Julian Sands Horror

Supernatural insanity and a grab bag approach to its frights mark The Ghosts of Monday, a new horror film from the small island country of Cyprus. Old genre star Julian Sands (Warlock) headlines the low-budget suspense thriller which takes inspiration from the occult and Dario Argento. Human sacrifices, an ancient cult, a slasher, monsters, psycho terror and more comprise filmmaker Francesco Cinquemani’s serviceable terror flick.

Beyond Julian Sands the cast includes minor character actors you may recognize from television. Mark Huberman (Vikings), Mariana Rosset, Elva Trill (Jurassic World: Dominion), and Anthony Skordi (Onassis).

Supernatural insanity and a grab bag approach to its frights markThe Ghosts of Monday

Mark Huberman stars as a television director shooting a pilot for a paranormal show investigating the Gula Hotel. The ominous hotel in Cyprus has been shut down since the 1990s when more than 100 people mysteriously died in a suspicious incident.

Julian Sands plays the show’s host, Bruce. He’s a womanizing TV star who’s willing to stage some spooky happenings for ratings gold when threatened with cancellation. Bruce’s daughter Sofia (Mariana Rosset) has joined the trip, who also happens to be the director’s ex-wife.

Shooting the pilot with a small crew, things begin going bump in the night at the deserted hotel. Especially around Sofia, who begins remembering visiting the hotel as a child. The mystery of the hotel grows as they learn about its background and the cult of Teshub. The second half sees the body count quickly rise in a fine ode to giallo machinations.

The Ghosts of Monday isn’t a horror masterpiece but a largely effective descent into the unknown, packed with bloody set pieces. The scares are all over the place, ranging from occult conspiracies to practical creature effects.

It’s great seeing Julian Sands back in horror and he runs with it, ably handling a role which could have gone sideways. The mystery isn’t particularly ingenious but treads well-worn territory, a steady enough pace producing predictable but thoroughly enjoyable frights.

You could do a lot worse than The Ghosts of Monday if you want to catch a watchable horror flick. What the film lacks in atmosphere and craftsmanship is made up for by solid performances and unnerving terror.

Video

Cleopatra Entertainment releases The Ghosts of Monday in a satisfactory but underwhelming Blu-ray presentation. Shown at 1080i resolution, the 2.35:1 film reflects erratic digital cinematography. Average definition and clarity are hampered by an uneven contrast and washed-out colors. White levels frequently clip and flesh-tones are blown out. The over-driven brightness and shallow depth of field bear all the hallmarks of low-budget digital filmmaking.

The main feature runs a short 76 minutes, encoded in AVC. Compression isn’t a problem outside of a scene fifty minutes into the movie, absolutely replete with severe banding. Black levels aren’t bad and shadow delineation nicely details some of the creature. The opening scene does look positively terrible, possibly shot with some sort of filter for degraded picture quality.

Audio

We continue to get lossy surround mixes from Cleopatra, this time in the form of 5.1 Dolby Digital. A 2.0 stereo PCM soundtrack is also included. Clean and concise with adequate dynamics, the open mix offers intelligible dialogue. Some atmosphere is provided from the rear, while most music is kept towards the front soundstage. The tight integration of sound effects and dialogue makes for a simple and direct mix.

The lossless stereo audio does sound richer and fuller than the mildly thin surround mix. It hits with more bass and tighter imaging. The creepy score works well with the action on screen.

Optional English subtitles play in a white font outside the scope framing.

Extras

Packaging indicates the Blu-ray is coded for all regions. As seen below, no substantial special features are included.

Image Slideshow (HD)

Theatrical Trailer (01:33 in HD)

Cleopatra Entertainment Trailers (HD) – A variety of seven unrelated films from the movie label.

Full disclosure: The Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all prospective review material, please visit our about us page.

The Ghosts of Monday
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Movie

An aged Julian Sands makes his comeback to genre flicks in this scary horror thriller which throws everything at you with a dash of style

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 42 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: