Ghoul (2015 film)

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Ghoul (2015 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Petr Jákl
Produced by Petr Jákl
Written by
  • Petr Jákl
  • Petr Bok
Music by Karel Havlicek
Cinematography Jan Suster
Edited by Matous Outrata
J.B.J Film
Distributed by Vega, Baby
Release date
  • February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) (Czech Republic)
Running time
89 minutes
Country Czech Republic
Language English
Box office $687,644 (CZ)[1]

Ghoul is a 2015 Czech 3D horror film directed by Petr Jákl, written by Jákl and Petr Bok, and starring Jennifer Armour, Jeremy Isabella, and Paul S. Tracey. An American film crew goes to Ukraine to investigate stories of widespread cannibalism, only to summon the spirit of Andrei Chikatilo, a notorious serial killer and cannibal. It is shot in found footage format.


Drawn by stories of widespread cannibalism during famines in 1930s Ukraine, an American film crew interviews subjects in Kiev. There, they find the stories confirmed and are introduced to a local witch, who explains that supernatural forces were responsible. During a seance, the crew summons the spirit of Andrei Chikatilo, a notorious serial killer and cannibal who was active in the area in the late 1970s and 1980s. Chikatilo begins his spree again.


  • Jennifer Armour as Jenny
  • Jeremy Isabella as Ethan
  • Paul S. Tracey as Ryan
  • Alina Golovlyova as Katarina
  • Inna Belikova as Inna


Shooting began in November 2011 in Ukraine and lasted for three weeks. After he finished editing in summer 2012, director Jákl shot more footage in Prague and the surrounding area over another ten days. Jákl finished post-production in 2015, two weeks before the premiere. The film was shot in 3D and was not converted.[2] Jákl was inspired to make a film about Chikatilo after he heard stories from Ukrainians at a film festival where he was showing his first film.[3]


Ghoul premiered on 26 February 2015 in the Czech Republic in both 2D and 3D.[4] It was a box office success there.[5] It was released in the United States on 20 March 2015.[6]


Metacritic, a review aggregator, rated it 32/100 based on four reviews.[7] André Crous of The Prague Post wrote, "The decision to add a real cannibal to the mix won't push it into the realm of terror that Cannibal Holocaust or even The Blair Witch Project occupy, but it does help drive the story when there is little else happening."[8] Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter called it "derivative, uninspired material" that requires "an inordinate amount of patience" for any payoff.[9] Maitland McDonagh of Film Journal International wrote, "And while Ghoul doesn't exactly crackle, it is remarkably creepy, even if it's hard to work up a lot of initial sympathy for the callow, smug young filmmakers".[10] Martin Tsai of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Ghoul can't decide whether it should be about cannibals, serial killers, ghosts or demons".[11] Michael Gingold of Fangoria rated it 1.5/5 stars and wrote that it "ultimately offers nothing new to the supernatural/mock-doc horror subgenres".[12] Rob Staeger of The Village Voice wrote that characters are difficult to distinguish, but it "rewards attention for much of its running time with subtle scares and growing unease, before squandering it in a shaky chase through twisted corridors that goes nowhere unexpected."[13] Pat Torfe of Bloody Disgusting rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "Despite it being a hit in its native Czech Republic, Ghoul fails at being nothing more than a rip-off of the films that have come before it (and have done it MUCH better)."[14] Martin Kudlac of Twitch Film wrote, "An incremental step for the genre, but a big jump for Petr Jákl, Ghoul proves that a domestic production can be carried out and achieve international standards, and can even be vital enough to beat the competition."[15]

It won the Vicious Cat Award at the Grossmann film and wine festival.[16]


  1. ^ "Ghoul". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ Crous, André (2015-02-24). "Truth, fiction and cannibalism". The Prague Post. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  3. ^ Zimmerman, Samuel (2015-03-20). "Exclusive Clip, Q&A: Petr Jakl on Ukraine Cannibal Horror, Ghoul". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  4. ^ Crous, André (2015-01-13). "Countdown begins for release of Czech cannibal film, in 3-D". The Prague Post. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  5. ^ Gingold, Michael (2015-03-05). "Czech true-cannibalism box-office hit "GHOUL" coming to America; poster & trailer". Fangoria. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  6. ^ Barton, Steve (2015-03-04). "A New Ghoul Hungry for Flesh in the Ukraine". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  7. ^ "Ghoul". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  8. ^ Crous, André (2015-02-26). "Movie review: Ghoul". The Prague Post. Archived from the original on 2015-03-28. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  9. ^ Lowe, Justin (2015-03-19). "'Ghoul': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  10. ^ McDonagh, Maitland (2015-03-19). "Film Review: Ghoul". Film Journal International. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  11. ^ Tsai, Martin (2015-03-19). "Review 'Ghoul' an inept 'Blair Witch' wannabe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  12. ^ Gingold, Michael (2015-03-19). ""GHOUL" (2015; Movie Review)". Fangoria. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  13. ^ Staeger, Rob (2015-03-18). "Possession Thriller Ghoul Benefits from Subtle Scares". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  14. ^ Torfe, Pat (2015-03-24). "[Review] 'Ghoul' Is a Collection of Poorly-Executed Ideas You've Already Seen". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  15. ^ Kudlac, Martin (2015-03-16). "Review: GHOUL Feeds on Tried-and-Trusted Formulas". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 
  16. ^ Crous, Andre (2015-07-22). "'Ghoul' scores top prize in Slovenia". The Prague Post. Archived from the original on 2015-08-03. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 

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