Film Review: Children of the Grave (2007)

SYNOPSIS:

Look dead into the eye of fear to unearth the shocking existence of ghost children! Examine real paranormal case files while exploring haunted orphanages and asylums. Uncover the dark shadows from untold stories of unmarked graves. Journey to Zombie Road and investigate the invasion of shadow children. Ghost hunt in Pythian Castle’s black mass of pain where the hunters are the hunted! Utilizing paranormal experts, the filmmakers present evidence that Ghosts Do Exist!

REVIEW:

The unstoppable TwinTalk is at it again, this time taking on the “Children of The Grave”! The first thing you’ll probably ask yourself is what makes this different than any other ghost hunter program you can turn on to watch these days?

Simply, its research, coverage, background information, visual care, background scoring and discoveries from the quest.

The team sets out on a 10 day investigation across 6 states to uncover the secrets of the dead. Namely the children who speak to us from beyond. Directors Christopher Saint Booth & Philip Adrian Booth lay the ground work for this 90 minute presentation. Every documentary has a purpose and the purpose here is to uncover and report the supernatural. What we get is much more on an emotional level as the tales of abandoned orphans are told. We find that 250,000 children were orphaned with many dying off back in the early days due to neglect, starvation, and a bizarre tale of milk laced with Formaldehyde. Many state run orphanages became the haven for these unnamed lost children due to a number of circumstances but mainly abandonment. EVP recordings reveal sounds of crying babies, playgrounds and haunting voices. We hear about how out of 700 taken in, 345 would die off. Many took to the streets with little that survived. These were indeed the children of poverty who’s lives remain only as notes in archives.

While it aims at being scary, it actually ends up being very heartwarming (the first visit) due to the tales that are told. Of course the EVP recordings of screaming children and playground noise peek the curiosity. The fact that they got the evidence while only trying to get the documentary coverage is a bonus to the film. With the public fascination in ghost hunting, Children of the Grave is a treat to viewers.

Another fantastic eloquently brooding score is provided by director Christopher Saint Booth with string arrangements that sooth and send shivers at the same time.

If you thought it stopped there, there is still alot of ground to cover. The team visits namely 2 more noted sites. The 2nd is the Springfield Missouri Pythian Castle in operation from 1913 to 1942 during the nazi pow camp days. A former orphanage, it was later converted over into quarters for Military gentlemen. It of course still exists today which in 2003 it was renovated and remains a tourist attraction.

The reports dig into days of abuse and neglect on the children. So even now it houses a great deal of spiritual activity with reports of hauntings. One such haunting comes from a large former maintenance worker who is easily picked up by psychics.

Others seem to be the playful spirits of lost children. Most startling in all of the COTG visits are the number of discoveries they make with EVP’s, photography, motion detects, shadows moving, audio contact per noises and incidents which not only cover the locations but provide screen proof of activity. If you’ve watched many of these other “Ghost hunting” shows (which I’m sure you have)…really the episodes lack real evidence “most” of the time. So while its entertaining to watch folks scurry around in dark corridors on tv, it’s not believable. The team for COTG either got lucky or just invested the time needed to bring out the evidence. The results are both eerie and chilling.

The creepiest of the film is without a doubt the visit to the Miramac river forests deemed “Zombie Road”. A location that has strong evidence and reports of Satanic activity, deaths, murders, and shadow people, reveals startling on-camera footage that will haunt you as much as anything you find in fiction.

With a reported 35 deaths in the area, the team investigates sections of the woods that have evidence of ghost activity. This includes strange occurrences of “shadow people” who we get to see as they are filming. Philip Adrian Booth & Christopher Saint Booth both provide the tools into making this all work. Whether it’s the editing finesse or lucid scoring, it is indeed a documentary to behold. Further kudu’s goes to the nice usage of slides, slowed footage, flashlight overlays, static segues, testimonies, B&W’s, tours, ghost hunters and a great use of camera movement that never stays still..

Forget this is a documentary, its just damn creepy as hell!

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