters Beth and Vera to their recently-deceased aunt Clarissa’s secluded home after they inherited it in her will. Beth reads an article about a string of home invasions where parents are murdered, but daughters are spared. Unbeknownst to the family, they are stalked by someone driving a candy truck.
Shortly after the women settle into the house, a large, mentally impaired man breaks in and attacks Pauline. The man drags Beth and Vera into the basement and a strange woman enters. When Beth asks what they want, the woman replies, “We just wanna play with dolls.” The man assaults the girls. Pauline recovers and ends up killing both home invaders while Beth watches, paralyzed with fear.
Sixteen years later, Beth is now a successful horror fiction author living in Chicago with her husband and son. She appears on a talk show to promote her new novel Incident in a Ghostland, based on her experience that night. She receives a frantic phone call from her sister who has suffered from delusions since the trauma, begging her to return to the house where she still lives with their mother. When Beth arrives, Pauline explains that Vera remains unable to move on and continues reliving that night over and over. In the house, Beth has strange experiences and Vera claims that their tormentors are still trying to get them.
Crystal Reed as Elizabeth “Beth” Keller
Emilia Jones as Young Beth
Anastasia Phillips as Vera
Taylor Hickson as Young Vera
Mylène Farmer as Pauline
Kevin Power as Candy Truck Woman
Rob Archer as Fat Man
Paul Titley as H.P. Lovecraft
Ghostland is a Canadian and French co-production with Canada providing 69.12% of funding and France providing 30.88%.The film was predominantly shot in Canada.
In December 2016, actress Taylor Hickson was facially disfigured while shooting a scene for the film. She was rushed to the hospital and received 70 stitches but was permanently scarred. In March 2018, Hickson sued the film’s production company Incident Productions over lost work as a result of the incident. Hickson claimed in the lawsuit that “in the course of shooting the scene, the director Pascal Laugier, consistently told Hickson to pound harder on the glass with her fists”. While filming another take, the lawsuit states: The glass shattered, causing [her] head and upper body to fall through the door and shards of glass. As a result of the incident, [she] badly cut the left side of her face.
Hickson, in the lawsuit, states that the company failed to take “any and all reasonable steps to ensure that industry standards and practices were adhered to, including but not limited to the use of safety glass and/or stunt doubles as appropriate.”
Independent of the pending lawsuits, the Winnipeg-based film company Incident Productions, Inc. pled guilty for “failing to ensure the safety and welfare of a worker under the Workplace Safety and Health Act,” and was fined $40,000 by the Manitoba province. Not much of a relief for the young actress with disfigured face though…very sad incident indeed!
Ghostland was first shown in competition on 3 February 2018 at the Festival international du film fantastique de Gérardmer. Ghostland won three film awards at the festival, including the Grand Prize, Audience Award, and the SyFy Award. The SyFy award was chosen by five bloggers at the festival. Frédéric Strauss of Télérama noted that this was the second French co-production in a row that dominated the awards at the festival with the previous years’ big winner being Raw by Julia Ducournau. The film received a theatrical release in France on 14 March 2018. In some territories, the film was released as Ghostland and in others as Incident in a Ghostland.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 54%, based on 26 reviews with an average rating of 6/10. The site’s critics’ consensus reads: “Incident in a Ghost Land may satisfy horror fans in search of a nasty kick, but it’s narratively flawed and decidedly not for the squeamish.” Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 44 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
The Hollywood Reporter declared the film to be a “taut—if somewhat corny—slasher flick” and it was “neither for the faint of heart nor the sharp of mind”. The review noted the dialogue, finding that “for [the director’s] second film in English after 2012’s The Tall Man, he could have brushed up more on his dialogue, which rings awfully flat.” Dennis Harvey of Variety declared that Ghostland “all seems slick, intense, and unpleasant in the same hollow way “Martyrs” did, because all the cruelty is so meaningless. Replacing that film’s empty pseudo-mysticism are villains for whom Laugier doesn’t bother providing any motivation or backstory.” Simon Abrams of The Village Voice wrote that the film was a “disturbing and effective critique of misogynist torture porn,” it “may sometimes play like a mindlessly gory slasher clone, but Laugier’s tormented girls consistently prove to be stronger than their brutalized bodies.”
The genesis of the film
Before Ghostland, Pascal Laugier had worked for two years on a love thriller, The Girl, a project that could not materialize. He wrote the screenplay for Ghostland in the summer of 2015. A job that took two months and this initial screenplay will hardly be retouched thereafter.
