Netflix's Ghoul Miniseries Review

When it tries, "Ghoul" was one terrifying experience. It plays with concepts of oppression, family, terrorists and more that turn out to be more interesting than it looks. Unfortunately, the mini-series failed to expound on these core concept providing mere glimpses into the topics it deemed worthy to move audiences but failed to.

In the near future, to contain the terrorist threat that has gripped India, the government has decided to strictly control the lives of its citizens. Any citizen caught doing illegal activities are brought to covert detention centers at which military officials question and often torture suspected terrorists. Nida (Rathika Apte) is a newly minted interrogator who turned in her own father as an anti-government activist. Due to her father's notorious activities, she is brought to one of these detention centers to test her loyalty to the regime. As fate would have it, as soon as she arrives, the terrorist leader, Ali Saeed, is caught and brought for intense interrogation. But what would have been a victorious win for the regime turns out otherworldly. She must now fight for not just the truth in the face of demons, both human and not. 
"Ghoul" could have used more episodes and more time to expound its lore. Its setting and its premise, of a government gone big brother on its citizens, felt rush and ineffective. In fact, the whole series could have used none of the fluff and would have the same effect as the final product. One of the things that could have affected the quality of "Ghoul" as a whole is that it was originally slated to be a feature film and it clearly showed. Most screenplay elements that could have impacted with its social messaging lacked impact and staying power. The story itself had some surprises and some twists but most of these fall flat as the film struggled to develop characters that are memorable or relatable. Outside the two main cast of characters, you will be hard pressed to feel any sympathy towards the others inside the detention center. While its screenplay was mostly problematic, the saving grace for "Ghoul" was its overall presentation and horror. The mini-series looked great on-screen featuring dark, grimy hallways that are the perfect set-up for intense chills and tension. Impressively, the visual effects looked great but we wished the Ghoul itself had more scenes to showcase this further. Additionally, the acting was more than enough to really eke out every emotional terror that the material could give. While "Ghoul" is not perfect with a lackluster story and depth, it more than compensates with excellent terror and impressive visuals.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- presents intense horror that had us gripping our seats
- well-acted and well-made

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the premise is interesting but fails to further expound on its core concepts

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