Home Movies

A slow-burning horror overshadowed by a harrowing on-set accident wins plaudits for its onscreen merits

An awful off-camera tragedy hasn't tainted the film in the eyes of fans.

incident in a ghostland
via Mars Films

Horror movies are supposed to be haunting and harrowing, but 2018’s Ghostland instead gained notoriety for the awful events that unfolded on set, which left star Taylor Hickson facially disfigured and scarred for life.

The actress ended up suing the production company over the long-term effects the incident could potentially have on her career, with the rising young talent being rushed to hospital to receive 70 stitches. In the legal claim, Hickson alleged that she was urged by director Pascal Laugier to “pound harder on the glass with her fists” while shooting, which ultimately caused her to fall through the door in question and end up with severe damage to the left side of her face.


In the end, Incident Productions pleaded guilty for failing to ensure the safety of a worker under their purview, even if a $40,000 fine seems very much on the low side for something so life-changing. That cast a nasty shadow over the film, but Redditors are putting their grievances with what happened away from the camera to one side in order to praise the end product for delivering an intensely atmospheric slow-burning tale of terror.

The story finds a mother and her three daughters surviving a potentially deadly attack on their lives in the home they inherited from a recently-deceased aunt, but they end up right back where they started after the estranged family are reunited 16 years later in the exact same place. Despite middling Rotten Tomatoes scores of 55 and 57 percent from critics and audiences, though, it appears that diehard horror fiends hold Ghostland in significantly higher esteem than reviews and reactions would indicate.

About the author

Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.