“A little crazy role?”
For her role in the film, it was in fact Mylène who took the first step. Pascal Laugier (who had directed the City Of Love clip in 2015) received a text message from Mylène at 2 am (who knew he was preparing a new film) one night at 2 am: “You wouldn’t have a little crazy role for me?”. Pascal Laugier then replied: “Not crazy but of a mother”. He then sent her the script for Ghostland. At 4 o’clock in the morning he received a text from Mylène telling him that she found the scenario great. We know the rest …
A coach for Mylène
Mylène was very worried about the idea of making this film in English, which she confided to her friend, actor Vincent Lindon. He then recommended a French “coach” with whom he had worked and who made him repeat his text, which greatly reassured her.
Mylène well surrounded
Mylène was accompanied to Quebec during the filming of Nathalie Engelstein’s film, a friend who also worked with her on certain clips including Fuck them all and was the originator of the book Fragile in 2014 with the photographer Sylvie Lancrenon. She was also assistant director on this film.
Christophe Danchaud friend of Mylène and make-up artist was also present but only during the first days of the shoot in order to develop the different make-up for Mylène.
A very isolated filming location
The house, the main location of the filming, was more than an hour’s drive from the hotel where Mylène was staying in Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba. A completely lost house surrounded by vast desert meadows. After the shoot, Mylène liked to stop on the way home in a Japanese restaurant to unwind. We already know Mylene love sushi and so do I 😊
The shooting took place over precisely forty days and forty nights. Mylène, who stayed in Canada for two months, participated in 26 days of filming.
Mylène plays the role of Pauline Keller at two different ages: 45 and 60. She had to be made up in order to age her for the second part of the film. Well, right now she would I have to have a mackup for the age of 45 😊
Two first names
The character played by Mylène has changed her name. In the original synopsis for the film released in 2016, it was Colleen. Mylène asked that it be replaced by the French first name Pauline. This was her only “requirement” for this film. I found that out and thought it was an error. As on IMdb website it was “Coleen”
The film was first presented under the title Incident in a Ghost Land. It is on December 12, 2017, that the CEO of Mars Films Stéphane Célérier on the occasion of the announcement of the release date specifies that the film’s name is Ghostland (for France).
In the film, the character of Beth as an adult writes a novel titled: Incident in a Ghost Land.
Two hidden photos of Mylène
From the first screenings of the film, fans of Mylène spotted in the decor of the house, two photo “memories” of Mylène. The one taken by Pierre Perrin dates from 1984 and the second by Hervé Lewis from 2009. Have you find them in the movie?
Broth to warm up
It was very cold on the set of the film (down to -60 ° outdoors the last few days) and some caravans in which the film crew went between the different shots were not heated.
Actress Emilia Jones told in an interview that Mylène brought her chicken broth between takes to warm her up. Ahhh!…that’s our darling Mylene! 😊
Mylène very caring
Small ritual on the set: before each weekend Mylène gathered the director and the actresses in her trailer in order to strengthen the bond between them.
A particular extra
The little Amish boy whom Pauline and her daughters meet at the start of the film is played by Malick Laugier, the director’s son.
A drawing on the snow
Drawing of Mylène Farmer in the snow on the set of the film Incident in a Ghost Land on December 7, 2016, Mylène shares a small drawing made on the snow. Photo published by the journalist of the magazine “Gala” Thomas Durand (who interviewed Mylène on several occasions) on his twitter account: “Gift of #MyleneFarmer to her fans since the shooting of #IncidentInAGhostland #letitsnow #InstantX #neige”
Mylène has kept the clothes of her character and an element of the decor, the painting of a Christ in hologram that she put in her room.
Actress Taylor Hickson has fond memories of Mylène: “She’s an angel, she gave me a lovely birthday present. We still talk to each other today. She’s like a mother and generous.” (released by the actress on February 18, 2017).
Taylor Hickson – Photo shared on instagram late 2017 Actress Taylor Hickson was in an accident in December 2016, her last day of filming, for a scene in the film in which she was asked to repeatedly bang her head on a glass door. The producers assured her that everything was secure and that she was not at risk. The window shattered and the unfortunate woman was taken to the emergency room. His injuries required 70 stitches. She has a scar on her left cheek and chin. She filed a complaint against the production. The actress chose because of these circumstances not to participate in the promotion of the film.
