Six films that explore the horror of grief and trauma

A scene from CENSOR, a Magnet release. © CPL/SSF. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
A scene from CENSOR, a Magnet release. © CPL/SSF. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing. /
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grief and trauma
Photo: Incident in a Ghostland.. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Incident in a Ghostland (sometimes known simply as Ghostland) is a film steeped in grief and trauma. It opens with Colleen and her two teenage daughters as they travel to check out the home Colleen has just inherited. During the trip, Beth reads an article about some recent home invasions, in which all family members except the daughters were killed.

Though the three do not realize it, they are being followed by two people driving a candy truck. These two individuals will become known to us as Fat Man and Candy Truck Woman, and they are bad news.

Shortly after Colleen and her daughters start settling into their new house, the bad guys break in and all hell breaks loose. Vera ends up being sexually assaulted as Beth tries to run and hide, but thankfully Colleen manages to somehow kill both of the intruders.

Then we cut to 16 years later and discover that Beth is a very successful writer who has written a novel about the home invasion titled Incident in a Ghostland. She has a husband and child, and seems to be doing very well for herself.

Things take a turn when she gets a call from her sister, pleading with her to come back to the house she still shares with their mother. We get the sense that Vera is suffering from trauma-induced mental illness and is delusional.

When Beth returns to the house, her mother tells her that Vera has been unable to move on since that horrible night, and she has basically barricaded herself in the basement. Beth starts to have bad dreams, and begins to wonder if her sister’s crazy claims that Fat Man and Candy Truck Woman are still somehow alive and trying to get to both girls might be true.

But, as we soon discover, things are not as they seem, and the grief and trauma the two girls are experiencing has led them both into a strange reality. To say more would be to spoil the film, because the twists and turns are so unexpected.

Incident in a Ghostland is very violent and some of the content is hard to watch, so be prepared. It is currently available on Netflix.

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