GHOUL, a supernatural thriller/horror film from Czech actor and filmmaker Petr Jákl, broke box office records this past weekend, raking in the highest opening for a horror film ever in the Czech Republic and its U.S. premiere is just weeks away.
In the Czech Republic, GHOUL has already surpassed ticket sales for previously released horror films like Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014), Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), Maniac (2012), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) or Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006).
Shot on location in Ukraine, GHOUL is a blend of fact and fiction. GHOUL follows a group of broke fictional American documentary filmmakers traveling to Ukraine to report on the real-life Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo, known as the Rostov Ripper. Chikatilo terrorized more than 50 young victims in the late 70s and 80s and then ate parts of their bodies. He was executed in 1994.
“I have been working in Hollywood 43 years and I have seen every kind of horror show that you can witness and survive. The way Petr did it, it delves into the dark night of the soul,” says Rob Cohen, who directed xXx (2002) and Fast and Furious (2001).
“[The film makes] you feel like there’s like this miasma of evil that these young people are trapped in; that the evil is a force that is way beyond Chikatilo or way beyond the villains. It’s… what makes it so scary.”
Weaving in real archive video, the movie also follows the documentary filmmakers as they investigate how cannibalism swept through Ukraine during the notorious famine of 1932. After being lead deep into the vast Ukrainian forest for an interview with one of the last known survivors of the cannibalism epidemic, they are plagued with a series of unexplainable supernatural encounters and come face-to-face with the evil spirit of Chikatilo, who was born in the Soviet Union and was the most violent serial killer and cannibal of all time.
The film opens in Los Angeles and New York on March 20.