Interview for the magazine “Gala” May 17, 2017published while Mylène has no news or promotion.
She had just finished a few months before the shooting of the film Ghostland (which was still titled Incident in a Ghost Land during this interview). The interview is illustrated with unpublished photos taken a few days before by photographer Sylvie Lancrenon.
Gala: Five months ago, you finished shooting the movie Incident in a Ghost Land. A grueling thriller that confronts a family with evil spirits. No after-effects to be deplored?
Mylène Farmer: Always the same nightmare: Pascal Laugier, the director, tirelessly pursues me with his camera in the corridors of the house of the film! (Laughs) It was impressive to see him at work, to see how he was part of his feature film. I have very strong memories of this shoot and of “my daughters” on the screen.
Gala: You trusted a director, recent in your galaxy, and you took on an unusual role, that of a mother. All in English. Do you like pushing the difficulty sliders?
Mylène Farmer: I wouldn’t speak of difficulty, but of requirement. I like ambitious, precise projects, which require the investment of a whole team for a result still unknown … There is a certain beauty in this collective gesture. I accepted this film, mainly because my role was very well written and because Pascal has a remarkable mastery of this genre. Its scenario is formidable. To slip into the shoes of a mother ready to defend her children was a challenge, but I finally approached it in a quite natural, instinctive way. When filming started in Winnipeg, I was an actress among the rest.
Gala: Did returning to Canada, your country of birth, stir up any emotions?
Mylène Farmer: A huge emotion! I found the home of my early childhood, in Pierrefonds. I was able to rediscover the interior, the garden … I also returned to my first school, run by nuns … While I was taking the rue du Belvédère, where I grew up, the snow took off. started to fall. I was welcomed …
Gala: Former student of Cours Florent and singer renowned for your film clips, how do you explain your rarity on the big screen?
Mylène Farmer: Fate is playful. Despite my almost sickly shyness, I pushed open the door of Cours Florent. Then, very quickly, I met Laurent Boutonnat and our destinies were sealed. We shared this love for cinema and music. This is, I think, what prompted us to shoot clips of a new genre. And Laurent has really made some great clips. For the big screen, things turned out differently. I cannot explain it. But I don’t believe, either, that there are impassable boundaries between genres. The time has come for old divisions to disappear …
Gala: Is there a list of roles that you would have missed?
Mylène Farmer: Some proposals and phantom projects, yes … (Smile)
Gala: What is most important for you: wanting or feeling wanted?
Mylène Farmer: Feel the desire … It is fundamental for me. Vital, even.
Gala: Singular and obsessive artist, do you easily put yourself at the service of an imagination other than your own?
Mylène Farmer: Of course! It’s very exciting … On the condition, however, of being able to remain yourself … What could be more unpredictable than the meeting of two imaginaries?
Gala: How did you prepare for your role in Incident in a Ghost Land ?
Mylène Farmer: I worked. Claude Berri once said to me: “Mylène, if you know your text to the comma, as well as the lines of your partners, you can forget everything and let yourself go.” Since the Cours Florent, I have been friends with Vincent Lindon, who impresses me immensely in each of his roles. His help was invaluable. He advised me his coach. I rehearsed and then … I took the plunge into the void!
Gala: Is gambling for you an exorcism or, on the contrary, a possession?
Mylène Farmer: Etymologically, “to play” is “to have fun, to be entertained”. By slipping into the skin of a character, it becomes “fun and entertaining”. It is important to forget about yourself in order to give to others. Whatever they are, emotions are a transport, they allow everyone to get out of time. It is a promise of eternity. An abandonment, too. It was the most demanding for me. I am used to building, to carrying out long-term adventures. There, I had to forget everything, deconstruct myself to let the director reassemble his puzzle.
Gala: Isabelle Adjani recently declared: “to play is to repair.” What does this inspire you?
Mylène Farmer: It’s a definition that perfectly matches this great actress. But for me … I don’t believe in repair. I would rather say that you learn to live with yourself. Which, already, is not a game of small horses …
Gala: Pardon the question, but the disappearance of your mother, a few months before turning with Pascal Laugier, has it influenced your interpretation of a housewife ?
Mylène Farmer: Allow me not to answer you directly. Each of us is touched by grief. I’m lucky to be able to write about “my” ‘absent … Without naming them … And to be able, by the magic of words, to suck a little of the grief of others.
