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Ghost Wars - TV Series Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published November 8th 2018
Don't turn out the lights
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Show poster, SyFy Network, via Wikipedia, fair use.

Roman Mercer is about to leave the small Alaskan town of Port Moore when an earthquake causes a bus accident and cuts off the bridge that is the only way out of town. Roman is a medium, who can see and hear ghosts, but the ghosts who begin to appear in the town after the accident aren't like the ones he is used to. They are angry, and strike out at living people, causing them to hallucinate and hurt themselves or each other. Roman has long been bullied by his neighbours and just wants to get out of town, but now the townspeople need him if they want to survive.

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Cut off from the mainland, the townsfolk are at the mercy of the ghosts.

Ghost Wars is a strange, creepy series, originally created for the SyFy channel and currently streaming on Netflix, that packs a lot into one season. Some episodes were almost self-contained ghost stories (a 'Monster of the Week' sort of thing), with spirits lingering to sort out their unfinished business with the living. However, there is also an ongoing plot concerning the particle accelerator in the science laboratory just out of town, which may have something to do with why everyone is trapped, and a mysterious glowing orb found by the town's priest (played by Vincent D'Onofrio, from Daredevil and Full Metal Jacket)

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Not the fabric scissors!

Avan Jogia smoulders as Roman, abandoned by his mother and pushed around by everyone except the preacher. Meat Loaf is great as Doug Rennie, the gruff alcoholic grieving the loss of his teenage daughter Maggie (Elise Gatien), who died under died under mysterious circumstances, whose ghost is still hanging around, talking to Roman. Billy (Kim Coates), the reluctant sherriff, does whatever it takes to try and protect his sister, Val (Luvia Peterson), who in turn wants to protect her constituents (she is the mayor), as well as her wife Marilyn (of The Killing and Altered Carbon) and daughters. Kandyse McClure (from Battlestar Galactica and Hemlock Grove). plays Dr Landis Barker, a brilliant physicist who feels responsible for setting the ghosts loose and wants to stop them.

Billy and Landis.

Even the child actors, Sarah Giles and Allison James, do a terrific job as sisters Abigail and Isabel, who have mysterious collection to the ghosts.

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Allison James as Isabel does a bit of redecorating.

Ghost Wars is a gripping show, which should appeal to horror fans and lovers of ghost stories. I was sorry to hear that there is only one season, but at least there is a satisfying ending, even if it doesn't wrap up all the loose ends. There are some very scary moments, and a few touching ones too, between characters who are fully fleshed out so you can actually care about them, as dangerous as it is to get attached. There were also a couple of moments when I laughed out loud, and I'm not sure whether they were supposed to be scary or funny. There is a lot of gross-out horror involving dead animals (watch for the meat golem), plus some cannibalism, psychological horror, parent guilt and a lot of ghosts.
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