Review: Death of a Ghost Hunter

Review: Death of a Ghost Hunter

A good ghost story is difficult to accomplish. A good ghost story requires use of majority, if not all of the senses. It’s why it’s nearly impossible to find a good ghost story novel and good movies are few and far between. It’s why they’re so effective while huddled around a campfire, out in the wilderness. The nature of a film limits some of the senses, making a ghost movie a little more difficult. A good filmmaker will be able to overcome these obstacles. Death of a Ghost Hunter is not one of those films.

I can forgive the predictability of the film, but the acting was atrocious, the cinematography was amateur, and the dialogue was painful.

Of the entire cast, the main girl was the best actor of the bunch. Even so, her performance was clunky, at best. The other three main actors took away from the atmosphere every time they opened their mouths. Even the guy with the bit part, who played the home owners, and primarily quoted Poltergeist lines was a steaming pile of crap. None of this was helped by the fact of the script being terrible. Most of the movie I was wondering if they ever had a table reading of the script. Did anyone do any research into their character? Did any of them care? Okay, granted, the one chick was sufficiently creepy, but her performance wasn’t enough to carry the film.

I understand it was a low-budget film. I’ve seen some great ones. However, when the budget is low enough that everything looks like it’s filmed with late 80’s VHS cameras, don’t try to make a film that’s a supposed re-telling of events that happened. Work with what’s available; and if what’s available is a 40 pound old home-movie camcorder and a tripod, make it so it’s found footage. It was insanely jarring in the immersion factor to be intellectually aware the filmmakers were trying to re-create these “true” events (this was explained in a title card) and be smacked with film grain I haven’t seen since movies made in the 70’s. Even more so since the time setting is 2002.

Which is unfortunate because there is one scene that made the ending of the movie.

Spoiler Alert: The redeeming scene SelectSpoil Me

It seems obvious to me the movie was built around this one scene. It was a great idea, it was clever, however the rest of the movie was just plain horrible. The involvement and care and passion from that one scene was completely absent from the rest of the movie. I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t care about the house, I didn’t even care about the ghosts! Even the great mystery reveal was stupid. Sitting through this movie was like sitting through my last semester of Scritpwriting class (no reflection on you, Sandy! …if you’re reading this), where every single script was about smoking pot or getting laid with a hint of conflict to make it seem like there’s a plot and I’m too old for that crap.

Review Score