Gala: Isabelle Huppert, whom you know well, said: “To be an actress is to transform into excellence what was not: fragility into strength, shyness into confidence.” Sounds like you, right?
Mylène Farmer: I have a lot of admiration for Isabelle Huppert, her determination, her artistic choices, her unique game. I don’t know if his words sound like me, but I share his point of view. Surpassing oneself is a minimum when you want to share with others. Living is a demanding adventure that we constantly reinvent ourselves, without ever betraying ourselves or sacrificing trends. I am instinctive and my shyness, which I assume, has undoubtedly protected me!
Gala: Vincent Lindon met at Cours Florent,, David Lynch who introduced you to lithography, Claude Berri who wanted to direct you in an adaptation of a novel by his partner Nathalie Rheims, but also Jean Rochefort, Robert De Niro … You cultivate many friendships in the world of movie theater. Are the actors more fascinating than the singers?
Mylène Farmer: I don’t grow anything. Life allows you to meet people and, again, I trust my instincts. I have little to be present in my life, but they are important. You cite names, but there are others. Are actors more fascinating than singers? No. There are people who are more fascinating than others, quite simply. We could add a number of strangers to your list who are just as much of a point of my admiration.
Gala: Actor and pop star, is it so different?
Mylène Farmer: The relationship with the public is very different. An actor puts his talent at the service of a text, a director, many speakers, so that a film meets its audience in theaters, then on other screens … The stage is a immediate, electric, dizzying energy that dissipates when a concert is over. I don’t like the term “pop star”. It sounds like a champagne cork on New Years Eve! (Laughs) Gala: Like many young actresses, Taylor Hickson or Emilia Jones, your “daughters” in Incident in a Ghost Land , do not hesitate to stage their lives on social networks. This intrigues you, amuse you or confuse you? Did they try to convert you?
Mylène Farmer: They live with their times. This seems quite normal to me, but also requires greater vigilance on the border between private and public life. The new media tend to make it more blurry. As for a conversion … They did not dare, I think! (Laughs)
Gala: What amazes you in life?
Mylène Farmer: Courage.
Gala: What is the emotion that you have the least control?
Mylène Farmer: All of them! By definition, an emotion cannot be controlled. That’s why they transport us.
Gala: What are the words that touch you the most?
Mylène Farmer: Words spoken when you don’t expect them. I am fascinated by the power of words from the right person at the right time. And “My love” moves me so much …
Gala: You played Zézette in an adaptation of Santa Claus is rubbish at Cours Florent. Your loved ones say you are capable of humor. Is it possible for you to play in a comedy?
Mylène Farmer: Comedy is probably the closest thing to music. It is above all a question of rhythm. I don’t know if I would be able to, but I find the challenge interesting. As long as it’s finely written. It’s all in the writing. Woody Allen then? (Laughs)
Gala: The worst scenario that we could submit to you?
Mylène Farmer: A biopic on my life …
Gala: The most beautiful movie replica you remember?
Mylène Farmer: These words from Romy Schneider in César and Rosalie : “It’s not your indifference that torments me, it’s the name I give it …” (“resentment, oblivion”, continues the actress in the film, editor’s note)
Gala: Which couple or which cinematic love story inspires you?
Mylène Farmer: Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands.
Gala: If your life was a movie title?
Mylène Farmer: Encounters of the third kind ! (Laughs)
Gala: You just signed with Sony Music. Your fans logically expect an album and a tour. Reassure them: the end of your musical career is not about to sound?
Mylène Farmer: Of course not … I can’t wait to join them.
NOTE: the article about the Cannes Film Festival taking place at the time of this interview.
Mylène Farmer: It’s an institution that allows France to shine around the world. Gilles Jacob, a friend, contributed a lot for many years. Today, he devotes his time to writing novels. He is such an endearing man. I like his humor. I never tire of his anecdotes about the world of cinema. Cannes carries a part of dreams, but I also remember more stormy episodes, moments of emotions and disappointments. For a fortnight, it’s a live show with its actors, its suspense, its twists and turns. But, basically, I don’t know how you can decide that one film is better than another. Difficult exercise!
Interview for the magazine “Première” for the promotion of the film Ghostland directed by Pascal Laugier released in theaters in France on March 14, 2018.
Premiere: You have often said that the cinema was “more than necessary” for you. That it was a “vital need”. What does it mean ?
