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House in Jerusalem, A


Stars: Miley Locke, Johnny Harris, Sheherazade Farrell, Souad Faress, Rebecca Calder

Director: Muayad Alayan

Whatever else you might expect from the title, it can't have been a ghost story. Yet this is exactly what we get from this very slow movie, making a belated appearance to our shores. Alas, it's a ghost story without any scares or suspense, just a fair amount of our wishing the director would get on with it.

Michael (Harris) and his 12-year-old daughter Rebecca (Locke) journey from the UK to Jerusalem, still grieving after the death of their wife/mother a year before in a car crash. The girl has been on anti-depressants, but shows little sign of improvement, while her overbearing father, consumed with his own misery, goes around crying.

They have come to stay in a vast mansion in Jerusalem, the holiday home of their late grandparents. Here Rebecca encounters the ghost of a girl roughly her age (Farrell) whom Michael, of course, cannot see. The apparition wants the doll back that Rebecca found in the flooded garden well (now out of bounds), but Michael has thrown it away.

Later, an old Palestinian woman (Faress) comes into the story, and all begins to become clear. The film is mildly touching in places, but the acting is none too good, and nothing about the film grips us enough to make us want to se it through.

David Quinlan

UK/Holland/Palestinian Territories 2022. UK Distributor: Peccadillo Pictures (BFI). Colour (unspecified).
104 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 May 2024