Mylène Farmer: Composing a character, evolving within an imaginary family, becoming a mother who risks her life to save her children is a gift that cinema offers me. The opportunity to experience something else is a vital need … yes! Of course yes. It’s a bit like a recreation of the soul. The promise of multiple lives before the return, sometimes burdensome, on a daily basis. I have had the incredible good fortune to meet the public for decades in my chosen field and I have only one thing to offer them: who I am. Cinema is “what I could be …”
Why did you shoot only two films?
I focused all my vital energy on my passion: writing and performing, going on stage. Go towards “the other” is my reason for life. The electric power of a concert is an almost mystical experience. It is the most beautiful job in the world. Cinema is above all a question of meeting a character, a story, a director. These encounters are rare but not impossible! Ghostland is proof of that. For my part, the desire has always been present but it had to be fully shared. This is what happened with Laurent Boutonnat and Pascal Laugier. The desire for someone is a powerful engine to reinvent yourself… There are no adventures without thrills.
I’ve always wondered where your obsession with the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age came from. Your stage name clearly refers to Frances Farmer and you signed a song in tribute to Garbo … Are these inspirations?
Yes ! They inspire me respect. Their courage is immense. They are pioneers in a fight, that of the recognition of women in an artistic field. These women have character, are insolent, fragile and uncompromising. They said “no” when the “yes” was in order. This is probably why some of them were crushed by the system. It takes courage to make people accept their difference. Today, I have the impression that we are moving towards gender uniformity, where everyone is the same.
Among the artists to whom you entrusted your clips (from Luc Besson to Marcus Nispel, Abel Ferrara or Ching Siu-tung) many practiced genre cinema. What is your relationship with this cinema so present in your universe?
In fantasy or horror cinema, there is a very intimate moral contract between the director and the spectator which authorizes him to let him explore your most primal fears, your anxieties, your neuroses. Everything that is related to the “secret garden”. This is, I imagine, the reason why this kind of cinema is so divisive. There are those cruel tales that we gladly let go of when we are children and those horror films that come to shake you up in adulthood. Basically, there is no difference. This cinema reminds you that you were a child. In this genre, many films touch me: The Labyrinth of Pan , The Tenant or Rosemary’s baby , The Exorcist necessarily, Inferno , Carrie , Pulsion … But there are so many others …
Yes. I had liked the audacity of this “punch” film. I think Martyrs is an uncompromising work in which Pascal Laugier clearly tells us that he takes on this genre (which he also masters very well). It was a milestone in his journey that probably gave him the opportunity to write a truly successful, more sophisticated, and equally effective Ghostland. Here I am, a film critic! (Laughs.)
Why did you choose Pascal Laugier to direct your City of Love music video?
I have followed his work closely since his first film, Saint Ange. He has an extremely dense universe that each of his films reveals little by little. Pascal is a very learned filmmaker. But above all, he is a fascinating author and a very demanding director. I find him courageous in his choices, his career. And how can I ignore that he had the audacity to offer me Ghostland? But it was I who took the first step for City of Love. I was looking for a director capable of creating a strange universe, gothic and poetic at the same time, while having a sense of rhythm. Pascal’s choice was obvious.
In City of Love, Pascal Laugier put himself at the service of your universe, with Ghostland you integrate his. Did the transition from one to the other happen naturally?
It’s rewarding to compare your experience like two people who do not have the same tools but work in the same way. We have things in common, we are viscerally “dark” but attracted to the light.
Do you easily accept to put yourself at the service of another creator?
If it’s about sharing, yes. If it is a question of dictatorship, no! I am a free being who cannot stand authority. But most of the time it goes very well. There are deaths in in the script. (Laughs.) What attracted
you to Pascal Laugier’s offer?
His total and irreversible confidence. His desire to work with me. Pascal is someone who does not care about prejudices, he knows, he wants, he does. He wanted me to be a mother ready to do anything to save her two daughters from barbarism. I became so for him.
Do you remember what it felt like to read the script?
It occurred to me from the first reading that the script was incredibly captivating and well put together, playing on the dimensions of dream and reality. It’s a bit of a three-dimensional ghost train in which we take pleasure in taking a seat even if we know that the journey may be chaotic. I haven’t suggested any changes, you think! If this is not the first name of my character. Originally her name was Colleen. We talked a lot about the role of Pauline before Pascal let me “inhabit” it. When I arrived in Winnipeg for the costume fittings, I chose a coat that he liked. I felt it was important that I adopt a figure that matched the character. I like his approach, let you make it your own soul and shell.
One of the underlying questionsGhostland could be: should we escape reality or on the contrary face it?
The real question would rather be: can we escape from the real? The answer is unfortunately no. If there is one area where the rule dictates that we must flee the real, it is art in general and cinema in particular. I am definitely on the side of dreams, where life takes on its full dimension.
We find in your character of Ghostland , a constant of your music and your clips: your characters are always strong women, individualists, liberated …
Strong and fragile at the same time. And a little crossed out too … (Laughs.) It is said of men that they evolve and shape themselves throughout their lives. Imagine the women!
Interviews on the movie: https://www.mylene.net/mylene/ghostland-videos.php
grand-ecart.fr ( 02/04/2018 )
From scene to scene, it is the feeling of oppression that prevails. The worst is always to come and the worst is happening.
Mylène Farmer earns her stripes of actress, in a role certainly secondary, but oh so difficult. (…) Behind the noise and the fury, the constant cries of suffering and the unhealthy and disturbing images, her gentleness brings a welcome truce.
Ghostland is an uncomfortable film, of a brutality bordering on uneasiness.
It’s offensive and rough, dirty and rude cinema that gives the stick to get beaten and scratches what needs to be scratched. Cinema which, under cover of genre, reminds us on the one hand of the need in art to show the horror of the world, of people, of things at the risk of scandalizing.
And Mylène Farmer in all of this? It is impeccable. Returning from afar like a cinema phantom ( Giorgino , the only film – cursed – in which she played, dates from 1994), the singer shines in maternal incarnation and even moves in one of the strongest and most beautiful scenes of this haunted film – a sublime slow motion that would not have denied the Shyamalan of the Village. Without counterfeit, it is perfect.
commeaucinema.com ( 02/04/2018 )
Human bonds, proof against horror, are once again at the center of his film, which will undoubtedly count in the history of genre cinema.
Special mention to the incredible cast, and more particularly to Mylène Farmer, who is strikingly accurate and sensitive.
A film of great mastery, with sumptuous and terrifying settings, where the tension never falls.
Mylène Farmer delivers a very fair performance, all in sobriety.
cineserie.com b ( 02/04/2018 )
We are speechless from start to finish. (…) Would Ghostland be THE horror film of the beginning of 2018? The answer is probably YES!
Mylène Farmer is magnificent, Pascal Laugier knew how to get the best out of it, at the same time strong, fragile, and so graceful. Mylène Farmer is moving, touching.
Subtle and trying at the same time, Pascal Laugier’s film has logically received all the votes in Géardmer.
To say whether or not the singer convinces as an actress is irrelevant: the important thing is that she brings her own strangeness to Ghostland . That of a woman child who could only give birth to porcelain dolls, in her image. Through the presence of Mylène Farmer, it is the same disturbing, heady reverie that continues.
In this year 2018, genre cinema will vibrate in the name of one man: Pascal Laugier, of whom we are once again the consenting but reckless martyrs, eternal apostles of his morbid fantasies and his visionary torments. Masterpiece.
Mylène Farmer who, 24 years after Giorgino , delivers a truly credible interpretation without false notes.
This relatively basic proposition (each element of the story is deja vu) strikes right and hard.
The mother is embodied by the very rare Mylène Farmer, to whom this honorable supporting role helps to cultivate her gothic image.
Some will find the approach radical. Others will judge it complacent (rightly so), so much the sordid sequences are repeated, with great blows of jump scares.
On the periphery of the cruelty of these aggressors, however, lie interesting phantasmal sub-texts, invitations to the imaginary, to the deadly magic, to the farewell to childhood. When he invests this land, armed with (once again) magnificent decorum where Mylène Farmer impeccably sits, Ghostland is efficient.
Ghostland annoys, Ghostland fascinates, Ghostland cleaves.
Mylène Farmer offers a most convincing performance
A terribly strong, aesthetic, and violent feature film.
Helped by a trio of impeccable actresses, including a Mylène Farmer who has fun metaphorically shattering a whole part of her artistic mythology (the figure of the doll in the story has many meanings …), Pascal Laugier delivers here his film the most extreme, but also the most successful.
“Weekend cinema” – France Info (03/11/2018 – audio )
It’s a genre film, a gothic film extremely well directed by Pascal Laugier who is a master of the genre in France. Very successful film. Film also on a certain female condition which could perhaps ask a few questions with the current events which one knows these last days. And finally, film with Mylène Farmer. It is the big comeback of Mylène Farmer in the cinema after Giorgino in 1993, a film by Laurent Boutonnat which had been a box office disaster and which had killed Mylène Farmer’s acting career in the bud. very good actress, we already knew it, she confirms it. She knows how to make a movie, she really knows how to use her person. We really rediscover Mylène Farmer actress and it is a real happiness.
TV 2 weeks (03/12/2018)
A surge of violence on women reduced to dolls, such is Ghostland , a gory and perverse tale. However, we salute the talent of its main performers.
Culture Box – francetvinfo.fr (12/03/2018)
This multi-award-winning film, however, arouses more than one reservation.
The presence of Mylène Farmer in the role of the mother is a curiosity as it is rare in the cinema, and is doing quite well.
We can blame the film for its (too) many twists, its sometimes easy effects and its stubbornness, but, pleasant or not, Ghostland is a wrinkle that the big screen only too rarely provides.
Mylène Farmer fascinating.
silence-moteur-action.com ( 03/13/2018 )
To their torturers, Beth and Vera are just perfect, innocent, malleable and consenting dolls. But this is not the case, and the fury that emerges is like the film as a whole: a continuous flow of pure horror. In short, a real slap.
Master of horror films, Pascal Laugier signs a Ghostland that will stick you to the seat. And allows Mylène Farmer to show the full extent of her talent as an actress.
We tremble, but we love it!
Despite her secondary role, the singer breaks the screen as a protective mother, desperate to save her daughters. Mylène Farmer here breaks her image of an inaccessible goddess. Beer in hand, she swears, in jogging pants and a messy ponytail. She, who had already trusted Pascal Laugier for her latest clip, City of Love (2015), once again proves her acting skills.
The Parisian (03/14/2018)
Pascal Laugier’s paw is omnipresent: graphic violence, suspense to cut with a knife and, above all, completely unforeseen drama that turns the story upside down when we think we are walking on well-marked paths.
A feature film in which Mylène Farmer only plays a secondary role even if she is entitled to some memorable shocking scenes.
The World (03/14/2018)
Pascal Laugier renews the genre of horror film by cultivating doubt in the spectator.
Mylène Farmer, in an unexpected role.
Is it scary? No. Are we horrified? Yes. The editing is too choppy to let the suspense rise and the low-angle shots have the effect of distancing the viewer.
The incarnation of Mylène Farmer, with her impassive pale face, and the impossibility of knowing if she is a good mother or an infamous or both at the same time, would be what is more disturbing.
The film is distinguished by its virtuoso construction, its ellipses, and its devious way of blowing hot and cold on its heroines crushed by vile monsters.
Le Figaro (03/14/2018)
Two sisters are martyred by two psychopaths in a house full of dolls. Mylène Farmer plays the mother not very libertine. Not even afraid.
The Chained Duck (03/14/2018)
A mother (Mylène Farmer!) And her two teenage daughters arrive at night in a house populated with dolls … Forward to the odds and ends of the most hackneyed horror! With this film shot across the Atlantic, Frenchman Pascal Laugier manages to do worse than an American by-product.
This horror film with an astonishing 100% fulfills its mission of terror without forgetting a beautiful reflection on the genre.
We could fear a vampirization of the story by the presence of Mylène Farmer in one of the three main female roles: it is not. Soberly camped by the singer, the character of Pauline, a single mother violently attacked with her two daughters by a duo of psychopaths in their family home, always remains in the right place.
The formal and narrative tour de force then conceals a melancholy and striking self-portrait, gradually shifting from virtuoso exercise to a large, dense and twisted horrific work. Hats off.
(The) inaugural duality foreshadows the narrative structure of a film which subsequently takes a malicious pleasure in handling ellipses and twists and turns, mixing the true and the false even if it means that they merge: like the composition of Mylène Farmer in the role of a protective and benevolent mother, whose physical features inspire according to the sequences those of a cold and frozen doll – omnipresent motif and repeatedly diverted from its usual function in horror cinema – then those of a sensitive and perfectly embodied being of flesh.
hollywoodreporter.com (United States) (03/20/2018)
Fans of Farmer who was the Gallic equivalent of Madonna in the late ’80s and throughout the’ 90s will be amused or horrified to see their favorite singer beaten to death, repeatedly stabbed and delivering her dialogue with a French accent.
La Libre Belgique (Belgium) (04/04/2018)
The French filmmaker thought of his film as a reflection on the image and body of women, here reduced to the row of dolls to satisfy the most degenerate male fantasies.
In this game of massacre, we must salute the courage of the four young actresses, who play the two adult and teen sisters: Crystal Reed, Anastasia Phillips, Emily Jones and Taylor Hickson (who was disfigured on the set). But also that of Mylène Farmer. Laugier had signed one of his clips in 2015. She was therefore convinced (without really convincing us) to return to the cinema
South China Morning Post (United States) (05/18/2018)
A brutal, misohyne, transphobic horror film. The female characters are portrayed as weak and unstable and it’s the whole movie that lacks inspiration and compassion.
variety.com (United States) (06/18/2018)
Laugier painstakingly stages sadism when in comparison it seems indifferent to the logic of the script and the suspense.
dreadcentral.com (United States) (23/06/2018)
Cruel, mean and ugly with little to offer.
UPDATED with more details, interview with Hickson: Actress Taylor Hickson, who suffered a gruesome facial injury when she crashed through a glass door while filming the indie horror pic Ghostland in Canada, has filed a lawsuit against the film’s production company, Incident Productions.
Hickson, who’d turned 19 just days before the December 2016 accident in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was performing “an emotionally charged scene” in which the director had asked her to pound harder and harder on the door, with her face right next to the glass pane, according to the suit filed Friday with the Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg (read it here).
“In the course of shooting the scene, the director [Pascal Laugier], consistently told [Hickson] to pound harder on the glass with her fists,” the suit states. “At one point during the filming of the scene, and after being asked to increase the strength with which [she] pounded on the glass, [she] asked one of the producers and the director if it was safe to do so. That producer and the director both replied in the affirmative.”
Laugier is not named as a defendant in the suit.
While filming another take, the suit states, “The glass shattered, causing [her] head and upper body to fall through the door and shards of glass. As a result of the incident, [she] badly cut the left side of her face” and was rushed to the hospital, where she received about 70 stitches.
“The crafts services lady held my face together with napkins in her hands,” Hickson told Deadline. “She went through so many napkins, there was so much blood.”
And the damage, she says, has been lasting. “It’s been mass amounts of insecurity, conflicted, confused, hurt, angry, and sad that this was my last day on set and no precautions were taken.”
Deadline has reached out to the producers for comment but has yet to hear back. The film also is known as Incident in a Ghost Land.
Hickson, who appeared in Deadpool before the accident, “was a busy, up and coming actor in the very competitive movie industry,” the suit states, but “as a result of the injury, she has lost income [during] the period of time she was unable to act while she recovered from her injury.”
The suit claims that Incident Productions “knew or ought to have known of the dangerous situation” it had placed her in, and that “the injury was reasonably foreseeable and was caused solely by the negligence and/or breach of contract by the defendant in that it failed in exercising the duty of care it owed to the plaintiff.”
She also accuses the company of failing to take “any and all reasonable steps to ensure that industry standards and practices were adhered to, including but not limited to the use of safety glass and/or stunt doubles as appropriate.”
The suit adds: “It is an industry standard within the movie industry that, when shooting a scene such as the scene described herein, either safety glass be used which would, upon shattering, break into pieces which would not result in sharp shards on which an actor could be cut, and/or that a stunt double be used for such a scene. Neither occurred in this case.”
In addition to her physical suffering resulting from the disfiguring injury, the suit states that he also has suffered “mental distress which she continues to struggle with to date.”
The film’s premiere party is set for March 14 in Paris, but Hickson will not be attending. “I never worked so hard on a production in my life, and now it’s a bittersweet way to end this piece of art that we worked so hard on.” She still hopes to reunite with her co-star Emilia Jones, who plays her little sister in the film.
“She and her mom took care of me the night of the incident, after I came out of surgery and went back to the hotel. I look forward to seeing her again. We were looking forward to running around Paris for the premiere, but unfortunately it would be too uncomfortable to attend. Emotionally – uncomfortable for all.”
In the conclusion, I am beginning – PLEASE someone write a script where Mylene can actually shine and finally show the world what a deep, multifaceted and talented actress she is. Doesn’t it break your heart seeing her wasting her amazing gift for the roles that have nothing to offer?? I swear, if you don’t write it, I will! 🧡